Rules of Procedure (Rule Book)
- A: Preamble
- B: Terms and conditions of membership
- C: Branch and Constituency Association Rules
- Status and Authority
- Branch Committees
- Duties of Branch Officers
- Branch and Committee Meetings
- Annual General Meeting
- Extraordinary General Meetings
- Selection of candidates
- Authority for candidate nominations
- F: Unauthorised meetings
- G: Extraordinary General Meetings of the National Party
- H: Standing Orders for the conduct of internal Party meetings
- I: Party Conference rules
- J: The Party Business Meeting
- K: Rules governing the conduct of Board meetings
- L: Data Protection and Branding Rules
- M: Rules governing the employment of staff
- N: Rules governing Party Policies
- O: Leadership election rules
- P: Rules governing campaigning and the use of Party Databases for internal Party elections
- Q: Internal Party election hustings rules
- R: Rules governing manualballoting and counting in internal elections.
- S: Rules governing electronicballoting and counting in internal elections.
- T: Candidate Selection Rules for General Elections and Westminster by-elections
- U: Candidate Selection Rules for Local Authority Elections and Council by-elections
A.1 The ‘Rules of Procedure’ is the Rule Book of the Heritage Party – hereinafter referred to as ‘the Party’.
A.2 These Rules of Procedure should be read in conjunction with the Party Constitution, which, in the event of a clash, shall always take precedence.
A.3 These rules came into effect following approval by the Heritage Party’s Board on 1st July, 2020.
A.4 These Rules may be amended by a simple majority vote of the Board.
A.5 Rules are made in accordance with Articles 3.8, 4.3, 4.12, 4.16, 5.1, 6.6, 7.3, 9.5, 9.12, 16.2, 16.8, 17.2, 17.9, and 17.13 of the Party Constitution of the Heritage Party and have regard to Article 19.2 of the Party Constitution of the Heritage Party.
A.6 The Rules of Procedure shall be made available electronically to members through the Party website.
A.7 Any member shall be sent a written copy of the Rules of Procedure upon request to the Party’s administrative Head Office.
A.8 The Party may make an appropriate administrative charge not exceeding £20 for written copies of the Rules of Procedure to cover the economic cost of printing, packaging, posting and staff time.
A.9 For the avoidance of doubt, throughout the Rules of Procedure the masculine implies a person of either gender.
A.10 In the event of internal inconsistency within these Rules of Procedure, the Board (or the Party Chairman or Party Secretary acting with the Board’s authorisation) shall determine which Rule has precedence.
Membership, Branches and Party Organisers
B: Terms and conditions of membership
B.1 Membership shall start from the date of receipt of the initial membership subscription and continue for the number of years for which the subscription has been paid.
B.2 Membership subscriptions are not normally refundable.
B.3 Members shall be considered to be fully paid-up until the end of the month of expiry.
B.4 An application for membership may be refused if the Board considers that the application does not fulfil the criteria for membership as set out in the Party Constitution.
B.5 Membership is not available online to anyone who has been a member, active supporter, associate, employee or trainee of any proscribed organisation or political party as published on the Party’s website.
B.6 The proscribed list of political parties and organisations at the time of adoption of the Party Constitution is listed in Schedule 1 of the Constitution. The Board may add political parties or organisations to the proscribed list at any time, and shall publish any changes in the Membership Sign Up Declaration.
B.7 A person with a prior connection to a proscribed organisation or political party as laid out in Rule B.6, who has not had any such connection with such organisation or political party for a period in excess of 10 years may apply in writing to be admitted into membership of the Party if they have publicly renounced their association with that organisation or political party, subject to the absolute discretion of the Board.
B.8 A person who is admitted into membership but is later found to be or have been a member of a proscribed organisation or political party as published on the Party’s website and has not declared it shall be expelled from membership forthwith.
B.9 A member shall be classed as ‘in good standing’ if at any given moment their subscriptions are up to date, they are not subject to any suspension or exclusion either from elected office or from standing as a candidate of any sort in any election, and they are not subject to any form of suspension or restriction as to their membership of the Party.
B.10 Any member who fails to maintain their subscriptions may have their membership revoked immediately, although a three months grace period may also be offered by the Party on a discretionary basis. Following the expiration of a membership, an ex-member’s payment of a membership subscription shall be considered to be a fresh application for membership.
C: Branch and Constituency Association Rules
Status and Authority
C.1.1 The basic units of the Party are the Branches, established under Article 5.1 of the Constitution of the Party. They shall uphold the principles of the Constitution and are responsible to the Board via their delegates who will normally be the County Organiser and Regional Organiser.
C.1.2 A Branch may exist only if authorised by the Board. No Branch may be established without the approval of the Board.
C.1.3 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.
C.1.4 The primary functions of Branches are to select and support candidates for local, Parliamentary and other kinds of elections in accordance with these Rules of Procedure, recruit new members, raise funds and generally to promote the Party and its policies.
C.1.5 In accordance with the Party’s aim to have Constituency Associations in all parliamentary constituencies, Branches covering more than one constituency are encouraged to split when branch membership becomes sufficiently large.
C.1.6 A Branch wishing to split must have the approval of the Branch Committee and the County Organiser. Where there is no County Organiser, any split in a Branch must be approved by the Regional Organiser. The County Organiser (or Regional Organiser in the case where there is no County Organiser) shall inform the Board of any splits in Branches, and the Board may overrule the decision.
C.1.7 Branches shall co-operate with their County Organiser and Regional Organiser.
C.1.8 Branch Meetings shall be held in accordance with section H of these Rules of Procedure: ‘Standing Orders for the conduct of Internal Party Meetings’.
C.2.1 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, for the purposes of this Rule their residence shall be taken as the address at which they are on the electoral register.
C.2.2 The affairs of members who live in a parliamentary constituency with no established branch shall be administered by the Party Chairman or his delegate.
C.2.3 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.
C.2.4 A Party member may serve on only one Branch committee at a time.
C.3.1 Branches are responsible for their own actions.
C.3.2 The Branch Chairman, Branch Secretary and Branch Treasurer shall be members of the Branch Committee. 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.
C.3.3 No current member of any other political party shall be permitted to hold office on a branch committee, or to hold any other formal office within the Party. The Party Chairman may permit an exception to C.3.3 where he believes it to be in the Party’s strategic interests to do so.
C.3.4 The branch officers and other committee members shall be elected at the branch’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) by ballot of members attending. Their term of office shall run from the AGM when elected until the next AGM. The principal officers shall be required to complete and return a Party Officer’s Declaration form. Section Q of these Rules of Procedure shall not apply to the election of officers.
C.3.5 All members in good standing are eligible to stand for election to the Branch Committee of their Branch. For these purposes, members are branch members either through C.2.1 or C.2.3 above.
C.3.6. A Branch Committee may accept nominations from members of other branches to stand for election to the Branch Committee of their Branch if they agree to those nominations by a majority.
C.3.7 The elected committee shall have the power to co-opt other branch members for specific purposes whose term shall end at the next AGM and whose voting rights shall be determined by the elected committee.
Duties of Branch Officers
C.3.8 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 Branch Chairman shall normally call meetings of the committee (and meetings of the whole branch) 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.
C.3.9 The Branch Treasurer shall be responsible for agreeing a scheme of governance with the Party Treasurer if a branch wishes to open a bank account, raise money for the party or raise money for local election campaigns, so that the branch is compliant with the Party’s Financial Plan.
C.3.10 A duly-constituted branch may hold a bank account. Bank accounts should have at least three signatories, with a minimum of two signatories required to draw upon branch funds. Two of the signatories to the bank account should be Committee members, with the third signatory being a current County Organiser, Regional Organiser or Party Treasurer. If there is a change in the County Organiser, Regional Organiser or Party Treasurer, they must be replaced as a signatory on the Branch bank account. Branches may permit electronic banking to be undertaken by a sole named individual but shall ensure that appropriate financial reports are received at each Branch meeting.
C.3.11 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 Head Office of changes. The Branch Secretary shall also advise Head Office of any changes to the officers and the branch registration details and is responsible for compliance with K.7 of these Rules of Procedure.
C3.12 A Branch may elect or appoint a vice-Chairman. The vice-Chairman shall chair meetings of the Branch in the absence of the Chairman.
C.3.13 Only Branch officers, or members who have the express permission of the Committee, shall be authorised to represent the local party or make use of party logos. Unauthorised use of the party name or logo may be considered to be bringing the party into public disrepute and therefore grounds for disciplinary action.
C.3.14 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.
C.3.15 Where a branch official is seriously failing in their duties under C.3.8, C.3.9 or C.3.11 and efforts to deal with the situation have not resulted in improved performance, the Board may as a last resort remove from office a branch committee member.
C.3.16 Branches must contact their County Organiser if they wish to select as a branch committee member anyone with serious criminal convictions (to be defined as having been convicted of an offence for which the maximum sentence is a prison sentence of 12 months or greater or for which any custodial sentence was imposed). The County Organiser may accept the appointment, reject the appointment or refer the matter to the Board. If the Regional Organiser rejects the appointment there shall be a right of appeal to the Board.
C.3.17 Where a branch committee member is convicted of a criminal offence whilst a serving official, the member must notify the Branch Chairman and/or County Organiser as quickly as possible. Where the Party’s reputation could be affected, the matter shall be referred to the Party Secretary and General Secretary who may suspend the committee member from office pending a decision of the Board.
C.3.18 Failure to disclose information under C.3.16 or C.3.187may be grounds for disciplinary action.
C.3.19 Officers of all Branches shall complete the Party’s Data Protection forms and other documentation as required by Head Office to ensure smooth functioning of the Party’s internal procedures.
Branch and Committee Meetings
C.4.1 Branch committees shall normally meet at least monthly with sufficient flexibility to cope with emergencies such as the sudden calling of an election. The agenda for every meeting should include membership, finances and fundraising, and candidates.
C.4.2 Half of the committee members, including two of the Chairman, Secretary and Treasurer, shall constitute a quorum. The minimum notice period is 7 days.
C.4.3 The County Organiser and Regional Organiser covering the branch, and any officer listed under F.4 below, shall have the right to attend any Branch or Committee meeting.
C.4.4 A Branch member may propose a motion to be put forward at a Branch meeting, and if a seconder supports such a motion, there shall be a vote.
C.4.5. Where a vote at a general Branch meeting or on a Branch Committee is tied, the following principles shall be used to resolve the tie:
- The Branch or Branch Committee should continue to discuss the matter, seek a consensus or compromise where possible, and then re-vote.
- If such a compromise cannot be reached, wherever possible, the Branch Chairman must use his second or casting vote to maintain the status quo.
- If the matter to be voted on does not permit the status quo to continue and is a choice between three or more options, or between three or more candidates for a position, then the vote shall be repeated with only the top two choices available.
- If the vote remains still remains tied, the Branch Chairman shall use his second or casting vote in a manner of his choosing.
Annual General Meeting
C.5.1 Branch AGMs shall be held annually between 1st October 1st and 31st December, ideally at the commencement of the pre-Christmas celebrations. (Branches must be encouraged to make membership of the Heritage Party an enjoyable, sociable experience.) A general meeting of the branch must be held during the following quarter to approve the annual accounts.
C.5.2 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.
C.5.3 Any motions for the AGM must be submitted 14 days in advance and must be consistent with the principles and Constitution of the Party.
C.5.4 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) Election of the Branch committee members and officers for the following year;
d) Transacting such other business as may be brought before it.
C.5.5 The Annual General Meeting should be held at an appropriate venue within the geographical area covered by the branch. This should not be a member’s private residence, but rather a venue in which a public meeting could reasonably be held.
C.5.6 The AGM shall be open to members and their friends, but voting must only apply to paid-up members of the Party.
Extraordinary General Meetings
C.6.1 An Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM) of the Branch shall be held when called for a specific purpose by the branch committee, by the Party Chairman or by the written request to the branch chairman or secretary of 25% of branch members in good standing. An EGM must be held within 6 weeks of being validly called and 21 days’ notice to all branch members must be given.
C.6.2 The agenda for an EGM shall be restricted to the business for which it was called and matters arising but votes can only be taken on matter on the agenda. Attendees shall be restricted to paid-up members from the branch for which the Extraordinary General Meeting has been called unless they are the independent and impartial person cited in C.6.4 or a Party official mentioned in F.4
C.6.3 An EGM should be held at an appropriate venue within the geographical area covered by the branch. This should not be a member’s private residence, but rather a venue in which a public meeting could reasonably be held.
C.6.4 An EGM should be chaired by an independent and impartial chairman. This will normally be either the County Organiser or the Regional Organiser in the county or region concerned, but in exceptional circumstances an Extraordinary General Meeting may be chaired by a Board member or National Party official.
C.6.5 Where an EGM resolves to remove branch officer(s) from their positions, it shall proceed to fill the vacancy with an immediate election in conjunction with the County Organiser and Regional Organiser and in accordance with the Rules of Procedure, in particular observing the requirements of C.3.5, C.3.6 and C.3.7.
Selection of candidates
C.7.1 It is the responsibility of branches to seek and nominate candidates for parliamentary and local elections within the branch area in accordance with Section T of the Rules of Procedure. Where practicable, candidates should be submitted for early approval and assisted in embedding themselves into the local community as soon as possible.
C.7.2 For all local government elections, it is the responsibility of the branch to invite applications from members to stand. Acting in accordance with Section U of the Rules of Procedure, the branch shall have the responsibility for selecting candidates.
C.7.3 Where a branch has not selected a local authority candidate for any ward or division at least 21 days prior to the close of nominations, the Regional Organiser and County Organiser shall have the power to select a candidate in order to ensure that there is a candidate on the ballot paper.
Authority for candidate nominations
C.8.1 Authority to use the Party’s description and emblem on nomination papers at elections within the branch’s parliamentary constituencies and local government boundaries is the responsibility of the relevant Deputy Nominating Officer, who is appointed by the Party’s registered Nominating Officer.
C.8.2 All Deputy Nominating Officers must provide authority to stand for all candidates validly selected under the rules.
C.8.3 No Deputy Nominating Officer shall authorise a candidate except where the candidate has been validly selected under the rules.
C.8.4 An intentional breach of C.8.2 or C.8.3 above may be considered to be grounds for disciplinary action.
C.9.1 Instances may arise when differences within a branch threaten its proper functioning. Every effort shall be made by the County Organiser to resolve these at the local level, either by the branch committee or at a full meeting of the branch. If this does not succeed, the dispute shall be referred to the Regional Organiser, acting on behalf of the Party Chairman.
C.9.2 If the dispute remains irreconcilable, or if the Party Chairman deems that the behaviour of the committee or its officers is inconsistent with the Party’s Constitution or principles, the Regional Organiser (after consulting with, and with the written permission of, the Party Chairman) may suspend or dissolve the committee, suspend or remove a Branch officer or Committee member, suspend a member from Party activities, or dissolve the branch in its entirety.
C.9.3 The Branch Chairman may, with a majority vote of members present, require that any member acting in a disruptive manner leave a Branch meeting. The matter shall then be referred to the County Organiser who will decide whether the member concerned should be suspended from Party activities.
C.9.4 There will be a right of appeal to the Board against any action taken under C.9.2 or C.9.3.
C.9.5 The Standing Orders for the conduct of internal Party meetings shall apply to Branch meetings.
D: County Organisers and Meetings
D.1 The Board or the Regional Organiser, acting on behalf of the Board, may appoint County Organisers.
D.2 For the purposes of D.1, a County shall normally comprise a geographical county, but the Board may appoint a County Organiser to an area different to a geographical county in cases where a geographical county is exceptionally small (e.g. Rutland) or exceptionally large (e.g. Greater London). In cases of exceptionally large counties, the County Organiser may appoint a deputy County Organiser.
D.3. The County Organiser shall be responsible for setting up Branches in constituencies or boroughs where there is no Branch in accordance with C.1.5 and C1.6, assisting the smooth running of Branches and encouraging co-operation and connection between Branches within a County.
D.4 The County Organiser will normally be the Deputy Nominating Officer for their County.
D.5 The County Organiser should hold County Committee meetings at least six times a year in order to discuss issues of mutual interest, share best practice, co-operate on operational and campaigning matters and provide support to each other.
D.6 The Branch Chairmen of the Branches within a County shall be expected to attend County Committee Meetings. The quorum for a County Committee meeting shall be one-half of Branch Chairmen and officers who are entitled to attend. If a Branch Chairman cannot attend, another Branch officer must be nominated by the Branch Chairman, and notice provided in advance.
E: Regional Organisers
E.1 The Board may appoint a Regional Organiser who shall have oversight of the County Organisers and Branches within their region.
E.2 The Regional Organiser shall act as the Party Chairman’s representative within that region, and shall report to the Party Chairman. The Regional Organiser may act with delegated authority of the Party Chairman to facilitate campaigning activity within the region, provide assistance to branches, and settle disputes in accordance with C.9.1 of these Rules of Procedure.
E.3 The Regional Organiser shall normally be responsible for appointing County Organisers within their region, and assisting them in ensuring the smooth running of Branches, aiming to set up Branches in every constituency or borough, and encouraging co-operation and connections between Branches within a region.
E.4 The Regional Organiser will normally be a Deputy Nominating Officer for their Region.
E.5. The Regional Organiser shall maintain regular contact with County Organisers and facilitate Regional Meetings where County Organisers within a Region can report and discuss issues of mutual interest, share best practice, co-operate on operational and campaigning matters and provide support to each other.
Rules governing Party meetings
F: Unauthorised meetings
F.1 No member shall organise a meeting branded as a Heritage Party event without the consent of the relevant Party officials defined under F.4 below.
F.2 Any of the Party officials defined under F.4 below whose role is national may rescind permission to hold such a meeting if they believe that the meeting would be against the interests of the Party.
F.3 Holding an unauthorised meeting against the advice of the relevant Party official shall be considered bringing the Party into disrepute.
F.4 For the purposes of the above, any or all of the following may be classed as a relevant Party official: the Party Leader, the Party Chairman, the Party Secretary, the General Secretary, the Head of Candidates, the Regional Organiser for the region in which the meeting is being held, the County Organiser for the county in which the meeting is being held and the local Branch Chairman (where the meeting is limited to members within that branch).
F.5 No meeting of a Branch Committee which has been properly constituted under the Rules of Procedure shall fall within the ambit of F.1 to F.4 above.
G: Extraordinary General Meetings of the National Party
G.1 The Party Secretary shall call an Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM), giving members a minimum of 28 days’ notice, if requested to do so by formal applications from 25% of Party members in good standing. Upon receipt of the necessary valid formal applications, the Party Secretary shall call the EGM within 14 days.
G.2 Each formal application shall be accompanied by a cheque (or electronic transfer) for £10, made out to the Heritage Party Head Office account, as a contribution towards the cost of administering the meeting.
G.3 If the number of such formal applications fails to reach the required 25% of the Party’s members in good standing within 6 months of the receipt of the first valid application, the application shall be deemed to have failed. No refunds will be issued.
G.4 The Party Secretary shall call an Extraordinary General Meeting of the Party in the event of a motion of no confidence being passed in the Party Leader by the Board.
G.5 The agenda for an Extraordinary General Meeting shall be restricted to the business for which it was called and matters arising.
G.6 Where a motion of no confidence in the Party Leader is proposed, the Party Leader shall have the opportunity to address the Extraordinary General Meeting for no less than 15 minutes, the exact speaking time permitted to be determined by the chairman of the meeting.
G.7 In the event that a motion of no confidence in the Party Leader is passed by an Extraordinary General Meeting of the Party with a majority greater than or equal to 55% of the attendees of such a meeting, a ballot of all members “in good standing” must be held according to Article 7.9 of the Constitution.
G.8 All paid-up Party members in good standing (as defined under B.11 above) shall have voting rights at an Extraordinary General Meeting. Members shall be required to bring their Party membership cards to an Extraordinary General Meeting in order to have the opportunity to vote.
G.9 In accordance with Article 6.9 of the Constitution, the quorum for an EGM shall be 25% of Party members or 1,000 Party Members, whichever is the lower.
G.10 Motions carried by an Extraordinary General Meeting of the Party shall be binding to the extent permitted by law and the Party’s Constitution.
G.11 The amount of speaking time allotted for proponents and opponents of a motion at an Extraordinary General Meeting shall be equal.
G.12 An Extraordinary General Meeting of the Party shall normally be chaired by the Party Chairman.
G.13 If the business of the Extraordinary General Meeting concerns the Party Chairman, or if the Party Chairman is unable to attend, or if the Party Chairman is considered by the Board not to be impartial regarding the matters discussed, then the Board may appoint another impartial senior member of the Party to chair the meeting.
G.14 Any motion essentially the same as one defeated at an Extraordinary General Meeting may not be brought before a further Extraordinary General Meeting unless:
a) A period of no less than 3 years has passed, or
b) In the opinion of the Party Secretary, the facts of the matter have changed so substantially as to justify the motion being reconsidered.
G.15 The Standing Orders for the conduct of internal Party meetings shall apply to Extraordinary General Meetings.
H: Standing Orders for the conduct of internal Party meetings
H.1 Members should not interrupt meetings, and should speak only with the permission of the Chairman.
H.2 Unless the event is clearly advertised as being open to non-members, members should only invite non-members to meetings with the consent of the Chairman.
H.3 Speakers from the floor will be permitted only at the discretion of the Chairman, and only when the nature of the meeting is such as to make such contributions appropriate. Speakers from the floor should speak for an appropriate length of time. If a contribution is so long as to disrupt the meeting, then the Chairman may impose a time limit on the member’s comments.
H.4 Bullying, intimidating and offensive language, or personal attacks on other members are not permitted at any Party meetings.
H.5 At committee meetings, in the absence of the Chairman the meeting may be chaired by the vice-Chairman, if appointed.
H.6 If it is known in advance that neither the Chairman nor the vice-Chairman will be able to attend a Committee meeting, the meeting should normally be postponed until a later date.
H.7 If neither the Chairman nor the vice-Chairman have arrived 15 minutes after the scheduled start time of the meeting, the meeting may elect a member to chair the meeting. Under such circumstances, the meeting may not pass any resolutions which:
a) Authorise the Branch or Regional Committee to be split or disbanded;
b) Change the Branch or Regional Committee officials;
c) Select candidates to stand for public election, or
d) Cannot easily be overturned at the next meeting.
H.8 If a meeting fails to achieve a quorum, the meeting may continue but decisions taken and motions passed must be ratified by a future quorate meeting before taking effect.
H.9 No Party meeting may select candidates or officers of the Party (excepting elections called at short notice, such as by-elections) unless a minimum of 21 days’ notice has been given to all members entitled to attend.
H.10 In the event of a tied vote at a meeting, the Chairman shall have a casting vote.
H.11 In the event that a member’s conduct is in a serious breach of these Standing Orders, the Chairman shall warn the member concerned as to his or her future conduct. If there is a further such breach after a warning has been issued, the Chairman may exclude the member from the remainder of the meeting. Any such decision shall be confirmed by a majority vote of members present.
H.12 In the event that a member is excluded from a Branch meeting, the Branch Chairman or Branch Secretary shall inform the County Organiser and Regional Organiser in writing, who will decide whether the member concerned should be suspended from Party activities.
H.13 Any member shall have the right of appeal to the Board against suspension from Party activities. The decision of the Board shall be final. Suspension from Party activities shall entail suspension from:
a) The use of Heritage Party logos;
b) Attendance at party meetings;
c) Participation in campaign activities;
d) The use of websites to promote the Heritage Party;
e) Use of the Heritage Party name in contact with the media, and (f) Any other activities as determined by the Board.
H.14 Any member who invites a member of an organisation on the proscribed list to speak at a Heritage Party meeting may be subject to disciplinary action under Section X of these Rules of Procedure.
I: Party Conference rules
I.1 The Party shall normally hold its annual Conference in September.
I.2 Only members in good standing shall be entitled to attend Conferences. The Conference Committee may, with the approval of the Board, open any part of the Conference to guests invited by members, or to the general public.
I.3 The Party shall have the right to refuse to admit any member to Conference if there are reasonable grounds for believing that the member intends to cause disruption.
I.4 Any member acting in an inappropriate manner at Conference, in the opinion of the Party Chairman or his delegate, may be asked to leave the premises. No member shall be entitled to interrupt Conference proceedings; breach of this shall be grounds for expulsion from the Conference.
I.5 Failure to comply with a request made under I.3 or I.4 above shall be considered to be bringing the Party into disrepute.
I.6 The Party Chairman shall have overall responsibility for the organisation of the Party Conference. A Conference Committee may be appointed by the Party Chairman and its membership shall be notified to the Board.
I.7 Any Branch or Officer of the Party may propose a motion for discussion at the annual Conference. Conference motions must be submitted to the Chairman in writing a minimum of one month in advance of the start of Conference.
I.8 The Party Chairman shall select motions from those validly received to put before Conference. Motions which do not substantially impact upon the running of the Party or Party policy are unlikely to be selected.
I.9 Emergency motions may be considered in the event that, during the month before Conference, there is such a major political change either internal to the Party or external that it demands further consultation with the Party membership.
I.10 Only paid-up members in good standing shall be entitled to vote on motions laid before the Conference.
I.11 A motion shall be deemed to have passed if a majority of those voting are in favour of the motion, or by a two-thirds majority if implementing the motion would require amending the Party Constitution.
I.12 Amendments to motions shall be considered at the sole discretion of the Session Chairman.
I.13 The proposer of the motion (or delegated representative) and one opponent of the motion may each speak for up to 3 minutes. Other speakers may speak for up to 2 minutes, with speakers in favour of and against alternating where possible. The number of speakers called is at the discretion of the Session Chairman.
I.16 The Chairman may announce that a motion has been carried or has failed on a simple show of voting cards if there is no doubt about the outcome. If such doubt exists, or at the request of at least 25 members who shall indicate their request by rising to their feet, then the exact number of votes for and against the motion shall be counted.
I.17 Motions laid before the annual Conference shall have advisory force if passed. The Board shall schedule motions passed by the annual Conference for discussion within three months.
I.18 The Standing Orders for the conduct of internal Party meetings shall apply to the Party Conference.
J: The Party Business Meeting
J.1 The Party shall hold a Business Meeting annually, which shall be open only to paid-up members of the Party in good standing. The purpose of the Business Meeting shall be to present the accounts to Party members.
J.2 The time and place of the Business Meeting shall be announced on the national website not less than 28 days in advance.
J.3 The Board shall approve the Party’s annual accounts prior to the Business Meeting.
J.4 A vote shall be taken to receive and note the Party’s annual accounts at the Business meeting.
J.5 The Standing Orders for the conduct of internal Party meetings shall apply to the Party
K: Rules governing the conduct of Board meetings
K.1 The Board shall normally meet once a month, excepting the month of August. Additional meetings may be scheduled when necessary.
K.2 The General Secretary should provide a brief report on each Board meeting to members. This report will omit confidential or sensitive information.
K.3 Members of the Board should not criticise or discuss its decisions in public. Any members found to have breached this trust will be removed from the Board.
K.4 The Party Chairman shall determine whether specific items discussed by the Board are confidential in nature. Board members must not divulge the content of any discussions without the prior consent of the Party Chairman.
K.5 Board members wishing to submit an item for the agenda should normally submit it to the Party Chairman and General Secretary a minimum of 7 days before the meeting.
K.6 Agendas and papers for Board meetings should normally be circulated a minimum of 7 days before the meeting.
K.7 The Board or the Party Chairman or General Secretary, acting on its behalf may request a copy of the minutes of any Party Committee meeting. Upon request to the relevant Committee secretary, minutes should be provided within 7 days.
K.8 No current member of any other political party shall be permitted to hold office on the Board.
L: Data Protection and Branding Rules
L.1.1 All persons holding a Party database (full or partial) must sign the Party’s Data Protection forms and return the form to Head Office.
L.1.2 No member shall give a copy of any part of the Party database to any other member without first obtaining written consent from the Party.
L.1.3 Any member who holds a Party database but is not entitled to do so must hand back the copy of the Database to the Party (or otherwise destroy it irrevocably if held in electronic form). The Party Chairman and General Secretary may rescind authority to hold all or part of a Party database.
L.1.4 All Party members have the right to view a copy of the records held about them on the Heritage Party database. This can be obtained only by sending a written request to Head Office.
L.1.5 Any person in receipt of a Party database shall take reasonable steps to ensure that the data is secure.
L.1.6 Use of the Party database is authorised for contacting members for official Party purposes only.
L.1.7 The Party shall comply with the Data Protection Act 1998 and all other relevant Data Protection legislation.
L.2.1 A Party publication is defined as any publication, whether physical or online, which bears the Party’s name and/or logo which purports to represent the Heritage Party.
L.2.2 Apart from the exceptions detailed below, any Party publication must be authorised before it can be placed into the public domain. Any publication which awaits authorisation must be clearly labelled as ‘DRAFT and date coded and with the correct imprint as legislated.
L.2.3 The following people may authorise a Party publication whose scope is national: the Party Leader, the Deputy Leader, the Party Chairman, the General Secretary and the Party Secretary.
L.2.4 In addition to the persons named in L.2.3, the Regional Organiser or the County Organiser may authorise a Party publication whose scope is regional or local. A Heritage Party branch may receive standing authorisation from an above named person to produce local Party publications for council election campaigns.
L.2.5 Any member who intentionally distributes a Party publication which is unauthorised shall be considered to bring the Party into disrepute.
L.2.6 Any member producing a publication shall be responsible for ensuring that it is compliant with Party policy, electoral law, the publishing requirements of the Electoral Commission, the Advertising Standards code of practice and the law relating to defamation.
L.2.7 Any material breach of Section J of these Rules of Procedure may form grounds for disciplinary action under Section V.
L.3.1 For the purpose of these Rules of Procedure, ‘online conduct’ shall refer to any Facebook status or group, Twitter post, forum post, posting on any other social media account, website, email, blog, article or other material published on the internet by a Party member.
L.3.2 For the purpose of L.3.1, a member’s online conduct shall include postings under a pseudonym or alias.
L.3.3 Whilst the Party recognises the right of members to hold their own personal views, members should be aware at all times that their online conduct may reflect upon the Party, and should act in such a way as to avoid causing embarrassment to the Party.
L.3.4 Any of the following people may require the immediate withdrawal of a member’s online content: The Party Leader, the Party Chairman, the Party Secretary, the General Secretary, the Regional Organiser or County Organiser for the region or county in which the member lives, and the local Branch Chairman. Failure to withdraw content promptly shall be considered grounds for disciplinary action under Section X of these Rules of Procedure.
L.3.5 All Party members shall refrain from using the Party logo in terms of their online postings, including avatars, unless they have express written consent to do so from the Party Leader, the Party Chairman, the Party Secretary, the General Secretary, the Regional Chairman or Regional Organiser for their region.
L.3.6 All Party members shall avoid, in the context of political discussion online, conduct in serious breach of internet etiquette including spamming, flaming, trolling and flooding.
L.3.7 No Party member shall share, retweet, ‘like’ or otherwise distribute online content created by, or in support of, any organisation on the Proscribed List.
L.3.8 All Party members shall avoid bullying or harassing conduct online or by email.
L.3.9 No Party member shall falsely represent Heritage Party policy online.
L.3.10 Any member who:
a) Holds public elected office or is a Heritage member of the House of Lords;
b) Has any branch, regional or national position within the Party;
c) Has been selected as a Heritage Party candidate for any public election;
d) Is employed by the Party, or
e) Is employed as a Parliamentary or other assistant to one of the Party’s elected representatives,
shall be held to a higher standard of accountability than an ‘ordinary’ member of the Party, reflecting the increased level of media scrutiny for those whose comments are associated with the Party. For the purposes of Section L.3.10 of the Rules, such members shall hereinafter be referred to as ‘officials’.
L.3.11 When making public statements which are at variance with Party policy, officials must make it clear that they are giving a personal view. Any such statements must be made in a constructive manner and not harm the image of the Party or risk bringing the Party into disrepute.
L.3.12 Party officials’ standard of conduct in their personal life online should be such as to avoid causing embarrassment to the Party.
L.3.13 Party officials shall avoid any public criticism of other Party members online.
L.3.14 Party officials shall ensure that any criticism of those outside the Party is proportionate and not likely to cause embarrassment to the Party.
L.3.15 In the event of a serious breach of Section J.3 of these Rules of Procedure, the Party Chairman may authorise the Regional Organiser to suspend a member from Party activities.
L.3.16 Any such suspension shall be subject to appeal to the Board, whose decision shall be final.
L.3.17 The possibility of suspension from Party activities shall not preclude the possibility that conduct may be referred to the Disciplinary Committee in accordance of Section X of these Rules of Procedure.
L.4.1 These rules cover any Heritage Party related material on the internet, and in technology, including, but not limited to, websites, blogs, apps, chatrooms, and anything else featuring the party name and/or logo, produced by members.
L.4.2 Any such material, both new and existing, needs approval from the Party Chairman, or his designated deputies, in writing (email will suffice).
L.4.3 Details of how to view or access the material, and who has responsibility for updates must be provided as part of the approval process.
L.4.4 The Party’s guidelines for websites and social media may be found at www.xxxxx.xxxxx
L.4.5 If the Party Chairman, or his designated deputies, decide not to approve an application, or pre-existing item, they will write or email requesting removal, and specify a time frame for compliance. Failure to comply will be deemed grounds for the disciplinary process.
L.4.6 Should an item be found to be non-compliant with the guidelines, the Party Chairman, or his designated deputies will write or email, citing the relevant reasons, requesting action or remedial work, and specifying a time frame for compliance. Failure to comply will be deemed grounds for the disciplinary process.
M: Rules governing the employment of staff
M.1 The Heritage Party shall comply with all relevant employment legislation when employing paid staff.
M.2 The Board shall approve the creation of all new paid positions.
M.3 The Party shall specify in the Contract of Employment whether the position is permanent or for a fixed period.
M.4 Prior to appointment as a paid employee, any potential staff member must disclose any previous criminal convictions not regarded as ‘spent’ under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974, previous affiliations to groups on the proscribed list or affiliations to other extremist organisations. Following appointment as a paid employee, any staff member must disclose any subsequent criminal convictions and must not at any time have any affiliation to groups on the proscribed list or affiliation to other extremist organisations. Failure to comply with M.4 may be considered to be gross misconduct.
M.5 The Party shall provide job descriptions for all paid positions.
M.6 Staff performance shall be evaluated through regular performance reviews.
M.7 The Party shall not discriminate against any potential or existing employee on the grounds of gender, race, religion, ethnicity or sexuality.
M.8 Save where the contract of employment specifies otherwise, no member of staff shall take holiday entitlement during the 8 weeks prior to a General election without the express written consent of the Party Chairman or his designated deputy.
N: Rules governing Party Policies
N.1 The Party Leader shall have the right to create or amend policy where new information or media interest requires the urgent formation or correction of Party policy.
N.2 The Party Leader may appoint a Head of Policy to co-ordinate the development of policy proposals by contributors organised into the Policy Unit and/or Policy Groups.
N.3 The Party Leader may appoint a Policy Committee. The Policy Committee shall be a sub-committee of the Board.
N.4 The Party Leader shall inform the Policy Committee and Head of Policy of any action taken under N.1 without delay.
N.5 Proposed new policies shall be sent to the Policy Committee for detailed consideration.
N.6 Policies which have been ratified by the Policy Committee shall be scheduled for discussion by the Board. Policies approved by the Board shall become official Party Policy.
N.7 The Party Leader shall have responsibility for the final approval of all Manifestos.
N.8 All Party publications shall have regard to official Party Policy.
L.9 No publicity material bearing Heritage Party branding shall contradict official Party Policy, though it may invite discussion of alternative policies or changes of direction.
N.10 Any person producing Heritage Party-branded material which is in breach of rules N.8 and N.9 may be reported to the Discipline Committee under Section Y of the Rules of Procedure if it is considered that the breach was intentional or reckless.
N.11 Any material which contains statements which go beyond official Party Policy (for example, a candidate’s personal views) shall not represent these statements as official Party Policy.
N.12 Party candidates, elected members and officials are entitled to disagree with official Party Policy. When making public statements which are at variance with official Party Policy they must make it clear that they are giving a personal view. Any such statements must be made in a constructive manner and not harm the image of the Party or risk bringing the Party into disrepute.
Internal Party election rules
O: Leadership election rules
O.1 The Board shall appoint a Returning Officer to conduct the election. The Returning Officer shall not be a candidate, a proposer or an assentor of any candidate, or a paid or unpaid employee of any candidate.
O.2. The leadership election must be completed within 90 days of it being called. The Returning Officer shall publish the schedule for nominations, vetting, hustings, receipt of promotional literature, voting, the closing date for receipt of votes, counting and subsequent declaration of the result.
O.3. Candidates must secure nominations from a Proposer, a Seconder and 48 Assentors drawn from at least ten Branches to enter a Leadership contest. A Party Member may nominate only one candidate. In the event that the same person has proposed more candidates than permitted, only the first valid nomination received at Head Office shall be accepted. Nominations must be received by the Returning Officer by a date to be specified. The Returning Officer will then immediately send out to all candidates a list of those whose nominations have been accepted. The closing date for receipt of withdrawals of nomination shall be determined by the Returning Officer. The Returning Officer shall then arrange for the printing of the ballot paper.
O.4. The Board may charge a non-returnable fee to cover the administration costs and distribution of promotional literature as described in O.5. and a returnable deposit to enter a Leadership election.
O.5 Candidates may produce promotional literature for distribution to Members which shall be 1 sheet of A4. Candidates should submit a digital proof of this leaflet in PDF format to the Returning Officer to ensure compliance with the rules. Such promotional literature and accompanying candidates’ statements will be distributed to members either by post or by email.
O.6 Candidates and their supporters shall conduct campaigning activities in a friendly and constructive manner, and in accordance with the Party Constitution. In the case of a serious breach, the Returning Officer may disqualify the candidate from the election.
O.7 Candidates may set up websites promoting their candidature. Any such website should be clear that its intention is to promote a candidate and it must not denigrate any opposing candidate. Candidates may make use of online videos and podcasts, and may also make use of personal contacts through social networking websites such as Facebook.
O.8 No candidate may make unauthorised use of the Party membership lists or distribute any unsolicited material to members. The sending of bulk unsolicited emails is not permitted.
O.9 The Party will endeavour to arrange a series of hustings during a Leadership contest at which all candidates will be invited to appear.
O.10 The method of voting will be in accordance with Article 7.14 of the Party Constitution, which states that “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.”
O.11 Balloting and counting for any leadership election shall be as documented in chapters R and S.
O.12 A candidate may request a recount in the event of a close result or if he or she believes there has been an error or discrepancy in the count. The Returning Officer may refuse to hold a recount if he considers it unlikely to affect the result or the saving of a deposit. In the event that a recount is requested to determine whether a deposit is lost, the Returning Officer may at his or her discretion agree to return the deposit in lieu of holding a recount. In the event of a tie the winner shall be determined either by the tossing of a coin or the drawing of lots.
O.13 The Returning Officer shall produce a signed declaration of the results and announce the results of the elections as soon as the count has been completed to his or her satisfaction.
O.14 The successful candidate will be required to confirm in writing within seven days of the result acceptance of the position of Party Leader, and to accept appointment as a Director of the Heritage Party Ltd.
O.15 A copy of the rules will be sent to each applicant for nomination papers, and to any Party member on receipt of written request.
P: Rules governing campaigning and the use of Party Databases for internal Party elections
P.1 All campaigning in internal Party elections should be conducted in a good spirit without personal attacks on opponents or other Party members.
P.2 No Party member shall make use of Party databases to make unsolicited contact with members by any means whatsoever.
P.3 Unauthorised use of the Party Database shall provide grounds for disciplinary action to be taken against a Party member.
P.4 Where a candidate is found to have been unfairly advantaged by a third-party campaign promoting their candidature, then the Returning Officer may (with the consent of the Board) penalise the candidate in a proportionate manner. This may include a vote penalty or, in extremis, disqualification from the election altogether.
P.5 By virtue of standing as a candidate, any candidate implicitly consents to grant the Party an unconditional licence to use any intellectual property related to the selection or election procedure. This shall include, but not be limited to, the written personal statement, the candidate’s photograph and video recordings of hustings meetings. This may include the publication of such information and the Party shall have the sole copyright to this data.
P.6 A candidate agrees that his personal statements, photo (cropped as necessary), campaign website address (if any) and campaign video(s) (if any) may be made available as a hyperlink for more information on the election’s electronic voting form.
P.7 No new member shall be entitled to vote in any national ballot of the Party if they were not a member of the Party at the time the ballot was called.
P.8 No new member shall be entitled to vote at any AGM, hustings or any branch, county or regional ballot until a period of 3 months has elapsed from the commencement of his or her membership.
P.9 Except where expressly stated otherwise in the Constitution or in these Rules of Procedure, the Returning Officer for all internal Party elections shall be appointed by the Board, who may at their discretion delegate this task to the Party Chairman.
P.10 The Returning Officer, acting after consultation with the Board, shall have the responsibility for declaring an internal Party election null and void where the Returning Officer has no confidence that the election can be completed in a free and fair manner, in accordance with democratic principles.
P.11 In the event that an internal Party election is declared null and void, the election shall be re-run as soon as it is practical to ensure a free and fair electoral process.
P.12 When publishing the date of an internal election, the Returning Officer will make clear the cut-off date at which members eligible to vote will be extracted from the database.
P.13 In the event of a breach of these Rules, the Returning Officer may (with the consent of the Board) penalise the candidate in a proportionate manner. This may include a vote penalty or, in extremis, disqualification from the election altogether.
P.14 These Rules shall apply to all internal Party elections conducted by postal, telephone or e-voting, except where specified otherwise in these Rules of Procedure. In the event of a clash, the Rules for a specific type of election shall take precedence.
Q: Internal Party election hustings rules
Q.1 Section Q of the Rules of Procedure shall apply to hustings for elections to public office, and any hustings conducted for national internal elections.
Q.2 Prior to the hustings meeting a box should be provided for written questions to be submitted from members of the audience. All questions must be sufficiently general that they can be asked to all candidates.
Q.3 Each candidate will have 2 to 5 minutes to give an opening address. The speaking order shall be selected at random.
Q.4 Questions which have been submitted prior to the meeting according to Rule Q.2 shall be asked after the candidates’ opening speeches. In the event that more questions are submitted in writing than there is time available for candidates to answer, the chair of the hustings meeting shall use his or her discretion to choose those questions that are most likely to be of interest to the party membership.
Q.5 The chairman of the hustings may refuse to consider questions that are trivial, offensive, discriminatory, contrary to electoral law, appear to be intended to promote or denigrate an individual candidate, seek comment on legal cases which are sub-judice, or broadly duplicate a question already asked.
Q.6 The chairman must rotate the order in which questions are put to the candidates.
Q.7 Candidates must limit answers to questions from the floor to a maximum of 1 minute.
Q.8 If written questions submitted prior to the meeting have been exhausted, the chair shall take further questions from the floor.
Q.9 Once all questions have been asked, or 15 minutes before the scheduled finish time, each candidate will be given a maximum of 2 minutes to make a closing address. These will be in the reverse order to the order in which the opening speeches were given.
Q.10 The times given above may be varied by the chairman of the hustings meeting where necessary to ensure the smooth and fair running of the event, depending on the type of election and the number of candidates in attendance, provided that all candidates are given sufficient prior notice to prepare.
Q.11 The Standing Orders for the conduct of internal Party meetings shall apply to internal Party hustings meetings.
Q.12 Candidates shall not interrupt either the chairman or other candidates.
Q.13 Personal attacks and attempts to denigrate other candidates are not permitted.
Q.14 In the event of a personal attack or persistent interruption the chairman of the hustings may:
a) Warn the offender not to repeat such attacks;
b) Allow the disadvantaged candidate additional time to respond or rebut an accusation, or
c) In the case of a serious or sustained breach of the rules, disqualify the person concerned from participating further in the hustings meeting.
R: Rules governing manualballoting and counting in internal elections.
R.1 Internal party elections shall normally be carried out by postal vote, unless the Board decides to carry out an electronic vote, in which case the Rules detailed in Section S shall apply.
R.2 Each voting paper shall be serially numbered, and shall carry such security features as necessary to satisfy the Returning Officer of the integrity of the process.
R.3 The candidates shall be listed in a random order determined by drawing candidates’ names out of a hat.
R.4 One voting paper shall be issued to each full member eligible to vote.
R.5 A copy of the mailing list shall be retained by the Returning Officer, and a record of the number of voting papers issued shall be made.
R.6 Only the original voting paper shall be accepted as a valid vote; faxed, emailed or photocopied voting papers will be rejected.
R.7 The number of envelopes containing completed voting papers shall be counted daily as they are received and then stored securely by the Returning Officer or his nominee.
R.8 Completed voting papers must be returned by the closing date for receipt of ballot papers in order to be counted.
R.9 Envelopes containing completed voting papers shall not be opened until the day of the count.
R.10 The Returning Officer shall establish a location for the count. Candidates and their representatives, to a maximum number per candidate as determined by the Returning Officer, may attend the count.
R11. The Returning Officer shall appoint the tellers to assist in the count. Candidates, their representatives, proposer and assertors will not be permitted to assist in the count. The Returning Officer shall arrange to count the number of voting papers returned, identify and count invalid voting papers, calculate the turnout (the percentage of valid voting papers returned against the number of voting papers issued) and calculate the number of votes cast for each candidate. Candidates may be penalised where necessary, e.g. under N.4. The Returning Officer’s decision in all matters concerning the count shall be final.
R.12 Where there is doubt about voting intentions, the Returning Officer may ask candidates to agree how to count the vote, but the Returning Officer’s decision shall be final.
R.13 In a ranked election, where a voter clearly indicates their votes by means of crosses or otherwise makes their intentions clear as to which candidates they intend to vote for without ranking them, each vote cast shall be considered to have the value of 1 vote.
R.14. A voting paper shall be declared invalid if:
- The voter cast more than the permitted number of votes.
- The voting paper does not bear a valid serial number.
- The voting paper is a copy of an original voting paper.
- The intentions of the voter cannot be deciphered.
- The voting paper has not been received by the closing date for the receipt of voting papers.
R.15 All voting papers, calculation sheets, and a copy of the signed declaration shall be stored in sealed packages, countersigned by an independent witness, to be stored at the discretion of the Returning Officer for not less than 12 months from the date of the count.
S: Rules governing electronicballoting and counting in internal elections.
S.1 At the start of the election, the Returning Officer shall notify electronic voters by email of the election details, including hyperlink, login details, and/or any username/ password reminders necessary. He may also send as many reminder emails during the course of the election to outstanding non-voters as he sees fit.
S.2. The online voting website should allow candidate to view candidacy statements and photos (cropped as necessary) and a promotional materials including one video.
S.3 Candidate ordering will be randomly generated on each electronic ballot paper question presented.
S.4 The party’s designated electronic elections solutions provider shall normally be confirmed by the Board on a per-election basis.
S.5 Once the voting deadline has expired, the Returning Officer shall:
a) download a certified copy of the voting result, and any supporting materials available
b) manually resolve any ties, e.g. by witnessed coin toss or drawn lots
c) manually penalise any candidate if necessary, e.g. under Rule N.4
d) attempt, over the next 12 hours, to advise all candidates of the result
e) publish the result
f) make available supporting details and/or details of any draw resolution to any candidate and/or Board member on request.
S.6 All electronic materials are to be stored at the discretion of the Returning Officer for not less than 12 months from the date of the count.
Election to public office
T: Candidate Selection Rules for General Elections and Westminster by-elections
T.1.1 The process of selecting candidates for General Elections shall be overseen by the Head of Candidates.
T.1.2 A Prospective Parliamentary Candidate (PPC) Selection Procedure shall be produced by the Party which provides timescales and information for candidates on how to apply. Failure to comply with the requirements of this procedure may result in candidates not being selected.
T.1.3 The Party shall not discriminate for or against any member on grounds of sex, race, religion, ethnic origin, education, class, social status, or any other basis prescribed by law when selecting prospective candidates.
T.1.4 Applicants must declare any past or present links to extremist organisations, political parties or organisations on the proscribed list and any information which might prove embarrassing to the Party if known. They must also declare current membership of any other Party. Failure to disclose such information may be grounds for disciplinary action or for candidacy to be revoked.
T.1.5 The Party reserves the right to reject any applicant without giving a reason at any stage. Any candidate so rejected will have a right of appeal to the Board.
T.1.6 All prospective candidates shall be required to apply to the national Party to be placed on the Approved List of candidates.
T.1.7 All applicants must be paid-up members of the Party in good standing.
T.1.8 All applicants must provide evidence of any previous criminal convictions through a Police Computer Record check. No candidate may be selected without the Party having sight of this document.
T.1.9 Previous convictions will not automatically result in rejection as a possible candidate but the chairman of the Selection Panel may refer the decision to the Board if there is any doubt.
T.1.10 The applicant will be invited by the Head of Candidates to a ‘Candidate Assessment Centre’.
T.1.11 Candidates may be placed upon the approved list immediately following the Candidate Assessment Centre, approved subject to further training, or rejected.
T.1.12 Any candidate rejected by the Selection Panel will have a right of appeal to the Board. The decision of the Board will be final.
T.1.13 Only applicants on the national approved list may apply to a Branch for an adoption/hustings meeting.
T.1.14 Adoption/hustings meetings shall be advertised so that all candidates on the Approved List have the right to apply for selection in any constituency.
T.1.15 Branches which fail to select candidates within the timescale in the PPC Selection Procedure may forfeit the right to select their candidates, with the responsibility being undertaken by the region.
T.1.16 Where there is more than one applicant in a given constituency, an open hustings meeting must be held in accordance with the PPC Selection Procedure.
T.1.17 In this event, the choice of candidate shall be made through a ballot in accordance with the PPC Selection Procedure.
T.1.18 In accordance with the Constitution of the party as in force, the Board reserves the right to withdraw approval from a candidate and remove them from the national Approved List. Candidates have the right to appeal such decision, and any such appeal will be heard by an Appeals Committee comprising the Party Chairman, Party Secretary and three Regional Organisers from regions other than that of the appellant.
T.1.19 The Board reserves the right to instruct a Branch, at any time, not to nominate a candidate in an election. In this event, reasonable compensation will be paid to any candidate in place, and/or to the Branch, in respect of expenses demonstrably and directly incurred in campaigning since the candidate’s adoption.
T.1.20 No compensation for any loss, whether it represents monies already expended or any future loss whatsoever shall be payable to any person in the event of any decision to withdraw approval of a candidate or an instruction not to stand a candidate and by applying to be a candidate the applicant shall be deemed specifically to have read and agreed to this Rule.
T.2.1 Where practical, candidates selected for Parliamentary by-elections should be on the national Approved List of candidates.
T.2.2 Selection of candidates is the joint responsibility of the Branch and the Board; however, the final decision must be ratified by the Board.
T.2.3 The Board may decide that it is not in the Party’s national interests to field a candidate at a Parliamentary by-election. In such circumstances, no candidate shall be selected.
U: Candidate Selection Rules for Local Authority Elections and Council by-elections
U.1 In general, Branches are expected to field the maximum number of candidates that they are able to at local authority elections.
U.2 In general the local Branch shall have responsibility for candidate selection for local authority elections and by-elections.
U.3 Local ‘non-aggression pacts’ with residents’ associations or independent groups are not encouraged by the Party. However, they may be considered in specific circumstances if there is a clear strategic benefit to the Party in such a pact.
U.4 The Branch should take steps to satisfy itself that all candidates selected are appropriate people to represent the Heritage Party at public elections, and are expected to contact their County Organiser and/or Regional Organiser if they wish to select as a candidate a member with serious criminal convictions (to be defined as having been convicted of an offence for which the maximum sentence is a prison sentence of 12 months or greater or for which any custodial sentence was imposed).
U.5 The Branch should take steps to satisfy itself that all candidates selected are eligible to stand, having a suitable connection to the area as defined under electoral law and not holding a politically restricted post.
U.6 Where there is no other willing candidate to stand, if a branch refuses a member in good standing permission to stand as a Heritage Party candidate then the member concerned may appeal the decision to the County Organiser, who will seek the view of the branch committee before making a final decision as to the suitability of the potential candidate.
U.7 Where there is more than one candidate willing to stand for a Council ward, the branch must give each potential candidate equal opportunity to present their case for selection. The branch committee shall then determine which candidate is selected by holding a vote.