Today’s debate over the pros and cons of Brexit was between Diane James, UKIP MEP, versus ex-Labour MP, Denis MacShane. MacShane did not take the Tory angle of Project Fear,...
A message from Gerald Gravett, UKIP S E E Regional Controller
I have been asked several times about the process required to remove a party leader and what, if any, action the NEC or the Party is taking in this respect and I will therefore describe the procedure as I understand it.
There is no constitutional way that the NEC or the party chairman can remove a leader. This can only be done by a vote of the members following a vote of no confidence by the NEC. I understand that the principle behind this is that as the members elect the leader, therefore they should be the only ones that may remove a leader.
A process was started a few days ago at a meeting of the NEC where they considered the situation.
The NEC decided that they needed a debate with a probable motion of no confidence subsequently being voted upon. The rules require that a minimum period of 7 days notice is required for such a motion to be considered and voted upon.
Therefore a meeting of the NEC was called for Sunday 21st of January at 2-00 pm, with the sole purpose of debating such a motion and then voting upon it. Members and branches may put their views to the NEC prior to the NEC Meeting.
Should the motion be passed then the NEC will have to call an EGM open to the full membership, which has to take place within 28 days of the vote of no confidence, where a vote will be taken on whether to remove the leader or not.
Should such an EGM be called it will probably be held in London. Such an EGM will require a minimum attendance of 250 eligible members to be valid, A simple majority of those present will remove the leader
Should the NEC not pass a motion of no confidence in the leader ie it fails, or they don’t take the vote at all then there will be no EGM, the constitutional route will have been followed and the leader will remain in place
Should the NEC pass a vote of no confidence and an EGM is held but a simple majority for the motion is not achieved or the minimum Quorum of 250 eligible members do not attend the constitutional route will have been followed and the leader will remain in place
Should the EGM pass the motion with a simple majority of at least 250 eligible members present the constitutional route will have been followed and the leader will be removed. The Party will then have to embark upon a new leadership campaign and electoral process. The rules provide that this election must be held within 90 days of the EGM decision.
However, this process does not need to take the full 90 days, but if it does it will run very close to the local council elections due in early May. As the process does not need to take up the whole 90 days, it could result in a leadership election sometime in March or April
It is my understanding that the cost of holding an EGM, ie postage venue etcetera is in the region of £15,000 to £20,000. The cost of holding a new leadership election could be in the region of up to £100,000 or more. At this point in time holding such an EGM or a leadership vote electronically is not an option.
The position regarding an interim leader if Henry should resign or be removed is interesting. It is generally considered that anybody wishing to be an interim leader would preferably not be somebody with ultimate aspirations to stand in the next leadership election. I believe that this is the reason why Steve Crowther was interim leader a short while ago as he never intended to stand in the leadership election.
There has been much speculation regarding both David Kurten and Gerard Batten being serious contenders for the leadership should a vacancy occur. This would almost certainly rule them out of being a temporary or an interim leader pending the result of such an election.
Should a new leader be elected between now and the May Council elections the new leader will be right up at the sharp end extremely quickly, not ideal timing, but out of our control and we must make the best of it.
Miss Marney has been suspended by the Party Chairman.
I have tried in this email to set out in an unbiased manner, the procedure and the considerations that the NEC and possibly subsequently the eligible membership will have to follow and take account of in their various deliberations
NOW AND MOVING ON
What is vital is that the party grass root members continue to work as a team for the benefit of our country, our traditions and our values. We must not be distracted and allow those who would work to destroy all that we have achieved over the last 25 years.
THE PARTY IS BIGGER THAN ANY OF US AND OUR COUNTRY NEEDS US MORE THAN EVER.
· Let’s get out there and bring those who have recently resigned or not renewed their membership back into the fold. Let’s all try to recruit one member each.
· We must ensure ‘Brexit’, which is a tough ask.
· We must prioritise council election seats in May and support our colleagues in our strongest areas, fielding paper candidates everywhere else in order to show the public that we are still here.
· We must plan as a party with aspirations of returning to our position of just two to five years ago. All the signs are that we will need to do this to ensure our Sovereignty, traditions, values, control of borders, trade and laws and so on. We must lead the way as we have done before. History shows that we are able to do this, that we rise to the plate in times of adversity and that it is increasingly obvious that there is a job still to be done]
UKIP S E E Regional Controller