The Freedom Party
The name of the party shall be the Freedom Party ("the Party").
The objects of the Party shall be to defend and restore the freedoms, traditions, unity, identity and independence of the British people.
(a) Any British subject not less than sixteen years of age shall be eligible for membership.
(b) Any person who wishes to become a member of the Party must submit an application in writing signed by himself to the Secretary. Election to membership shall be in the discretion of the Council, save that the Council will be bound to admit any person to membership if so directed by a majority of two-thirds of the members voting at a general meeting, pursuant to a resolution, due notice whereof has been given pursuant to Clause 9 (b) below.
(a) The annual subscription shall be £15 (fifteen pounds sterling), but pensioners, students and unwaged members shall be eligible to pay a reduced subscription of £6, and married couples shall be eligible to pay a joint subscription of £20, or £10 if both are pensioners, students or unwaged. Members' subscriptions shall be due on joining the Party and thereafter on the 1st day of July 2002, and on the 1st day of July in each subsequent year.
(b) The Council shall not be permitted to refuse the subscription of any member otherwise in good standing if it is tendered no later than 31st August, save by expelling such member pursuant to Clause 6.
(a) A member shall cease to be a member if he gives written notice to the Secretary of his resignation.
(b) A member whose subscription is more than two months in arrear shall be deemed for all intents and purposes to have resigned with effect from but not including 31st August
(a) The Council shall have power to convene a tribunal to consider the expulsion of a member when, in their opinion, it would not be in the interests of the Party for him to remain a member.
(b) A member shall not be expelled unless he is given fifteen days' written notice by Registered or Recorded Delivery Post to his last known address to attend a meeting of a tribunal of three members appointed by the regulatory officer and written particulars of the complaint or complaints made against him. The tribunal shall use all reasonable endeavours to convene at a location convenient to the member whose expulsion it is to consider.
(c) Such member shall be given an opportunity to make representations in writing and/or to appear (i) in person or (ii) by his solicitor or counsel (whether or not a member of the Party and whether admitted in England and Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland, or called to the bar of England and Wales or of Northern Ireland, or a member of the Faculty of Advocates in Scotland) or (iii) by any other member of the Party (whether or not admitted as a solicitor or called to the bar) before the tribunal to answer complaints made against him, and shall not be expelled unless at least two of the three members of the tribunal vote in favour of his expulsion.
(d) The tribunal will state its reasons for expelling a member to the regulatory officer and the Secretary within five days. The Secretary shall state the tribunal's reasons for expelling a member in writing despatched to such expellee by First Class Registered or Recorded Delivery Post no later than ten days after the date of the tribunal at which such member was expelled.
(e) A member so expelled shall have a right of appeal to the Council, on condition that he lodges notice of appeal no later than fourteen days after the date of his expulsion either by handing a copy to the Secretary or by sending a copy to the Secretary by First Class Registered or Recorded Delivery Post.
(f) It shall be sufficient for the member to give notice by writing thus: "I appeal against my expulsion from the Freedom Party by a disciplinary tribunal held on the [ ] day of [ ] [20[ ]]". The member shall be entitled but not bound to state his grounds of appeal with particularity.
(g) Any expelled member lodging notice of appeal in accordance with these rules shall be deemed for all intents and purposes to have been suspended only and not expelled from membership pending the hearing of his appeal. Such member will however be debarred from exercising any of the privileges of membership or office pending the hearing of his appeal, save for the purposes of Clause 18, in respect of which he shall enjoy the same rights as a member in good standing. Any expelled member lodging notice of appeal in accordance with these rules shall be given not less than fifteen days' written notice by Registered or Recorded Delivery Post to his last known address to attend a meeting of the Council, to be convened not more than one hundred days after the holding of the tribunal appealed against.
(h) On appeal the member shall be given an opportunity to make representations in writing (to be read to the Council by the Secretary) and/or to appear (i) in person or (ii) by his solicitor or counsel (as defined by clause 6 (c) above, and whether not a member of the Party) or (iii) by any other member of the Party (whether or not admitted as a solicitor or called to the bar) before the Council to answer complaints made against him, and to show cause why he should not be expelled from membership, and unless a majority of the members then present and voting vote to reverse the tribunal's decision to expel, he shall forthwith be expelled from membership of the Party.
(i) There shall (subject always to clause 3 (b) above) be no further appeal, save on points of law, which, for the avoidance of doubt, shall include questions of construction of these rules, and the question whether any decision to expel was so unreasonable that no tribunal deliberating in good faith could rationally have reached it.
(7) The Council
(a) The Council shall consist of six members.
(b) Candidates for membership of the Council shall be proposed and seconded by notice
in writing given to the Secretary no earlier than 1st August 2004 and no later than 31st
August 2004, and elected by secret postal ballot to be held no later than 30 September 2004.
The first, second and third placed candidates shall remain in office until 30th September 2006,
while the fourth, fifth and sixth placed candidates shall remain in office until 30 September
(c) In the years 2005 and 2006 (and so on in all years thereafter) an election will be held to elect three
members of the Council, who will remain in office for two years.
(d) Any casual vacancy (whether amongst the Officers of the Party or amongst the members of the Council)
occurring by resignation, permanent incapacity or death may be filled by the Council, and the member
so co-opted will hold office for the same term as the member whose place he takes would have held office,
but for his resignation, permanent incapacity or death.
(e) Council meetings shall be held not less than four times a year and the quorum of a meeting shall be two-thirds of the Council's membership. Any three members of the Council acting together shall have discretion to call further meetings of the Council if they consider it to be in the interests of the Party. The Secretary shall give all the members of the Council not less than ten clear days' written notice of a meeting. Decisions of the Council shall be made by a simple majority and in the event of an equality of votes the Chairman (or the acting chairman of that meeting) shall have a casting or additional vote. The Secretary, or in her absence, a member of the Council, shall take minutes.
(f) The Council may from time to time appoint from among their number such committees as they may consider necessary and may delegate to them such of the powers and duties of the Council as the Council may determine. All such committees shall periodically report their proceedings to the Council and shall conduct their business in accordance with the directions of the Council.
(g) The Council shall be the governing body of the party and shall determine the policy, strategy and tactics of the Party and shall (subject to clauses 13, 15 and 18 below) be responsible for the management of the Party and shall have the sole right of appointing and determining the terms and conditions of service of employees of the Party.
(h) A majority of two-thirds of the Council for the time being will have full power to remove a member of the Council from his position, and a member who fails without good cause to attend three consecutive council meetings will be deemed to have resigned. "Good cause" means sickness, family bereavement, pressing professional or business commitments, and public service.
(i) The members of the Council shall be entitled to an indemnity out of and a lien over the assets of the Party for all expenses and other liabilities properly incurred by them in the management of the affairs of the Party, but shall not be entitled to any personal indemnity against any member in respect of particular or general expenditure, without that member's consent first had in writing.
(a) The officers of the Party shall be a Chairman, a Deputy Chairman, a Treasurer,
a Campaign Director, a Regulatory Officer and a Secretary.
All must be members of the Party, and the Chairman, the Deputy Chairman and the Treasurer
must be members of the Council. It shall be permissible for one person to hold more than one office excepting that neither the Chairman nor Deputy Chairman may also be the Treasurer, and the offices of Chairman and Deputy Chairman may not be held by the same person.
(b) The officers shall be proposed, seconded and elected by the members of the Council for the time being.
(c) The Annual General Meeting, if it thinks fit, may elect a President and Vice- Presidents. A President or Vice-President need not be a member of the Party but on election shall, ex officio, be an honorary member of the Party.
(9) Annual General Meeting
(a) The Annual General Meeting of the Party shall be held on not less than twenty-eight days' notice to the members of the Party in 2002 and then in each calendar year, and not before 1st October, nor later than 24th December, to transact the following business:
(i) to receive the Chairman's report of the activities of the Party during the previous year;
(ii) to receive and approve the accounts of the Party for the previous year and the Auditor's report on the accounts and the Treasurer's report as to the financial position of the Party;
(iii) to elect the Auditor, or confirm that he should remain in office;
(iv) to record who has been elected to the Council;
(v) to decide on any resolution which may be duly submitted in accordance with Clause 9 (b).
(b) Notice of any resolution proposed to be moved at the Annual General Meeting shall be given in writing to the Secretary not less than fourteen days before the meeting.
(c) If the Secretary certifies that not less than thirty-five days before the date fixed for the Annual General Meeting, she sent notice to each member of the Party at his last notified address by ordinary second class post (but by air mail for members not ordinarily resident in the United Kingdom), such notice will be deemed good and sufficient notice for all intents and purposes.
(10) Special General Meeting
(a) A Special General Meeting may be called by a majority of the Council at any time but on not less than fourteen clear days' notice, and shall be called within twenty-eight days of receipt by the Secretary of a requisition in writing signed by not less than one hundred members, stating (in general terms) the purposes for which the meeting is required and the resolutions proposed, and tendering a deposit of £250 towards the expenses of a Special General Meeting.
(b) Notice of any resolution proposed to be moved at a Special General Meeting shall be given in writing to the Secretary not less than seven days before the meeting.
(c) If the Secretary certifies that not less than fourteen days before the date fixed for a Special General Meeting, she sent notice to each member of the Party at his last notified address by ordinary second class post (but by air mail for members not ordinarily resident in the United Kingdom), such notice will be deemed good and sufficient notice for all intents and purposes.
(11) Procedure at the Annual and Special General Meetings
(a) The Secretary shall not less than thirty-five days before the date fixed for the Annual General Meeting nor less than fourteen days before the date fixed for a Special General Meeting send to each member at his last known address written notice the date of the General Meeting and will in the case of the Annual General Meeting further send notice of the resolutions to be proposed thereat not less than seven days before the meeting.
(b) The Chairman, or in his absence the Deputy Chairman, shall take the chair. If both the Chairman and the Deputy Chairman are absent, the members present will elect a chairman of the meeting. Each member present shall have one vote and resolution shall be passed by a simple majority. In the event of an equality of votes, the chairman of the meeting shall have a casting or additional vote.
(c) The Secretary, or in her absence a member of the Council, shall take minutes at Annual and Special Meetings.
(12) Alteration of the Rules
(a) The rules may be altered by resolution of the members at an Annual or Special
General Meeting, provided that the resolution is duly proposed and seconded in accordance
with clause 9 (b) above, and carried by a majority of at least two-thirds of members voting at the General Meeting.
(b) No alteration shall be made to these rules without the unanimous consent of the Council until the Annual General Meeting of the Party for 2002.
(a) All monies payable to the Party shall be received by the Treasurer and deposited in a bank account in the name of the Party.
(b) All the assets of the Party, except monies deposited in the Party's bank account, shall be vested in three trustees, as to whom see further clause 15 below. The first Trustees shall be Mrs S. Edwards, Mr J.A.D. Bowden and Mr N. Phillips. Notwithstanding any other provision of this constitution, the trustees may be removed from office only by a majority of at least two-thirds of the members voting at an Annual or Special General Meeting, or by order of the Court.
(c) No sum shall be drawn from the Party's bank account except by cheque signed by two of the four signatories who shall be the Treasurer and the three Trustees.
(d) Any monies which in the Council's opinion are not required for immediate use may be invested as the Trustees in their discretion think fit.
(e) The income and property of the Party shall be applied only in the furtherance of the objects of the Party.
(f) The Council shall have power to authorise the payment of remuneration and/or expenses to any officer, member or employee of the Party and to any other person or persons for services rendered to the Party.
(g) The financial transactions of the Party shall be recorded in such manner as the Treasurer thinks fit, subject always to the provisions of the Act.
(h) The Party's financial year shall run from 1st July to 30th June, and the first accounts will be made up to 30th June 2002.
(i) The members in an Annual or Special General Meeting shall have power to appoint an Auditor to scrutinize the Party's accounts and report to the members in general meeting. The Auditor may be but need not be a member of the Party. Once appointed the Auditor will hold office until the next Annual or Special General Meeting. For the avoidance of any possible doubt, neither the Council, nor any officer of the party, nor the Trustees will have any power to remove the Auditor, which is reserved to the members in general meeting.
(a) The Council with the concurrence of all the Trustees first had in writing but not otherwise may borrow money on behalf of the Party for the purposes of the Party from time to time.
(b) When so borrowing the Council shall have power to raise in any way any sum or sums of money and to raise and secure the repayment of any sums or sums of money in such manner or on such terms and conditions as they think fit, and in particular by mortgage of or charge upon or by the issues of debentures charged upon all or any part of the property of the Party.
(c) The Council shall have no power to pledge the personal liability of any member of the Party for the repayment of any sums so borrowed without that member's consent first had in writing.
(a) The property of the Party, other than cash at the bank, shall be vested in three trustees (who may be, but need not be, members of the Council). They shall hold the property upon trust for the members of the Party in accordance with the rules a constitution thereof.
(b) The Trustees shall deal with the property in their own discretion but subject always to the lawful directions of the Council and of the members in general meeting.
(c) The Trustees shall hold office until death or resignation unless removed by a resolution of at least two-thirds of the members voting at an Annual or Special General Meeting, or by order of the Court.
(d) Power to appoint new trustees will rest with the continuing trustees, subject however to the approval of at least two-thirds of the members voting at an Annual or Special General Meeting. A new trustee or new trustees shall be appointed by deed and the provisions of the Trustee Act 1925 shall apply to any such appointment. Any statement of fact in any such deed of appointment shall in favour of a person dealing bona fide with the Party or the Trustees be conclusive evidence of the fact so stated.
(e) The Trustees shall serve without remuneration, but shall be entitled to an indemnity out of and a lien over the property of the Party for all expenses and other liabilities properly incurred by them in the discharge of their duties.
(16) Branches and Regions
(a) The Council may establish local units of the Party to be known as branches. The Council may authorize any branch to administer its own funds. In such a circumstance the branch will be a local accounting unit of the Party, for the purposes of the Act.
(b) Branches, once established by the council, may select their own local officers. These officers will work under the authority of the Council and must follow all lawful directions of the Council.
(c) The Council may establish geographical groupings of branches into regions. Regions may also be formed where there is no Branch structure. Regional officers are to be appointed by the Council and must follow all lawful directions of the Council
(d) The Council may authorize any region to administer its own funds. In such a circumstance the region will be a local accounting unit of the Party, in accordance with the Act.
(17) Elections and Discipline
(a) It is the Party's intention to contest elections to all levels of government. However, in order that the election campaigns reflect creditably upon the Party and to ensure that the campaigns are contested within the law, all candidates who wish to contest seats under the Party name must first obtain the written approval of the Campaign Director.
(b) No member may make public statements in the name of the Party unless that member has been first authorised to do so by the Council.
(a) A resolution to dissolve the Party shall only be proposed at a Special or an Annual General Meeting and shall be carried by a majority of at least two-thirds of the members present.
(b) The dissolution shall take effect from the date of the resolution and the members of the Council shall be responsible for the winding-up of the assets and liabilities of the Party.
(c) Any property remaining after the discharge of the debts and liabilities of the Party shall be divided equally among the members of the Party, or as they shall direct.
In these rules references to "he, him and his" shall be construed as including "she, her and hers" and vice versa, as the case may require.
The "Act" means the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act, 2000, and any statutory modification or re-enactment thereof.
(20) Choice of Law
This constitution is to be governed by and construed in accordance with English law, and no action shall be brought upon it save in the courts of England and Wales, save in the case of members of the Party domiciled in Scotland or Northern Ireland, who may sue or be sued in the Scots or Northern Irish courts.
DATED December 2003