THE CONSTITUTION OF THE DEMOCRATS AND VETERANS PARTY

CONTENTS

PREAMBLE

  1. IDENTITY & NAME
  2. FOUNDING VALUES
  3. AIMS, BELIEFS, OBJECTIVES AND PURPOSE
  4. ACTIVITIES OF THE PARTY
  5. MEMBERSHIP
  6. CONSTITUENCY BRANCHES & ASSOCIATIONS
  7. BUSINESS MEETING AND PARTY CONFERENCE
  1. THE PARTY LEADER
  1. THE PARTY CHAIRMAN
  1. EXECUTIVE BOARD
  1. SEPARATION OF OFFICE
  2. STANDING AND TEMPORARY COMMITTEES
  1. DISCIPLINE
  1. CANDIDATES
  1. AMENDMENTS TO THE CONSTITUTION
  2. PARTY RULE BOOK
  3. INITIAL ADOPTION

END

PREAMBLE

This document is the Constitution of The Democrats and Veterans Party, hereinafter “the Party”, and is herein- after and may elsewhere be referred to as “the Party Constitution”.

This Constitution describes the principles governing the conduct of The Democrats and Veterans Party’s affairs.

1. IDENTITY & NAME

1.1 The Party exists as a Political Party registered with the UK Electoral Commission under the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000 (PPERA).The registered name of the Party under the PPERA shall be The Democrats and Veterans Party.

1.2 The Party may use additional names as may be registered from time to time with the Electoral Commission, as well as informal variants of and alternatives to its registered name as may be deemed by party officials to be appropriate.

2. FOUNDING VALUES

2.1 The Party is a democratic organisation which will assert, promote and defend the principles of freedom of speech and liberty of conscience, and will only adopt policies which are consistent with our core principles, being those which:

  1. Promote aspiration, achievement and self-reliance;
  2. Support and defend those in genuine need;
  3. Protect the rights of individuals to make decisions in respect of themselves and their dependents in accordance with their consciences, provided that these decisions do not infringe on the individual rights of others;
  4. Tend towards diminution in the role of the State;
  5. Tend towards reduction in taxation of all types;
  6. Promote effective defence of the Realm from enemies both foreign and domestic without compromise to the liberties constitutionally afforded to British subjects;
  7. Preserve and strengthen the rights, liberties and customs of the British people in accordance with our nation’s ancient Constitution;
  8. Preserve and defend the Judeo-Christian foundations of our Common Law and promote the principle of equality of all persons under the law; and
  9. Maintain the principle of international reciprocity with respect to securing the same rights and liberties of foreign residents and visitors to the United Kingdom that British subjects would properly demand that they enjoy abroad.

2.2 The Party is a non-denominational and non-sectarian party that welcomes as its members people of all faiths and none.

2.3 The Party asserts the equality of all ethnic groups and repudiates all forms of anti-Semitism.

2.4 The Party shall not accept loans or obtain debt to fund its operations.

3. AIMS, BELIEFS, OBJECTIVES AND PURPOSE

3.1 The Democrats and Veterans Party’s aim is to effectuate genuine democracy in the United Kingdom by the democratic imposition of the sovereign will of the free people of Britain upon Parliament. To this end the Party shall seek to introduce into Parliament a system of Direct Democracy in which the eligible electorate may vote directly on legislation originating within either of the Houses of Parliament, where the majority vote of the electorate directly effects immediate implementation of legislation subject to a minimum participation threshold of 10% of the eligible electorate being attained.

3.2 The Party believes that the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (hereinafter “The United Kingdom”) should be governed only by her own citizens, and that all legislation passed by Parliament should be formulated with primary respect to the national interest, security and prosperity of the British people.

3.3 The Party affirms the assertions expressed in our nation’s Constitution that no foreign person, entity or organisation ought to have any jurisdiction, pre-eminence, superiority or authority – whether legal, temporal or religious – within the Realm of the United Kingdom, and that the British people must never be subject to the imposition of a foreign legal or monetary system, or the jurisdiction of foreign courts.

3.4 The Party asserts the Constitutional permanent indivisibility of the Union of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

3.5 The Party believes in fostering a ‘Culture of Life’ and therefore repudiates political ideologies such as Cultural Marxism, National Socialism, Communism, Fabianism, Nihilism and the movements borne out of such ideologies such as the eugenics movement, governmental population control, state sponsored euthanasia and all other similar movements that are detrimental to the dignity of the person. We hold these views because we believe these things to be incongruous to the rights, duties and responsibilities of the individual as set out in common law and the British Constitution.

3.6 The Party believes the government has no right to attempt to change the Natural Law, that this law forms the foundation of our society, and that attempts to change it are a dangerous abuse of power that views personhood as being malleable and subject to opinion, which in itself presents a threat to the integrity and dignity of the person.

3.7 The Party believes in liberty of conscience and will always defend the autonomy of families (however they may be composed). However, the Party holds that the permanent legal definition of marriage is of one that forms the constitution of a private life between one man and one woman. We believe that government has no right to redefine such an institution, as we believe it is in itself a guarantor against state intrusion into family life. In like manner, we uphold the right of persons and families to make personal decisions in accordance with their consciences.

3.8 The Party shall administer its internal affairs in a manner that is consistent with the Party’s values described in paragraph 2.1.

4. ACTIVITIES OF THE PARTY

4.1 In pursuit of its objectives, the Party shall undertake to implement the following programmes:

  1. DV Direct, being the means whereby the Party formulates policies, local and national campaign initiatives, and revisions to organisational procedures, including the Party Constitution, and seeks to obtain the express consent of Party members to implement such proposals.
  2. DV Connect, being the means by which the Party creates and maintains a directory of Party activists and details of their capabilities, interests and extent of their availability to serve the aims of The Democrats and Veterans Party.
  3. DV Media, being a comprehensive information dissemination strategy whereby written, audio and visual media are shared widely using all available means deemed to be effective in broadcasting The Democrats and Veterans Party’s message.
  4. DV Affiliate, being the means by which the Party attracts the patronage of business owners, with participating businesses providing to Party members discounts on services that are divided between the purchaser and the Party.
  5. DV Local, being the comprehensive civic engagement and networking strategy whereby Party members campaign for initiatives that solve problems identified through The Democrats and Veterans Party’s local “Flatpack Democracy” canvassing programme.

4.2 The Party shall, as opportunity and funding permits, engage in revenue-generating commercial activities that fund both the party-political activities and general campaigning work for public benefit. Commercial activities shall include, but not be limited to, the acquisition of property and the trading of services and goods for profit, both within the United Kingdom, and internationally.

4.3 The Party may organise, participate and campaign in any referendum whose principal object is consistent with The Democrats and Veterans Party’s core values as articulated in paragraph 2.1 of this Constitution.These may include referenda that are international, national, regional or local in scope.

4.4 The Party may participate in all democratic electoral processes occurring within the United Kingdom and in other places where it is lawful for the Party to stand candidates for election.

4.5 The Party is committed to working for mutual gain with other organisations both in the United Kingdom and abroad; towards the enhanced democratisation of the political process in whichever countries such organisations operate. Collaborative relationships of this nature shall have objectives to be expressed in terms consistent with The Democrats and Veterans Party’s core values. It is not to be inferred that the Party shares the particular ideological, philosophical or political tenets of cooperating organisations.

4.6 The Party may occupy any seat to which it wins election regardless of any policy advocating the abolition of such a seat, election or entity, subject always to the right of the Party Leader or membership to decide otherwise.

4.7 Consistent with its aims, the Party may:

  1. Raise funds and invite and receive contributions from any legal or natural person whatsoever in such manner and to the extent and limits permissible by law, including but not limited to: subscriptions, donations, provision of services or goods in kind;
  2. Publish, with or without charge, any document or digital publication it sees fit in any format;
  3. Employ, subcontract and pay persons, sole traders or companies to manage, oversee, coordinate and execute The Democrats and Veterans Party’s aims and objectives; to administer the Party, and to satisfy the Party’s obligations under the law;
  4. Purchase, lease or rent such real or personal property deemed by the Party’s Executive Board as necessary to advance the Party’s objectives, to conduct the Party’s administration, and to make arrangements for the management of any such property acquired;
  5. Invest any monies of the Party not immediately required, in accordance with the Trustee Act of 1925;
  6. Carry out or refrain from carrying out any lawful act as may be deemed appropriate for the attainment of the Party’s objectives and the proper administration of the Party;
  7. Enter into contracts for the supply of goods, employment and services;
  8. Undertake any or all lawful activities under the Companies Acts.

5. MEMBERSHIP

5.1 There are two categories of members:

  1. Provisional Members are new members that have completed the membership application procedure and paid subscription fees but which have not yet received notification that the Party has successfully vetted them.
  2. Full Members are members who have been informed by the Party that they have successfully passed the membership vetting process.

5.2 Vetting of Provisional Members is required to be conducted within 6 weeks of initial payment of cleared subscription funds. In the event that a Provisional Member’s vetting process is unsuccessful, subscription fees are to be returned within 28 days of the applicant being informed of the negative outcome of the vetting process.

5.3 The vetting procedure is mandatory, and shall be conducted by a Vetting Panel, which is odd in number, consisting of members in good standing appointed by the Party Leader. They shall decide whether Provisional Members pass to become Full Members or whether they are refused membership of the Party by a simple majority vote.

5.4 A member of the Vetting Panel shall vote to refuse to grant Full Member status to a Provisional Member in the following instances:

  1. They have reason to believe the Provisional Member does not conform to the values, aims and objectives of the Party as set out in Sections 2 & 3;
  2. They have reason to believe the Provisional Member has behaved in such a way as to damage materially the pursuit of the Party’s values, aims and / or objectives as set out in Sections 2 & 3, whether the pursuit of those values, aims and / or objectives be by the Party itself or by other persons, parties or organisations;
  3. They have reason to believe the Provisional Member does not have the interests of the Party at heart, is joining with intent to damage the Party, or is part of a stacking exercise;
  4. They have reason to believe the information or any part thereof provided by the Provisional Member in their membership application is knowingly false or inaccurate. In such cases, the Party may request further information from the Provisional Member;
  5. The Provisional Member has been found to have applied to attend, or has attended, a Common Purpose seminar or part thereof, or course of tuition provided by Common Purpose;
  6. The Provisional Member has been found to have been a member of any proscribed organisation or political party as published on the Party’s website;
  7. The Provisional Member has, while within another political party and / or organisation, demonstrated propensity for destructiveness / disruptiveness, and / or inability to work constructively and / or collegiately, without just cause. Just cause in this instance would include reasons such as justified ‘whistleblowing’, exposing corruption, or other reasons which conform to our values, aims and objectives as set out in Sections 2 & 3;
  8. The Provisional Member has unjustly trolled, bullied, harassed, libelled, slandered, smeared, briefed against, caused injury and / or attempted to cause injury to, the Party or any member thereof;
  9. The Provisional Member has made statements and / or behaved such that the Party would be brought into severe disrepute were Full Membership to be granted to the applicant; or
  10. The Provisional Member has consistently demonstrated propensity to undermine the legitimate integrity of productive and established relationships, whether these be personal, familial, or working.

5.5 The Vetting Panel may, with regard to the instances set out in Article 5.4, offer the opportunity to a Provisional Member to become a Full Member on the condition they supply, in writing, a renouncement of their previous association, actions, comments, statements and / or behaviour, to the Party, and provide permission to the Party to publish this renouncement on the Party’s website and elsewhere on the Internet. The Vetting Panel may deny such an opportunity in extreme cases or where they have reason to believe, based on recent or current behaviour, such a renouncement would, if made, be disingenuous. The decision to afford or deny such an opportunity shall be decided by a simple majority vote of the Vetting Panel.

5.6 A person who has been denied Full Membership following the vetting process shall not under any circumstances be granted Provisional Membership of the Party for at least two years from the date of the notification of the negative outcome of the vetting procedure. After such a time they may join as Provisional Members and undergo the vetting procedure once again.

5.7 If a Party member:

  1. Joins another political party (whether registered with the Electoral Commission or not) or any organisation membership of which the Executive Board has declared to be incompatible with membership of the Party;
  2. Without the authority of the Executive Board, sets up, is found to have set up, or has aided and abetted the setting up of another political party, whether registered with the Electoral Commission or not;
  3. Is later found already to be a member or former member of any proscribed organisation or political party as detailed on the Party website; or
  4. Is found to have applied to attend, or to have attended, a Common Purpose seminar or course of tuition;

The Party Chairman shall revoke their membership forthwith. Any person whose membership is revoked under this Article may appeal against that decision within 28 days of notification thereof being sent to him. Such an appeal shall then be heard within a reasonable time by a panel composed either of the Party Secretary and two members of the Executive Board or, at the discretion of the Party Secretary, by the Party Secretary and two persons independent of the Party.

6. CONSTITUENCY BRANCHES & ASSOCIATIONS

6.1 The Party may establish, suspend or disband branches or other means of organisation, as the Executive Board may from time to time deem necessary. Such constituency associations, branches or organisations may only be established with the written authority of the Executive Board, which may delegate such authority to the Party Chairman.

7. BUSINESS MEETING AND PARTY CONFERENCES

7.1 The Party shall hold both a Business Meeting and a full Party Conference annually at such place and at such date and time as the Executive Board may determine. Only Full Members “in good standing” may vote at the Business Meeting and at the Annual Conference.

7.2 Members are considered to be in “good standing” if at any given moment:

  1. Their subscriptions are up to date; and
  2. They are not subject to any suspension or exclusion by the Party either from elected office or from standing as a candidate of any sort in any election; and
  3. They are not subject to any form of suspension or restriction as to their membership of The Democrats and Veterans Party.

BUSINESS MEETING

7.3 The Business Meeting will be open only to Full Members “in good standing”. Its business shall be:

  1. To receive reports from the Party’s leaders and officers; and
  2. To receive and note the Party’s accounts, as required under company law.

7.4 All motions at the Business Meeting may be passed by a simple majority of those voting, including Full Members “in good standing” voting remotely via DV Direct.

CONFERENCES

7.5 The Annual Conference shall be open to Full Members “in good standing” and guests. Its business shall include the consideration of motions on Party policy and strategy.

7.6 The Executive Board may also summon other special conferences or EGMs for specific purposes, which will be open to all Full Members “in good standing”. The Executive Board may from time to time make rules for the convening of and the procedures for the conduct of such conferences.

7.7 Motions may be passed by a simple majority of those voting, including Full Members “in good standing” voting remotely via DV Direct.

EXTRAORDINARY GENERAL MEETING (EGM)

7.8 The Party Secretary shall call an Extraordinary General Meeting if requested to do so by a minimum of 10%, or 5,000, whichever is the greater, of the Party’s Full Members “in good standing” via DV Direct.

7.8.1 Each such request shall set out the business to be dealt with at the EGM as well as the general geographical location at which the EGM is to be held. The agenda of any such EGM shall be restricted to that business only, and to matters arising therefrom.

7.8.2 Each such request shall further be accompanied by individual electronic payments from signatories, to the Party Head Office funds for such a sum as shall be determined by the Executive Board as being necessary to cover the cost of the meeting. This sum shall not exceed £10 per signatory.

7.9 Upon receipt of a valid request under Article 7.8 hereof, the Party Secretary shall call an Extraordinary General Meeting of the Party to be held within 14 days of such receipt, giving members a minimum of 7 days’ notice.

7.10 Attendance at an EGM may either be in person or remotely, with remote voting being via DV Direct. In the event of remote participation, the cost of attendance to the participating member shall be waived.

8. THE PARTY LEADER

8.1 Under the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000 all registered parties must appoint a Party Leader.

8.2 The Party Leader shall give political direction to the Party and shall be responsible for the development of the Party’s policies with the agreement of the Party’s membership, via the use of the Party’s internal Direct Democracy programme “DV Direct”, to be integrated into The Democrats and Veterans Party’s manifesto.

8.3 The Party Leader may, at his discretion, form such advisory groups as he deems appropriate to advise him on any matter pertinent to the exercise of his functions, and will inform the Executive Board of the membership of such groups.

8.4 The Party Leader:

  1. Shall have the right to be a full member of all sub-committees and working groups set up by the Executive Board;
  2. Shall appoint a Party Chairman and the members of the Executive Board;
  3. Shall make or approve all national statements of the Party’s policies and the manner of their communication; and
  4. May make such other appointments as he thinks fit.

TERM OF OFFICE

8.5 The Leader’s term of office shall run for four years. This term may be extended for such time as may be deemed necessary upon the Executive Board passing a motion by a two-thirds majority to enable the Leader to stay in post in order to fight an imminent General Election or European Election, but in such event the period of extension shall be for not more than one year. The Party Leader may be elected for unlimited successive terms. The leadership election procedure shall be initiated prior to the expiration of the term of office.

RESIGNATION FROM OFFICE

8.6 A Party Leader shall communicate his decision to resign in writing to the Party Chairman, who must then summon an emergency meeting of the Executive Board within 14 days to initiate the leadership election procedure.

NO CONFIDENCE MOTIONS

8.7 A motion of no confidence in the Party Leader may be proposed by the Party membership. In order for it to pass, member participation must exceed 10% or 5,000 members, whichever being the greater, of the membership, and no fewer than 50% of those participating shall vote in favour of the motion.

8.7.1 If a motion of no confidence in the Party Leader passes the Party Chairman must then summon an emergency meeting of the Executive Board within 14 days to initiate the leadership election procedure.

DEATH OR INCAPACITY OF PARTY LEADER

8.8 Should the Party Leader become deceased, suffer serious injury or other incapacity that prevents him from continuing his duties the Party Chairman must then summon an emergency meeting of the Executive Board within 14 days to initiate the leadership election procedure.

ELECTION OF PARTY LEADER

8.9 A leadership election shall be called:

  1. In the event of the Party Leader’s death, incapacity or resignation;
  2. Upon the Party Leader’s completion of his term of office; or
  3. Upon passing of a motion of no confidence;

As specified in the appropriately titled section above and the Party Secretary shall initiate the procedure for and announce a leadership election to be held within 6 weeks.

8.9.1 Election for the post of Party Leader shall be by way of the DV Direct programme, with eligible participation being that of all Full Members of the Party “in good standing” on the date when the election is called.

8.9.2 If there is only one valid nomination for the post of Party Leader the candidate so nominated shall be declared elected as Party Leader without the need for a ballot. Any contested election for the leadership shall be decided by a simple majority of the votes cast, where there are fewer than four candidates contesting the election. In the case of four or more candidates contesting the election, there shall be two rounds of voting in which the three candidates with the highest number of votes in the first round qualify for the second round. Where there are fewer than five candidates contesting a two- round election, only two candidates shall qualify for the second round.

8.9.3 The Executive Board may from time to time, as it deems appropriate make rules for the calling and conduct of elections for the post of Party Leader, with proposed changes to existing methods requiring majority vote of the Party membership.

DEPUTY LEADER

8.10 The Party Leader may from time to time appoint a Full Member of the Party “in good standing” to be Deputy Leader. The Deputy Leader shall carry out such duties as the Party Leader shall assign. In the event of the incapacity or unavailability of the Party Leader, the Deputy Leader shall not assume the Constitutional powers and duties of the Party Leader unless authorised so to do by a majority vote of the Executive Board.

INTERIM LEADER

8.11 Where a vacancy in the Party Leadership occurs unexpectedly, the Executive Board shall within 14 days appoint an Interim Leader to lead the Party until a Leadership election takes place. Such Interim Leader shall have all the powers of the Party Leader under this Constitution as if he had been elected to that post, other than to the removal of officers or members of the Executive Board.

9. THE PARTY CHAIRMAN

9.1 The Chairman will be appointed by and serve at the pleasure of the Party Leader for a term of one year and be entitled only to a casting vote as a member of the Executive Board.

9.2 The Party Chairman shall chair meetings of the Executive Board, the Annual Business Meeting, Annual Conference and such Extraordinary General Meetings as may be called. The Party Chairman shall be responsible for maintaining accurate databases of membership and for safeguarding such databases within the terms of data protection legislation.

9.3 The Party Chairman shall have overall responsibility for administration and direction of the Party organisation. He shall be responsible for ensuring that all efforts are made to have an active and properly constituted organisation of the Party in every constituency, financially able to support a parliamentary election campaign.

9.4 The Party Chairman may make such administrative appointments as he sees fit and may recommend to the Executive Board the creation of paid administrative posts. The Party Chairman shall, from time to time, report to the Executive Board on Party, branch and constituency activity or ensure that an appointed Party officer, as appropriate, on such activity, makes a report.

9.5 The Party Chairman will have the responsibility for all matters relating to organisation of the Party Conference, including the selection of motions for debate.

VICE-CHAIRMAN

9.6 The Party Chairman may, with the agreement of the Party Leader, appoint a Vice Chairman from amongst the voting members of the Executive Board who may, in the absence of the Chairman, chair the Executive Board. The Vice Chairman may act generally in the place of the Chairman if the Chairman is absent for any period more than two weeks or is incapacitated through illness or is otherwise unable to undertake the duties of Chairman. The Chairman may from time to time delegate to the Vice Chairman such duties as he sees fit. A Vice Chairman acting in the place of the Party Chairman shall have only the same voting powers as the Chairman.

10. EXECUTIVE BOARD

10.1 There shall be established a committee known as “the Executive Board” which shall function as the principal management and administrative authority of the Party.

THE EXECUTIVE BOARD: ROLE, APPOINTMENTS, TERMS OF OFFICE AND REMUNERATION

10.2 The Executive Board, working in concert with the Party Leader, shall perform the function of determining and fulfilling the will of the party membership by whatever means they deem to constitute the most efficient and practicable, but with respect to the values, principles and constraints expressed in the Party Constitution. Where the Executive Board is judged by the membership to have failed to represent the concerns and requirements of the membership, the terms of this Party Constitution are to be understood to imply sole responsibility for this failure as resting with the Party Leader, whom the membership may act to remove swiftly and at negligible cost, via the DV Direct programme, and with reference to the conditions laid out in paragraph 8.7.

10.2.1 The operational performance of the Executive Board being attributable solely to the Party Leader, all members of the board are to be appointed by the Party Leader, with terms of office being one year for all appointments.

10.2.2 On expiry of the term of appointment of a member of the Executive Board, the Party Leader may elect to reappoint the board member for a further consecutive term of one year. There shall be no limit to the number of times a member may be appointed to the Executive Board consecutively.

10.2.3 Where the Party Leader deems that the services of a member of the Executive Board are no longer required, he may terminate that member’s membership of the Board with immediate effect, but is required to advise the member privately ahead of knowledge of the termination of the appointment becoming public. In the event that a member cannot be reached, the Leader is required to evidence having made reasonable efforts to contact the member ahead of facilitating knowledge of the termination becoming public.

10.2.4 Where a member of the Executive Board decides that they are unable to continue to serve on the board, the member may resign with immediate effect, but agrees to undertake to make reasonable efforts to inform the Leader ahead of knowledge of the member’s resignation becoming public.

10.2.5 No member of the Executive Board shall be considered to be an employee of the Party, or to enjoy the employment rights and benefits accruing to an employee of a company. All Executive Board members are to assume their roles in the capacity of volunteers and for such time as they are requested by the Party Leader to continue in their roles.

10.2.6 No member of the Executive Board shall be inhibited or in any way restricted by the Party or any of its officers, or Leader, from engaging in employment outside the Party.

10.2.7 Where a member of the Executive Board receives remuneration, the member is required to invoice the Party as a contractor, and the member is to accept that performance of any paid work is not to be construed as implying that that person is employed by the Party.

POWERS OF THE EXECUTIVE BOARD

10.3 The duties, powers and responsibilities of the Executive Board shall include (but are not limited to):

  1. Ensuring that the Party works towards the achievement of the objectives set out in Section 4 above in an efficient and judicious manner;
  2. Managing the Party’s funds, structure and contractors;
  3. Advising the Party Leader on political matters;
  4. Preparing the Party’s manifestos;
  5. Ensuring that the Constitution of the Party is in accordance with the laws of the United Kingdom;
  6. Managing and conducting the Party’s disciplinary procedures; and
  7. Making or amending from time to time such Rules of Procedure as it deems appropriate for the efficient conduct and administration of the Party and for the discharge of its responsibilities under this Article and under company law for the efficient running of the Party and the attainment of its objectives.

COMPOSITION OF EXECUTIVE BOARD

10.4 The Executive Board shall normally be composed of the following voting members:

  1. A minimum of 10 members appointed to the Executive Board by the Party Leader each for a term of one year;
  2. The Party Chairman; and
  3. The Party Leader.

10.4.1 A newly elected Party Leader may choose to retain or replace each individual Executive Board member as he wishes.

10.4.2 The Party Leader may from time to time appoint further non-voting ex-officio members, as he deems necessary for the efficient running of the Executive Board.

10.4.3 The Party Leader shall appoint a Party Treasurer and a Nominating Officer, each of whom shall be a voting member of the Executive Board. Additionally, the Party Leader may appoint a Party Secretary and General Secretary, if deemed to be necessary. The Leader may appoint these roles to members of the board who simultaneously occupy additional roles on the Executive Board.

PARTY TREASURER

10.5 The post of Party Treasurer is required under the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000 and the name of the Party Treasurer must be registered with the UK Electoral Commission. The Party Treasurer shall establish and chair a Finance Committee to be responsible for managing the Party’s general (non-campaign specific) finances and reporting these to the Executive Board. The Party Treasurer will prepare annual accounts and present them at the annual Business Meeting. The Party Treasurer will be responsible for complying with all statutes and requirements of the Electoral Commission applicable to financial reporting and probity.

10.5.1 The Party Treasurer’s term of office shall be one year, which may be renewed. The Party Leader may remove him before the end of his term.

10.5.2 The Party Treasurer may, subject to the approval of the Party Leader, appoint Deputy Treasurers to assist with the tasks described above.

PARTY SECRETARY

10.6 The Party Leader may appoint a Party Secretary. Where appointed, the Party Secretary shall be responsible, inter alia, for ensuring that the administrative and other arrangements of the Party comply with all legal requirements placed upon it by statute, other than those relating to finance. The Party Secretary shall establish and chair a Discipline Committee subject to and in accordance with Rules made by the Executive Board concerning disciplinary procedures.

10.6.1 The Party Secretary’s term of office shall be one year, which may be renewed. The Party Leader may remove him before the end of his term.

GENERAL SECRETARY

10.7 The Party Leader may appoint a General Secretary. Where appointed, the General Secretary shall:

  1. Act as Secretary to the Executive Board;
  2. Formally convene meetings of the Executive Board and its sub-committees and notify members thereof;
  3. Maintain accurate records and minutes of meetings and decisions of the Executive Board and its sub-committees;
  4. Ensure that Minutes and records are appropriately signed;
  5. Maintain and make available for distribution rules and other decisions made by the Executive Board;
  6. Maintain records of membership of the Executive Board and its sub- committees; and
  7. Create and maintain appropriate administrative records with appropriate backup and archiving.

NOMINATING OFFICER

10.8 A Nominating Officer is required by the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000, to be appointed, and shall control the registered Party descriptions and emblems and be responsible for the appointment of Deputy Nominating Officers as appropriate.

OTHER OFFICERS

10.9 The Executive Board may from time to time create such further posts as it deems necessary for the more efficient exercise of its duties under this Constitution, and appoint persons thereto.

RESIGNATION AND VACANCIES

10.10 The resignation of a member of the Executive Board shall be in writing and either sent electronically or given by hand to the Party Chairman; or be given orally to the Party Leader. If given orally, the Party Chairman shall write to the resigning member inviting him to confirm or to withdraw his resignation.

10.10.1 The resigning member shall reply to such invitation within 24 hours of receipt of the electronic or physical communication. In the absence of a reply from the resigning member within that time he shall forthwith be deemed to have resigned from the Executive Board.

10.10.2 Should a vacancy occur, for whatever reason, the Party Leader may appoint a replacement of his choosing.

CONDUCT OF MEETINGS

10.11 The Executive Board shall meet at least six times a year either in person or via conference call facilities. Meetings shall be chaired by the Party Chairman or, in the Chairman’s absence, by the Vice-Chairman (if one is appointed) or by a person that he delegates, which appointment shall be duly minuted.

10.12 Seven voting members of the Executive Board including the Party Chairman or, in the Chairman’s absence, the person appointed under Article 10.11, or such Executive Board member appointed for that meeting as Chairman, shall constitute a quorum.

10.13 Any five or more voting members of the Executive Board may requisition an Emergency Meeting of the Executive Board by notifying the Party Leader and Party Secretary (if one has been appointed) in writing. The document calling for such a meeting shall set out the business to be discussed and any motions to be put at that meeting. The agenda for the emergency meeting shall comprise this business and matters arising and no other.

10.14 The Executive Board may from time to time invite any person it deems appropriate to attend any Executive Board meeting in whole or in part.

11. SEPARATION OF OFFICE

11.1 The offices of Party Leader, Party Treasurer, Party Secretary, Party Chairman, Vice Chairman and General Secretary shall each be held by a different individual.

12. STANDING AND TEMPORARY COMMITTEES

12.1 The standing committees set up by the Executive Board shall include a Finance Committee, a Discipline Committee and a Policy Committee. The Executive Board may from time to time establish other committees, as it deems necessary for the administration of the Party. The composition of all (sub)committees and the limits of their delegated powers are defined by this Constitution and the Executive Board.

FINANCE COMMITTEE

12.2 The Finance Committee shall be chaired by the Party Treasurer. Its responsibility shall be to oversee the management of the Party’s finances and to appoint external auditors.

DISCIPLINE COMMITTEE

12.3 The Discipline Committee shall be chaired by the Party Secretary and shall comprise in addition either two or four voting members of the Executive Board. Any appeal panel formed for hearing appeals from disciplinary hearings or membership exclusions shall be composed of an independent Chairman and either two or four other persons independent of the Executive Board.

12.4 The Discipline Committee shall have responsibility for conducting and arranging for all matters relating to discipline under this Constitution. The Executive Board may make rules as to the manner of selection of the panel members of the Disciplinary Committee and of appeal panels.

POLICY COMMITTEE

12.5 The Policy Committee shall be chaired by the Party Leader and consist of the Party Chairman and at least three other Executive Board members. This committee shall be responsible for actively engaging the Party’s membership in the policy making process through DV Direct.

13. DISCIPLINE

JURISDICTION

13.1 The Discipline Committee of the Executive Board shall have jurisdiction over all matters pertaining to Party Discipline. The Executive Board may from time to time as it deems appropriate make Rules for the composition of discipline panels and management of matters of discipline and appeals, for the conduct of hearings and appeals under Section 13 and for the procedure and evidence to be used by the Committee.

13.2 All Disciplinary hearings and appeals shall be conducted with proper regard for the rules of natural justice to ensure that any member subject to such proceedings receives a fair hearing at each stage of the disciplinary or appeals procedure.

COMPLAINTS

13.3 Any Full Member “in good standing” may refer the conduct of any other member to the General Secretary who shall act in accordance with the rules made under this Article and the rules of natural justice.

13.4 Thereafter the Party Secretary shall likewise act in accordance with the rules made under Article 13 and the rules of natural justice.

REMEDIES AVAILABLE

13.5 Upon the conclusion of any Disciplinary Hearing the Discipline Committee may:

  1. Issue oral or written advice to the Respondent Member as to future conduct;
  2. Give the Respondent Member a written caution as to future behaviour;
  3. Suspend the Respondent Member from attending constituency association meetings for a specified period;
  4. Suspend the Respondent Member from membership of the Party for a specified period;
  5. Suspend the Respondent Member from elected Party office and / or candidature for elective office for a specified period;
  6. Expel the Respondent Member from membership for a specified period or permanently;
  7. Take any other reasonable and proportionate action that it deems to be warranted by any particular circumstances;
  8. Take no action; or
  9. If the member is elected to public office, remove the Party Whip.

The Discipline Committee shall at all times exercise its powers with proper regard for the principle of proportionality. The Party Secretary shall provide a report of all disciplinary hearings and appeals to the Executive Board upon their conclusion.

RIGHT OF APPEAL

13.6 Any member disciplined under Article 13.5 shall have the right of appeal against such order as is made thereunder. Such appeal shall be dealt with in accordance with the Rules of the Party concerning Discipline.

13.7 The Executive Board may cause any disciplinary panel to be chaired by an Independent Chairman and may appoint such a Chairman who need not be a member of the Party. No person who sat on a disciplinary hearing at first instance may be a member of the appeal panel for the matter at hand.

13.8 In addition to the Rules mentioned in Article 13.1 the Executive Board may from time to time as it deems appropriate make rules as to the qualifications required for appointment as an Independent Chairman.

EMERGENCY POWERS

13.9 In cases of exceptional gravity and urgency the Party Chairman may, of his own motion, exercise any of the powers set out in Article 13.5 except that under 13.5 (f) above in respect of any member, with due regard to proportionality. The Party Chairman shall, within twenty-four hours of so acting, notify the Party Secretary of his action.

13.10 Upon being so notified the Party Secretary shall convene as soon as possible an Emergency Disciplinary Panel composed of himself (or an Independent Chairman appointed in accordance with the rules made under Article 13.7 and 13.8) and not more than two voting members of the Executive Board.

13.11 The Emergency Panel may:

  1. Confirm the order of the Party Chairman;
  2. Confirm the order of the Party Chairman but order that the matter be placed before an ordinary Discipline Panel as soon as possible for a full hearing;
  3. Make any order permitted by this Constitution; or
  4. Revoke the order of the Party Chairman on the grounds that the action was either:
  1. Inappropriate having regard to the circumstances;
  2. Excessive having regard to all the circumstances; or
  3. Not supported by the facts. In that event the Party Chairman may within 14 days of the findings of the Emergency Disciplinary Panel renew the complaint under the ordinary disciplinary procedure.

13.12 It shall be no defence to any allegation laid under this Article that the Party member was ignorant of the Constitution or any Rule made thereunder.

14. CANDIDATES

APPROVED CANDIDATES LISTS

14.1.1 The Party shall establish lists of approved candidates for elections to public office. The Executive Board may from time to time make such rules as it deems fit for the establishment of such approved lists. Persons holding elective office shall have no automatic right to re-selection or to a place on such approved candidates lists.

14.1.2 Any person who seeks to be placed on such approved candidate lists shall make an application in accordance with the procedures defined in the Party Rule Book and, without exception, shall in such application make a full disclosure of any material fact, political or personal (whether or not the material fact arose before or after this constitution came into force), that has or may have a bearing on their suitability for selection as a candidate and shall provide full details in writing of the same to the Party Chairman. The Executive Board shall issue guidance on disclosure.

DUTY OF DISCLOSURE

14.1.3 Once selected, candidates remain, without reservation or qualification, under a continuing duty fully to disclose to the Party Chairman any material fact, political or personal (whether or not the material fact arose before or after this constitution came into force) that has or may have a bearing on their suitability to stand as a candidate and shall provide full written details of the same to the Party Chairman.

14.1.4 Any failure to disclose such a material fact shall be a matter in respect of which disciplinary proceedings under Article 13 thereof may be initiated against the candidate. The Party Leader, Party Chairman, or person delegated to act on their behalf, may then act under Article 13 and the rules made thereunder.

SUSPENSION AND REMOVAL OF CANDIDATES

14.2.1 The Party Chairman may suspend any candidate from the approved list or remove any candidate from a list of candidates to be nominated or having been nominated, if, in his opinion the inclusion and possible election of that candidate will or may damage the reputation or interests of the Party.

14.2.2 The fact of such suspension shall be notified forthwith to:

  1. The Executive Board and
  2. The candidate.

14.2.3 Thereafter the Executive Board may proceed to determine whether or not the candidate shall be removed from or restored to the list of approved candidates or remain nominated by the Party.

14.2.4 Once a candidate is finally removed from the list of approved candidates or his nomination is withdrawn according to law, he automatically loses all rights to be a candidate.

14.3 A candidate who is removed from the approved candidates list or whose nomination is withdrawn shall have the right to an appeal according to rules made by the Executive Board pertaining to candidates.

SELECTION OF CANDIDATES

14.4 Candidates will be selected in accordance with the procedures defined in the Party Rule Book.

14.5 All candidates standing on behalf of the Party in any national election to public office must be Full Members of the Party “in good standing” and on the Party’s list of approved candidates.

14.6 In the case of a by-election (other than local government by-elections and other by-elections to local public office) the selection of a candidate will be made by the Executive Board in consultation with the constituency members and in accordance with any restrictions defined in the Party Rule Book.

14.7 The selection of candidates for local government by-elections and other by-elections to local public office shall be the responsibility of constituency associations or branches or, in the absence of a constituency association, the Party Chairman or his regional Nominating Officer. The Party Chairman may at any time refer the selection to the Executive Board.

CODES OF CONDUCT FOR ELECTIVE OFFICE HOLDERS

14.8 The Executive Board may from time to time as it deems necessary and appropriate make Codes of Conduct and Rules for those holding elective office in the Party’s name;

14.9 It shall be the duty of any member of the Party who is elected to any elective office;

  1. To abide at all times by any such Code of Conduct and the Rules drawn up under Article 14.8;
  2. At all times to behave in a manner becoming to such elective office. Any breach of such Code of Conduct, Rules or failure to observe Article 14.9 (b) may be treated as a matter subject to disciplinary suspension.

14.10 The Executive Board shall refer any breach of any Code of Conduct or Rules made under Article 14.8 to the Disciplinary Committee according to the provisions of Article 13 whereupon those provisions shall be followed as if the matter were an ordinary matter pertaining to discipline.

14.11 Notwithstanding any legal waivers, immunities, or dispensations granted by virtue of a Party member’s election to public office, the Executive Board shall have the right to regard all undertakings signed by Party members prior to their election or subsequent to it as morally binding under the Rules of the Party and shall have the right to deselect, refuse to reselect, or to expel from the Party any Party member who is in breach of any such undertaking, under this Article.

15. AMENDMENTS TO THE CONSTITUTION

15.1 Amendments to this Constitution may be proposed and made at any time in accordance with this Article.

15.2 Amendments to the Constitution may only be proposed that are consistent with the foundational values of the Party as expressed in the Core Values described in Article 2.1, namely those which:

  1. Promote aspiration, achievement and self-reliance;
  2. Support and defend those in genuine need;
  3. Protect the rights of individuals to make decisions in respect of themselves and their dependents in accordance with their consciences, provided that these decisions do not infringe on the individual rights of others;
  4. Tend towards diminution in the role of the State;
  5. Tend towards reduction in taxation of all types;
  6. Promote effective defence of the Realm from enemies both foreign and domestic without compromise to the liberties constitutionally afforded to British subjects;
  7. Preserve and strengthen the rights, liberties and customs of the British people in accordance with our nation’s ancient Constitution;
  8. Preserve and defend the Judeo-Christian foundations of our Common Law and promote the principle of equality of all persons under the law; and
  9. Maintain the principle of international reciprocity with respect to securing the same rights and liberties of foreign residents and visitors to the United Kingdom that British subjects would properly demand that they enjoy abroad.

15.3 Such a ballot shall be held:

  1. If proposed by the Executive Board and approved by a two-thirds majority of those voting; or
  2. At the request of 10% of the Party membership, or 5,000 members, whichever is the greater.

15.4 The Executive Board shall have the right to put separate and distinct elements or clauses amending the Constitution to separate votes for the approval of the membership. Proposed amendments to the Constitution shall only be carried where a two-thirds majority of members voting vote in favour of the amendment, and where a minimum of 10% of the membership, or 5,000 members, whichever is the greater, participate in the vote via DV Direct.

15.5 Such amendments shall come into force seven days after the result of such an affirmative vote is declared.

16. PARTY RULE BOOK

16.1 The Party Rulebook shall be published on the Party’s website.

16.2 Any Rules made under this Constitution shall be read in conjunction with it and where the Rules are repugnant to the Constitution, the latter shall prevail.

17. ADOPTION & REVISIONS

17.1 This Constitution was adopted this 2nd day of February 2018 by the following founding members of the Party: John Rees-Evans, Trevor Coult, Gavin Felton, James Dalton, Tony Knight, Jamie Ross McKenzie, Andrew Price, Paula Allen.

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