- PART 1. IDENTITY AND NAME
- PART 2. PRINCIPLES, AIMS AND OBJECTIVES
- PART 3. ACTIVITIES OF THE PARTY
- PART 4. MEMBERSHIP
- PART 5. PARTY ORGANISATION AND BRANCHES
- PART 6. BUSINESS MEETING, PARTY CONFERENCES and EGMs
- PART 7. THE PARTY LEADER
- PART 8. THE PARTY CHAIRMAN
- PART 9. THE BOARD
- PART 10. THE PARTY TREASURER
- PART 11. FINANCE
- PART 12. THE NATIONAL NOMINATING OFFICER
- PART 13. THE PARTY SECRETARY
- PART 14. THE GENERAL SECRETARY
- PART 15. SEPARATION OF OFFICE
- PART 16. DISCIPLINE AND APPEALS
- PART 17. CANDIDATES
- PART 18. AMENDMENTS TO THE CONSTITUTION
- PART 19. PARTY RULE BOOK
- PART 20. DISSOLUTION
- PART 21. ADOPTION
This document is the Constitution of the Heritage Party. This Constitution describes the principles governing the conduct of the Heritage Party’s affairs.
For the avoidance of doubt, throughout this Constitution:
a. the masculine implies a person of either sex
b. “EGM” means an Extraordinary General Meeting
c. “Board” means the Party Board
d. “Rules” means Rules made by the Board under this Constitution
e. Where the context so implies, the singular shall include the plural
f. Headings shall not form part of the meanings of Articles
g. “Branch” means a branch or constituency association
h. PPERA means the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000
i. “AGM” means Annual General Meeting
PART 1. IDENTITY AND NAME
1.1 The Heritage Party exists as a Political Party registered with the UK Electoral Commission under the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000 (PPERA) in both Great Britain and Northern Ireland. The registered name of the Party under the PPERA shall be the Heritage Party (hereinafter referred to as “the 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.
1.3 The Party exists as a Limited Liability Company registered with Companies House (Registration Number: 12617414) in accordance with the Companies Act 2006.
PART 2. PRINCIPLES, AIMS AND OBJECTIVES
2.1 The Party is a democratic and socially conservative Party that seeks to preserve and promote life, liberty, prosperity and national sovereignty.
2.2 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, and the liberty and prosperity of the British people.
2.3 It shall be the policy of the Party that the United Kingdom shall not make any Treaty or join any international organisation which involves in any way the surrender of any part of the United Kingdom’s sovereignty, 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.
2.4 The Party repudiates political ideologies which are destructive to life, liberty or democracy such as Marxism, Cultural Marxism, National Socialism, Communism, Fabianism, Nihilism and any movements borne out of such ideologies such as the eugenics movement, governmental population control, state sponsored euthanasia, the dehumanisation of unborn children and all other similar movements that are detrimental to the dignity of the person.
2.5 The Party will seek to maintain and strengthen the institutions of marriage and the natural family. The Party holds that the true and right definition of marriage is that of a covenant and union between one man and one woman. While the Party upholds the right of individuals to make choices about how they conduct their personal lives, we believe that the institutions of marriage and the natural family are fundamental to the fabric of a good society and the transmission of values, customs, traditions and identity from parents to children through the generations. The government has no right to redefine or undermine such institutions.
2.6 The Party shall only adopt policies which are consistent with our core principles, being those which:
a. preserve, protect and defend the sovereignty and independence of the United Kingdom;
b. promote and encourage those who aspire to improve their personal situation and those who seek to be self-reliant, whilst providing protection for those in genuine need;
c. favour the ability 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;
d. assert, promote and defend the principles of freedom of speech, freedom of expression, freedom of belief and liberty of conscience;
e. seek to diminish the role of the state and its interference in civil society;
f. lower the burden of taxation on individuals and businesses;
g. are consistent with fiscal responsibility and the reduction of sovereign debt;
h. ensure proper control over the borders of the United Kingdom;
i. promote effective defence of the Realm from enemies both foreign and domestic without compromise to the liberties constitutionally afforded to British citizens;
j. preserve and strengthen the rights, liberties and customs of the British people in accordance with our nation’s ancient constitution;
k. support the natural family and marriage; and
l. preserve and defend the Judaeo-Christian foundations of our Common Law and promote the principle of equality of all persons under the law.
PART 3. ACTIVITIES OF THE PARTY
3.1 The Party shall develop a full range of policies for domestic and foreign affairs.
3.2 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.
3.3 The Party shall take up any seat to which it wins election regardless of any policy of the Party which espouses the abolition of such a seat or election, subject always to the right of the Leader and the Board jointly to decide otherwise.
3.4 The Party may participate and campaign in any referendum whose principal object is consistent with The Party’s core principles as articulated in Part 2 of this Constitution. These may include referenda that are international, national, regional or local in scope.
3.5 The Party may co-operate with other like-minded democratic parties, institutions and organisations for any purposes which are wholly consistent with its principles and objectives, whether such be in the United Kingdom or elsewhere for such time and to such extent as the Leader and the Board may deem necessary and expedient in order to advance the Party’s objectives.
3.6 In the furtherance of its objectives, the Party may:
a. 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;
b. Publish, with or without charge, any document or digital publication it sees fit in any format;
c. Employ, subcontract and pay persons, sole traders or companies to manage, oversee, coordinate and execute The Party’s objectives; to administer the Party, and to satisfy the Party’s obligations under the law;
d. 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;
e. Invest any monies of the Party not immediately required, in accordance with the Trustee Act of 1925;
f. 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;
g. Enter into contracts for the supply of goods, employment and services;
h. Undertake any or all lawful activities under the Companies Acts.
3.7 The party shall conduct itself and its affairs in such a way that it does not discriminate against or in favour of any person on the grounds of their race, religion, sex, ethnic origin, education, class, social status, or any other basis prescribed by law.
3.8 The Board may from time to time make such rules as it deems appropriate concerning the employment by the Party and/or those elected to public office.
3.9 It shall be a condition of employment by the Party that no person so employed as described in Article 3.6 (c) may be a person who has been excluded from membership by virtue of rules made under Articles 4.3 or 4.4 below. Such a condition shall expressly form part of their contract of employment.
PART 4. MEMBERSHIP
4.1 Membership of the Party shall be open to any person:
a. who shares the Party’s principles, aims and objectives as set out in Part 2 of this Constitution
b. who agrees to abide by this Constitution and any Rules which may from time to time be made by the Party;
c. who is over 16 years of age;
d. who is not a member of another organisation whose objectives are incompatible with those of the Party;
4.2 Members are considered to be “in good standing” if at any given moment:
a. their subscriptions are up to date; and
b. they are not subject to any form of suspension or restriction as to their membership of the Party; and
c. 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.
4.3 Notwithstanding anything in Article 4.1 of this Constitution, the Board may from time to time make Rules of Procedure concerning the refusal of or exclusion from membership of persons or classes of persons whose admittance to membership of the Party would, in its opinion, be inimical to the interests of the Party.
4.4 The Board shall, without reservation or qualification, be entitled to refuse to admit any person to membership. Where it is deemed appropriate brief reasons will be given for any such refusal.
4.5 The Board shall have the right to expel from membership any person who no longer complies with the requirements of Article 4.1, or whose behaviour is otherwise damaging to the reputation or the interests of the party.
4.6 The Board shall, without reservation or qualification, be entitled to refuse to renew the membership of any person and may exercise this power without giving reasons for the same, if it is deemed it appropriate so to do.
4.7 Any person to whom membership is refused under either Article 4.4, 4.5 or 4.6 may appeal against that decision within 14 days of notification thereof being sent to him. Such an appeal shall then be heard within a reasonable time by an Appeal Panel subject to the disciplinary procedures set out in Part 16 of this Constitution.
4.8 Membership is not available to anyone who, at any time within 10 years prior to an application to join the Party, has been a member, active supporter, associate, employee or trainee of any proscribed organisation or political party listed in the Party Rule Book or published on the Party’s website.
4.9 On applying to become a member of the Party, the applicant must certify that:
a. they are not and have never been connected with a proscribed political party or organisation as described in Article 4.8; or
b. they have had no connection with a proscribed political party or organisation as described in Article 4.8 for at least 20 years, and they have publicly renounced that political party or organisation.
4.10 A person who is admitted into membership but is later found to have made a false declaration according to Article 4.9 shall be expelled from membership forthwith.
4.11 In exceptional circumstances the Board may cause to be admitted to membership any applicant who would otherwise be prohibited from membership.
Subscriptions and Terms of Membership
4.12 The Board shall from time to time set such annual subscription fees as it deems appropriate and may define and set differential subscriptions for different categories of membership as it may from time to time deem appropriate.
4.13 By entering into membership, the Member agrees that at all times he will abide by the terms of this Constitution and the Rules of the Party. Any member who is in breach of this Constitution or the Rules made thereunder may be subject to the disciplinary procedures set out in Article 14 and any Rules of the Party made under this Constitution.
4.14 Members of the Party are deemed by their entry into membership to agree not to do or omit to do any act (as the case may be), the commission or omission of which either:
brings the Party into disrepute; or
is intended to damage the Party’s interests; or
damages the Party’s interests; or
breaches any other disciplinary rule which the Board may from time to time deem appropriate to make.
4.15 Any member whose annual subscription has not been received by the party within 30 days of the end of the month in which their membership subscription ran out may be regarded as having resigned their membership.
4.16 The Board may from time to time as it deems appropriate make rules concerning affiliation to the Party by other organisations. Such affiliated bodies shall not enjoy any voting rights under the Constitution.
PART 5. PARTY ORGANISATION AND BRANCHES
5.1 The basic units of the Party shall be the Branches. The primary functions of Branches are to select and support candidates for local, Parliamentary and other kinds of elections, recruit new members, raise funds and generally to promote the Party and its policies. They shall uphold the principles of the Constitution and are responsible to the Board.
5.2 A Branch may consist of one Parliamentary constituency, or a geographical area larger than a single Parliamentary constituency, such as two or more Parliamentary constituencies, a borough, a district, a county or a portion of a county. Members in any constituency or other such geographical area shall be able to establish a local Branch of the Party, subject to the approval of the Board.
5.3 In accordance with the party’s aim to have Branches in all parliamentary constituencies, branches covering more than one Parliamentary constituency are encouraged to split when Branch membership becomes sufficiently large.
5.4 Branches shall meet a minimum of four times a year and the meetings shall be open to all Branch Members.
5.5 Branches may engage in political debate at local level, and must ensure that they represent the Principles, Aims and Objectives set out in Part 2 of this Constitution.
5.6 The Board may from time to time make additional rules concerning the organisation of Branches or other Party structures which are not provided for in this Constitution.
5.7 The Board may establish, suspend or disband branches or other means of organisation, as the Board may from time to time deem necessary. If a Branch is established by the Board or a delegate of the Board, they may appoint a Branch Chairman, Branch Treasurer and Branch Secretary to serve in those posts until such time as a Branch AGM is held.
5.8 All Party members are members of the Branch in which they live and shall be entitled to participate in its activities. Where a member is living in the UK and registered to vote in one location, their residence shall be taken as the address at which they are on the electoral register.
5.9 The affairs of Members who live in a parliamentary constituency or geographical area with no established branch shall be administered by the Party Chairman or his delegate.
5.10 Party members may, on request, become a member of another branch, subject to the agreement of the receiving branch committee. On moving branches, the member shall have full voting rights in the new branch and cease to be a member of their previous branch. Should the receiving branch committee withdraw their consent, the member shall be entitled to revert to membership of their branch of residency.
5.11 A Party member may serve on only one Branch Committee at a time.
5.12 A Branch must have a Branch Chairman, a Branch Treasurer and a Branch Secretary, who shall be the officers of the Branch Committee.
5.13 The position of Branch Chairman and Branch Treasurer may not be held by the same person.
5.14 Every Branch shall hold an AGM where the Branch Chairman, Branch Treasurer, Branch Secretary and other members of the Branch Committee shall be elected by the Branch Members. The number of Committee members to be elected shall be determined by the AGM, subject to a maximum of eight members in total. If only two members are elected to the committee, they shall be Branch Chairman and Branch Treasurer and one of these shall also be named as Branch Secretary.
5.15 The Branch Chairman has principal responsibility for the direction of the branch and shall normally chair all meetings including the AGM and shall enjoy full voting rights. The Chairman shall normally call meetings of the Branch and the Branch Committee, but a simple majority of committee members may call a committee meeting in the event that the Chairman is unable or unwilling to do so.
5.16 A Branch that is fully constituted according to Section 5.12 shall be an autonomous accounting unit and the Party Chairman shall register it as such with the Electoral Commission. The Branch Treasurer shall be responsible for recording donations and loans made to the Branch and must ensure that the Branch’s financial affairs are conducted in accordance with the Party’s Financial Scheme and all relevant legislation.
5.17 A Branch that is fully constituted according to Section 5.12 may open a bank account. A branch bank account must have at least two signatories which must include the Branch Treasurer and a member of the Party Board.5.18 In cases where a local Branch is not an autonomous accounting unit but proposes to support the Party’s fundraising activities or to fundraise to finance local campaigning, the Branch Treasurer shall agree a governance process with the Party Treasurer to ensure compliance with all relevant legislation and the Party’s Financial Scheme.
5.19 The Branch Secretary shall normally be responsible for the general administration of the Committee, including taking minutes of meetings, maintaining a record of the Branch’s party members and advising the Board of changes. The secretary shall also advise the Board of any changes to the officers and be responsible for operating the Branch database and ensuring compliance with data protection law.
5.20 The Branch Committee shall meet a minimum of four times per year. The quorum for a Branch Committee meeting shall be half of the Committee Members, including two of the Branch Chairman, Branch Treasurer and Branch Secretary.
5.21 In the event that a Branch Officer resigns or is otherwise unable to continue in the role, a permanent replacement may only be selected by a general meeting of the Branch with 21 days’ notice. An acting replacement may be chosen by the Branch Committee to continue with the role until the following AGM.
Annual General Meetings
5.22 Branch AGMs shall be held annually between October 1st and December 31st.
5.23 A period of 21 days’ notice of the AGM shall be given and the notice shall invite nominations for the election of committee officers and motions for the meeting. Nominations shall require a proposer and seconder, and candidates may be nominated either in writing in advance of the meeting, or in person at the meeting.
5.24 Any motions for the AGM must be submitted in advance and must be consistent with the Principles and Constitution of the Party.
5.25 The business of the AGM shall include:
a. Approval of the minutes of the previous AGM;
b. Receiving reports from the Branch Chairman and Branch Secretary;
c. Receiving the Branch Treasurer’s Statement of Accounts for the previous year;
d. Election of the Branch Committee members and officers for the following year;
e. Transacting such other business as may be brought before it.
5.26 In geographical areas where there is no Branch that is fully constituted according to Section 5.12, the Board may approve the formation of a Hub. The Board shall approve or appoint a Co-ordinator for each Hub, whose function shall be to co-ordinate the activities of the party in the geographical area of the Hub.
5.27 A Hub may consist of a region, a county or a geographical area larger than a single Parliamentary constituency such as a borough or a district, or two or more boroughs or districts.
5.28 Hubs will be encouraged to become Branches at the earliest opportunity by appointing officers concordant with Sections 5.12 and 5.13
PART 6. BUSINESS MEETING, PARTY CONFERENCES and EGMs
6.1 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 Board may determine. Only Members “in good standing” may vote at the Business Meeting and at the Annual Conference.
6.2 The Business Meeting will be open only to Members “in good standing”. Its business shall be:
a. To receive reports from the Party’s leaders and officers; and
b. To receive and note the Party’s accounts, as required under company law.
6.3 All motions at the Business Meeting may be passed by a simple majority of those voting, and are subject to ratification by the Board at the first meeting following the Business Meeting.
6.4 The Annual Conference shall be open to Members “in good standing” and guests. Its business shall include the consideration of motions on Party policy and strategy.
6.5 Party Members and Branches may submit motions to the Party Conference for debate through their Branch or Constituency Association, or the Party Chairman. The board may, from time to time, make Rules concerning motions submitted to the Party Conference
6.6 The Board may summon other special conferences or EGMs for specific purposes, which will be open to all Party members “in good standing”. The Board may from time to time make rules for the convening of and the procedures for the conduct of such conferences.
Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM)
6.7 The Party Chairman shall call an Extraordinary General Meeting if requested to do so by a minimum of 25% of the Party’s Members “in good standing”. Each such request shall set out the business to be dealt with at the EGM. The agenda of any such EGM shall be restricted to that business only, and to matters arising therefrom. Each such request shall further be accompanied by individual electronic payments from signatories, to the Party Head Office account for such a sum as shall be determined by the Board as being necessary to cover the cost of the meeting or ballot arising therefrom.
6.8 Upon receipt of a valid request under Article 6.7 hereof, the Chairman shall call an Extraordinary General Meeting of the Party to be held within two months of such receipt, giving members a minimum of 7 days’ notice.
6.9 The quorum for an EGM shall be 25% of Party members or 1,000 Party Members, whichever is the lower.
PART 7. THE PARTY LEADER
7.1 Under the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000 all registered parties must appoint a Party Leader.
7.2 The Party Leader shall give political direction to the Party and shall be responsible for the development of the Party’s policies.
7.3 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 Board of the membership of such groups.
7.4 The Party Leader:
a. Shall have the right to be a full member of all sub-committees and working groups set up by the Board;
b. Shall appoint a Party Chairman and the members of the Board;
c. Shall make or approve all national statements of the Party’s policies and the manner of their communication; and
d. May make such other appointments as he thinks fit.
Term of Office
7.5 The Leader shall have no fixed term of office.
Resignation from Office
7.6 A Party Leader may resign by notifying the Party Chairman in writing. The Party Chairman must summon an emergency meeting of the Board within 14 days of a Party Leader’s resignation to appoint an Interim Leader and initiate the leadership election procedure.
No Confidence Motions
7.8 A motion of no confidence in the Party Leader may be proposed by the Party Membership at an EGM. The conditions for calling such an EGM shall be in accordance with Article 6.7 of this Constitution. In order for such a motion to pass, no fewer than 55% of members in attendance at the EGM shall vote in favour.
7.9 If a motion of no confidence in the Party Leader by the Party Membership at an EGM is passed, a ballot of all members “in good standing” must be held. The Party Leader shall be removed from office if no fewer than two-thirds of those participating in such a ballot vote in favour of the motion to remove the leader, and participation in the ballot is no less than one-third of the membership.
7.10 If a motion of no confidence in the Party Leader as described in Article 7.9 passes, the Party Chairman must then summon an emergency meeting of the Board within 14 days to initiate the leadership election procedure and appoint an Interim Leader.
Death or Incapacity of Party Leader
7.11 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 Board within 14 days to initiate the leadership election procedure and appoint an Interim Leader.
Election of Party Leader
7.12 A leadership election shall be called:
a. In the event of the Party Leader’s death, incapacity or resignation;
b. Upon passing of a motion of no confidence in a ballot of all members “in good standing” with no fewer than two-thirds of those participating voting in favour.
As specified in the appropriately titled section above, the Board shall initiate the procedure for and announce a leadership election within 14 days. The leadership election must be completed within 90 days of it being called.
7.13 Election for the post of Party Leader shall be by way of a ballot of Members of the Party “in good standing” on the date that the leader left office.
7.14 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. In the case that there are two candidates, the leadership shall be decided by a simple majority of the votes cast. In the case that there are three or more candidates contesting a leadership election, the election shall be decided by a Single Transferable Vote.
7.15 The Board may from time to time make rules for the calling and conduct of elections for the post of Party Leader, as it deems appropriate.
7.16 If the post of Party Leader becomes vacant due to the resignation, death or incapacity of the Party Leader or for any other reason, the Board shall appoint an Interim Leader within 14 days of Party Leadership becoming vacant. An Interim Leader shall lead the Party until a Leadership election takes place. He shall have all the powers of the Party Leader under this Constitution as if he had been elected to that post, other than the removal of officers or members of the Board.
7.17 An Interim Leader may not participate in the leadership election which runs consecutively to his or her tenure as Interim Leader.
7.18 The Party Leader may from time to time appoint a 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, other than the responsibilities of the Party Leader as set out in 7.1, 7.2, 7.3 and 7.4 of this Constitution. 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 Board.
PART 8. THE PARTY CHAIRMAN
8.1 The Party Chairman will be appointed by the Party Leader.
8.2 The Party Chairman shall chair meetings of the Board, the Annual Business Meeting, Annual Conference and such Extraordinary General Meetings as may be called.
8.3 The Party Chairman will have responsibility for all matters relating to organisation of the Party Conference, including the selection of motions for debate.
8.4 There is no fixed term of office for the Party Chairman. He may be removed from office by the Leader.
PART 9. THE BOARD
9.1 There shall be established and maintained an Executive Board of the Party (hereinafter “the Board”) which shall function as the principal management and administrative authority of the Party, in particular for the purposes of company law.
9.2 The voting members of the Board as set out in Article 9.6 must serve as Directors of the Company from the date upon which they are appointed to the Board in accordance with this Constitution and the Rules.
Powers of the Board
9.3 The Board shall have overall responsibility for administration and direction of the Party organisation. They 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 both local and parliamentary election campaigns.
9.4 The duties, powers and responsibilities of the Board shall include (but are not limited to):
a. ensuring that the Party works towards the achievement of the Principles, Aims and Objectives set out in Part 2 of this Constitution above in an efficient and judicious manner;
b. managing the Party’s funds, structure, employees and contractors;
c. advising the Party Leader on political matters;
d. ensuring that the Party’s manifestos and policies are in accordance with the founding principles, aims and objectives of the Party;
e. ensuring that the Constitution of the Party is in accordance with the laws of the United Kingdom;
f. managing and conducting the Party’s disciplinary procedures;
g. 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;
h. the creation of paid administrative posts;
i. the appointment of senior staff within the Party; and
j. maintaining accurate databases of membership and for safeguarding such databases within the terms of data protection legislation.
9.5 The Board shall have the power to delegate such of its functions as it shall from time to time see fit, and may from time to time establish such committees as it deems necessary to assist in the furtherance of the aims and objectives of the Party. Such committees shall report regularly to the Board.
Composition of the Board
9.6 The Board shall normally be composed of the following voting members:
a. the Party Leader;
b. the Party Chairman; and
c. up to six additional Party members appointed by the Party Leader.
9.7 The Party Treasurer, Party Secretary, General Secretary and Deputy Leader may take part in all the deliberations and meetings of the Board, but may not vote on any matter unless they have been appointed as voting members of the Board according to Article 9.6 (c).
9.8 Only paid-up members of the Party “in good standing” shall be eligible for appointment to the Board.
9.9 The members of the Board serve for a term of 2 years from their appointment, which may be renewed without limitation for further 2-year periods at the discretion of the Leader. A member of the Board may be removed from office before the end of his term by the Leader.
9.10 A newly elected Party Leader may choose to retain or replace each individual Board member as he wishes.
9.11 The Board may from time to time appoint further non-voting ex-officio members, as deemed necessary for its efficient running.
9.12 The Board may from time to time create such further posts, sub-committees and working groups as it deems necessary for the more efficient exercise of its duties under this Constitution and appoint persons thereto.
Resignations and Vacancies
9.13 A resignation of a member of the Board shall be in writing and either sent electronically or given by hand to the Party Chairman. Upon resignation from the Board, such person shall cease to be a Director of the Company.
9.14 Should a vacancy occur, for whatever reason, the Party Leader may appoint a replacement of his choosing.
Conduct of Meetings
9.15 The Board shall meet at least six times a year. Meetings shall be normally be chaired by the Party Chairman or, in the Chairman’s absence, by a member of the Board appointed by the Board for that meeting only.
9.16 The quorum for any meeting of the Board shall be 50% of the members of the Board, rounded up to the nearest whole number if necessary in the event that there are an odd number of members of the Board.
9.17 Where there is a tied vote of the Board, the Party Leader shall have a casting vote. In the absence of the Party Leader, the Party Chairman shall have a casting vote. In the absence of both the Party Leader and the Party Chairman, the acting Chairman of the meeting appointed under Article 9.15 shall have a casting vote.
9.18 The Board may from time to time invite any person it deems appropriate to attend any Board meeting in whole or in part.
PART 10. THE PARTY TREASURER
10.1 The Party Leader shall appoint a Party Treasurer from among Party members “in good standing”. The name of the Party Treasurer shall be registered with the UK Electoral Commission, as required by PPERA.
10.2 The Party Treasurer will be responsible for ensuring that the Party is compliant with all financial legal requirements under commercial law, PPERA and other electoral legislation, and complying with all requirements of the Electoral Commission applicable to financial reporting and probity.
10.3 The Party Treasurer will prepare annual accounts and present them at the annual Business Meeting.
10.4 The Party Treasurer shall submit in a timely manner to the Electoral Commission:
a. notification of any changes to the registered addresses and officers of the Party;
b. annual confirmation of the registered details and addresses of the Party;
c. reports detailing donations and loans made to the Party as required by the Electoral Commission;
d. the annual statement of accounts for the Party as required by the Electoral Commission, externally audited where required; and
e. returns detailing Party campaign spending.
10.5 The Party Treasurer may, subject to the approval of the Board, appoint Deputy Treasurers and establish and chair a Finance Committee to assist with the tasks described above.
10.6 The Party Treasurer’s term of office shall be two years, which may be renewed. He may be removed before the end of his term by the Party Leader.
PART 11. FINANCE
11.1 All money raised by or on behalf of the party shall be used to further the Principles, Aims and Objectives of the Party, in accordance with the Party’s Financial Plan. This includes any money raised by a Branch, which remains the property of the Party.
11.2 Expenditure shall be agreed and controlled by the Board. No paid employment or contract for the supply of goods or services shall be offered, granted or awarded on behalf of the Party except by a person or persons authorised for that purpose by the Board.
11.3 The financial year of the Party will run from 1st January to 31st December.
11.4 The Party shall separate its financial affairs between Great Britain and Northern Ireland to comply with the requirement of PPERA. The Party shall maintain a separate bank account for its financial affairs in Northern Ireland.
11.5 All membership fees and donations arising from Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland shall be paid into the bank account for the Party’s affairs in Northern Ireland. All other membership fees and donations shall be kept in the Party’s main bank account for Great Britain.
11.6 Donations, loans and spending relating specifically to Northern Ireland shall be reported to the Electoral Commission under the Party’s Northern Ireland registration in accordance with the Party’s Financial Plan. All other donations, loans and spending shall be reported to the Electoral Commission under the Party’s Great Britain registration in accordance with the Party’s Financial Plan.
PART 12. THE NATIONAL NOMINATING OFFICER
12.1 The Party Leader shall appoint a National Nominating Officer, as required by PPERA, who shall control the registered Party descriptions and emblems and be responsible for the appointment of Deputy Nominating Officers as appropriate.
12.2 The National Nominating Officer’s term of office shall be two years, which may be renewed. He may be removed before the end of his term by the Party Leader.
PART 13. THE PARTY SECRETARY
13.1 The Party Leader may appoint a Party Secretary from among Party members “in good standing”. The Part Secretary, where appointed, is responsible for:
a. dealing with any threat of legal action made against the Party;
b. advising the party on all other legal matters;
c. organising the defence where legal action has been brought against the Party;
d. organising all legal action taken by the Party;
13.2 The Party Secretary, where appointed, may also be appointed to be the Chairman of the Discipline Committee, in which case he shall carry out all the functions of the Chairman of the Discipline Committee laid out in Part 16 of this Constitution.
13.3 The Party Secretary’s term of office shall be two years, which may be renewed. He may be removed before the end of his term by the Party Leader.
PART 14. THE GENERAL SECRETARY
14.1 The Party Leader may appoint a General Secretary from among Party members “in good standing”. The General Secretary, where appointed, shall:
a. act as secretary to the Board;
b. formally convene meetings of the Board and its sub-committees and notify members thereof;
c. maintain accurate records and minutes of meetings and decisions of the Board and its sub-committees;
d. ensure that minutes and records are appropriately signed;
e. maintain and make available for distribution rules and other decisions made by the Board;
f. maintain records of membership of the Board and its sub-committees; and
g. create and maintain appropriate administrative records with appropriate backup and archiving.
14.2 The General Secretary’s term of office shall be two years, which may be renewed. He may be removed before the end of his term by the Party Leader.
PART 15. SEPARATION OF OFFICE
15.1 The offices of Party Leader, Party Chairman, Party Treasurer, Party Secretary, General Secretary and Deputy Leader shall each be held by a different individual.
15.2 In exceptional circumstances, a person holding an office mentioned in Article 15.1 may hold another such office on an interim basis, while the Board seeks to fill a vacancy in such office.
PART 16. DISCIPLINE AND APPEALS
16.1 The Board shall establish a Discipline Committee. The Discipline Committee shall have jurisdiction over all matters pertaining to Party Discipline.
16.2 The Board may from time to time as it deems appropriate make Rules for the composition of Discipline Panels, Appeals Panels and management of matters of discipline and appeals, for the conduct of hearings and appeals and for the procedure and evidence to be used by the Discipline Committee.
16.3 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.
16.4 Any Member “in good standing” may refer the conduct of any other member to the Chairman of the Discipline Committee who shall act in accordance with the rules made under this Article and the rules of natural justice.
16.5 Upon the conclusion of any Disciplinary Hearing the Chairman of the Discipline Committee may:
a. Issue oral or written advice to the Respondent Member as to future conduct;
b. Give the Respondent Member a written caution as to future behaviour;
c. Suspend the Respondent Member from attending constituency association meetings for a specified period;
d. Suspend the Respondent Member from membership of the Party for a specified period;
e. Suspend the Respondent Member from elected Party office and / or candidature for elective office for a specified period;
f. Suspend the Respondent Member from membership for a specified period;
g. Expel the Respondent Member permanently;
h. Take any other reasonable and proportionate action that it deems to be warranted by any particular circumstances;
i. Take no action; or
j. 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 Chairman of the Discipline Committee shall provide a report of all disciplinary hearings and appeals to the Board upon their conclusion.
Right of Appeal
16.6 Any member disciplined under Article 16.5 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.
16.7 Any appeal panel formed for hearing appeals from disciplinary hearings or membership exclusions shall be composed of an Independent Chairman who need not be a member of the Party and either two or four other persons independent of the Board. No person who sat on a disciplinary hearing at first instance may be a member of the appeal panel for the matter at hand.
16.8 In addition to the Rules mentioned in Article 16.2 the Board may from time to time as it deems appropriate make rules as to the qualifications required for appointment as an Independent Chairman.
16.9 In cases of exceptional gravity and urgency the Party Chairman may, of his own motion, exercise any of the powers set out in Article 16.5 except that under 16.5 (g) above in respect of any member, with due regard to proportionality. The Party Chairman shall, within twenty-four hours of so acting, notify the Board of his action.
16.10 Upon being so notified the Chairman of the Discipline Committee 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 16.7 and 16.8) and not more than two voting members of the Board.
16.11 The Emergency Panel may:
a. Confirm the order of the Party Chairman;
b. 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;
c. Make any order permitted by this Constitution; or
d. Revoke the order of the Party Chairman
Ignorantia Juris non Excusat
16.12 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.
PART 17. CANDIDATES
Approved Candidate Lists
17.1 The Party shall establish lists of approved candidates for elections to public office. The Board may from time to time make such rules as it deems fit for the establishment of such approved lists.
17.2 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.
Duty of Disclosure
17.3 Once selected, candidates remain, without reservation or qualification, under a continuing duty fully to disclose to the Party 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.
17.4 Any failure to disclose such a material fact shall be a matter in respect of which disciplinary proceedings under Part 16 of the Constitution may be initiated against the candidate.
Suspension and Removal of Candidates
17.5 Any candidate may be suspended from the approved candidates list or removed from a list of nominated candidates by a person appointed by the Board for that purpose, if it is deemed that the inclusion and possible election of that candidate will or may damage the reputation or interests of the Party
17.6 Thereafter the 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.
17.7 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.
17.8 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 Board pertaining to candidates.
Selection of Candidates
17.9 Candidates will be selected in accordance with the procedures defined in the Party Rule Book.
17.10 All candidates standing on behalf of the Party must be Members of the Party “in good standing” and on the Party’s list of approved candidates.
17.11 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 Board in consultation with the constituency association or branch and in accordance with any restrictions defined in the Party Rule Book.
17.12 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, The Party Chairman may at any time refer the selection to the Board.
Codes of Conduct for Elective Office Holders
17.13 The 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;
17.14 It shall be the duty of any member of the Party who is elected to any elective office;
a. To abide at all times by any such Code of Conduct and the Rules drawn up under Article 17.13;
b. 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 17.14 (b) may be treated as a matter subject to disciplinary suspension.
17.15 The Board shall refer any breach of any Code of Conduct or Rules made under Article 17.14 to the Discipline Committee according to the provisions of Part 16 of this Constitution whereupon those provisions shall be followed as if the matter were an ordinary matter pertaining to discipline.
17.16 Notwithstanding any legal waivers, immunities, or dispensations granted by virtue of a Party member’s election to public office, the 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.
PART 18. AMENDMENTS TO THE CONSTITUTION
18.1 Any part of this Constitution, with the exception of Part 2 and Article 18.2, may be amended by a not less than two-thirds majority of all the members of the Board.
18.2 Part 2 and Article 18.2 of this Constitution may only be amended by the unanimous agreement of the Board.
18.3 Where changes to the Constitution are adopted, they will come into force at midnight on the day the changes were made.
PART 19. PARTY RULE BOOK
19.1 The Party Rulebook shall be published on the Party’s website.
19.2 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.
PART 20. DISSOLUTION
20.1 The party may be dissolved only with the unanimous agreement of all members of the Board. The necessary officers must apply to de-register with the Electoral Commission within two weeks of a decision to dissolve.
PART 21. ADOPTION
21.1 This provisions of this constitution shall take effect on the 25th of May, 2020.