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Liberal Democrats

F7: Party committees

Submitted by: 10 Members.
Mover: Richard Gadsden.
Summation: to be announced.


ARTICLE 9: The Federal Board - with effect from declaration of the results in the committee elections in 2022

Delete Article 9.2 i. and insert:

i. One person who, at the date of the close of nominations for election under this paragraph, is a member of the Local Government Group defined in Article 17.6, elected by all members of the Local Government Group. Casual vacancies shall be filled in accordance with election regulations;

In Article 9.4, delete 'three years' and insert: 'one term of office for elected members as defined in Article 8.5'.

Delete Article 9.12 c. and insert:

c. Three persons who, at the date of the close of nominations for election under this paragraph, are members of the Local Government Group defined in Article 17.6, elected by all members of the Local Government Group. Casual vacancies shall be filled in accordance with election regulations;

ARTICLE 10: The Federal Policy Committee

In Article 10.2, move sub-paragraph D. from Article 10.2 I (voting members) to Article 10.2 II (non-voting members).

Delete Article 10.2 I B. and insert:

B. three persons who, at the date of the close of nominations for election under this paragraph, are members of the Parliamentary Group defined in Article 17.1, elected by all members of the party. Casual vacancies amongst this group shall be filled by a by-election in which only members of the Parliamentary Group may vote;

Delete Article 10.2 I E. and insert:

E. three persons who, at the date of the close of nominations for election under this paragraph, are members of the Local Government Group defined in Article 17.6, elected by all members of the party. Casual vacancies amongst this group shall be filled in accordance with election regulations;

Subject to ratification by all State Parties under the terms of Article 2.10 C., delete Article 10.2 I F. and insert:

F. one member elected by all members of each State Party, according to their own procedures;

Delete Article 10.2 I G. and insert:

G. twenty persons, who shall be party members elected by all members of the Party except that persons who, at the date of close of nominations for election under this paragraph, are members of the Parliamentary Group defined in Article 17.1 shall not be eligible to be candidates for election under this paragraph. Casual vacancies amongst this group shall be filled in accordance with the election regulations;

In Article 10.2, final paragraph, delete 'three years' and insert: 'one term of office for elected members as defined in Article 8.5'.

ARTICLE 11: The Federal Conference Committee

In Article 11.2, move sub-paragraphs B., D., E., F. and G. of Article 11.2 I (voting members) to 11.2 II (non-voting members).

Subject to ratification by all State Parties under the terms of Article 2.10 C., delete Article 11.2 I C. and insert:

C. one member elected by all members of each State Party, according to their own procedures;

Delete Article 11.2 I H. and insert:

H. twenty persons, who shall be party members elected by all members of the Party except that persons who, at the date of the close of nominations for election under this paragraph, are members of Parliamentary Group defined in Article 17.1 shall not be eligible to be candidates for election under this paragraph. Casual vacancies amongst this group shall be filled in accordance with the election regulations;

In Article 11.2 I, insert new sub-paragraph:

I. three persons who, at the date of the close of nominations for election under this paragraph, are members of the Parliamentary Group defined in Article 17.1, elected by all members of the Party. Casual vacancies amongst this group shall be filled by a by-election in which only members of the Parliamentary Group may vote;

In Article 11.2, final paragraph, delete 'three years' and insert: 'one term of office for elected members as defined in Article 8.5'.

ARTICLE 12: The Federal Finance and Resources Committee

Delete Article 12.2 H. and insert:

H. five persons, who shall be party members elected by all members of the Party except that persons who, at the date of close of nominations for election under this paragraph, are members of the Parliamentary Group defined in Article 17.5 shall not be eligible to be candidates for election under this paragraph. Casual vacancies amongst this group shall be filled in accordance with the election regulations;

In Article 12.2, final paragraph, delete 'three years' and insert: 'one term of office for elected members as defined in Article 8.5'.

ARTICLE 13: The Federal Communications and Elections Committee

Delete Article 13.2 H. and insert:

H. three persons, who shall be party members elected by all members of the Party except that persons who, at the date of close of nominations for election under this paragraph, are members of the Parliamentary Group defined in Article 17.5 shall not be eligible to be candidates for election under this paragraph. Casual vacancies amongst this group shall be filled in accordance with the election regulations;

In Article 13.2, final paragraph, delete 'three years' and insert: 'one term of office for elected members as defined in Article 8.5'.

ARTICLE 14: The Federal People Development Committee

In Article 14.3 D., delete 'six members elected by the Federal Board, one of whom shall be elected by members as Chair', and insert: 'six persons elected by the voting members of Federal Board by single transferable vote in a secret ballot, one of whom shall be elected by members of FPDC as Chair'.

In Article 14.3, final paragraph, delete 'three years' and insert: 'one term of office for elected members as defined in Article 8.5'.

Article 15: The Federal International Relations Committee

In Article 15.2, move sub-paragraphs A., B., D., E., and F. from Article 15.2 I (voting members) to 15.2 II (non-voting members).

Subject to ratification by all State Parties under the terms of Article 2.10 C., delete Article 15.2 I C. and insert:

Delete Article 15.2 I G. and insert:

G. ten persons, who shall be party members elected by all members of the Party except that persons who, at the date of close of nominations for election under this paragraph, are members of the Parliamentary Group defined in Article 17.1 shall not be eligible to be candidates for election under this paragraph. Casual vacancies amongst this group shall be filled in accordance with the election regulations;

In Article 15.2 I, insert new sub-paragraph:

H. two persons who, at the date of the close of nominations for election under this paragraph, are members of the Parliamentary Group defined in Article 17.1, elected by all members of the party. Casual vacancies amongst this group shall be filled in accordance with election regulations;

Delete 15.2 II D. and insert:

D. one representative of any local party or parties established to represent members outside of Great Britain. If there is more than one such party, the representative shall represent all the local parties jointly.

In Article 15.2, final paragraph, delete 'three years' and insert: 'one term of office for elected members as defined in Article 8.5'.

ARTICLE 17: The Parliamentary Parties

Delete Article 17.4.

In Article 17.5, delete 'The Chief Whips of each Parliamentary Party shall agree how many places each Parliamentary Party shall occupy on each Federal Committee, having due regard to the size of each Parliamentary Party.'

Renumber Article 17.5 as 17.1 and renumber accordingly.

After 17.4 insert new Articles:

17.5 Any person in receipt of the Liberal Democrat Whip in any of the following bodies shall be treated as a member of the Parliamentary Group as defined in Article 17.1:

A The Scottish Parliament [subject to ratification by the Scottish Liberal Democrats under the terms of Article 2.10 C].

B The Welsh Parliament / Senedd Cymru [subject to ratification by the Welsh Liberal Democrats / Democratiaid Rhyddfrydol Cymru under the terms of Article 2.10 C].

C The Greater London Assembly [subject to ratification by the English Liberal Democrats under the terms of Article 2.10 C].

D The Northern Ireland Assembly (in the event that there is a Liberal Democrat Whip introduced in that Assembly).

E Any Assembly or Parliament for England or an English region [subject to ratification by the English Liberal Democrats under the terms of Article 2.10 C].

F The European Parliament (in the event that there is a Liberal Democrat Whip reintroduced to that Parliament).

17.6 Any party member in good standing holding any of the following directly-elected positions shall be treated as being a member of the Parliamentary Group as defined in Article 17.1:

A An elected Mayor of a Combined Authority.

B The Mayor of London.

C A Police and Crime Commissioner.

17.7 Any person holding any of the following positions shall not be treated as being a member of the Parliamentary Group as defined in Article 17.1 by virtue of holding that position; these people shall be members of the Local Government Group:

A A Councillor on a principal local authority.

B An elected Mayor of a council (as distinct from the Mayor of London or a Mayor of a Combined Authority).

17.8 If any new post is created that is directly elected by a public election in which UK citizens vote, the Federal Board shall bring a constitutional amendment to the next available conference adding that post to one of Articles 17.5-17.7, or shall state in its report to that conference that it has chosen not to do so. If an election to the federal committees occurs before such an amendment shall have passed, the Federal Board shall designate by majority vote whether any Liberal Democrat elected to that new post is to be counted as a member of the Parliamentary Group or the Local Government Group or neither for the purposes of that election, casting transferable votes if necessary to choose between the three alternatives.

17.9 If any person who is a member of a federal committee elected by all members becomes or ceases to be a member of the Parliamentary Group or the Local Government Group, this does not affect their membership of that committee during an elected term.

ARTICLE 20: Officers

In Articles 20.1, 20.3 D., 20.4 and 20.5, delete 'a term of three years' and insert: 'a term of office of the same length as that for Federal Committees as defined in Article 8.5'.

In Article 20.1, final sentence, delete 'a period of three years thereafter' and insert: 'a period of the same length as the term of office for Federal Committees as defined in Article 8.5 thereafter'.


The existing text of the relevant parts of the Federal Party Constitution are reproduced below. The current constitution can be found at: www.libdems.org.uk/constitution.

ARTICLE 9: The Federal Board

9.2 It shall consist of the following voting members:

...

i. A principal local authority councillor, elected Mayor or Police and Crime Commissioner, elected by the principal local authority councillors, elected Mayors and Police and Crime Commissioners of the Party.

9.4 Following each election for the European Parliament and the House of Commons, the Federal Board shall commission a report on the Party's work in that election and shall report to the Party on the outcomes of that review. It shall report on its work, including the work of all committees and other bodies responsible to it, to each meeting of the Conference.

9.12 There shall be a Federal Council which shall consist of the following voting members:

c. Three principal local authority councillors, elected Mayors or Police and Crime Commissioners, elected by the principal local authority councillors, elected Mayors and Police and Crime Commissioners of the Party;

10.2 I voting members:

B. six members of the Parliamentary Group as defined in Article 17.5, normally including at least one from each Parliamentary Party; C. the President;

D. one person elected by the Federal Communications & Elections Committee from amongst its membership

F. one representative of each State Party, elected by its internal procedures (State Parties may appoint a substitute member should the elected member be unable to attend a specific meeting of the FPC);

G. one more person than the total number elected or appointed under paragraphs (a) to (f) above, who shall be party members elected by all members of the Party except that persons who, at the date of close of nominations for election under this paragraph, are members of any of the Parliamentary Parties listed in Article 17 shall not be eligible to be candidates for election under this paragraph. Casual vacancies amongst this group shall be filled in accordance with the election regulations.

10.2 final paragraph: The Federal Policy Committee thus constituted may co-opt such persons and for such periods not exceeding three years as it thinks fit who shall be entitled to attend and speak but not vote (but so that there shall not be more than three persons co-opted at any time).

11.2 I Voting members:

B. the Chief Whip of the Parliamentary Party in the House of Commons or their substitute from within the Parliamentary Group as defined in Article 17.5;

C. one representative of each State Party, elected by its internal procedures (State Parties may appoint a substitute member should the elected member be unable to attend a specific meeting of the FCC);

D. one person elected by the Federal Board from amongst its members;

E. two persons elected by the Federal Policy Committee from amongst its members;

F. one person elected by the Federal Communications & Elections Committee from amongst its members;

G. one person elected by the Federal People Development Committee from amongst its members;

H. 12 persons elected by party members. Casual vacancies amongst this group shall be filled in accordance with the election regulations.

11.2 II Non-voting members

C. one representative of the staff employed by the Federal Party or by the Parliamentary Parties and elected by such staff.

11.2 final paragraph: The Conference Committee thus constituted may co-opt such persons and for such periods not exceeding three years as it thinks fit who shall be entitled to attend and speak but not vote (but so that there shall not be more than three persons co-opted at any time).

ARTICLE 12: The Federal Finance and Resource Committee

12.2 final paragraph: The FFRC thus constituted may co-opt such persons and for such periods not exceeding three years as it thinks fit who shall be entitled to attend and speak but not vote (but so that there shall not be more than three persons co-opted at any time).

12.2 It shall consist of:

...

H. five persons elected by the Federal Board. Casual vacancies amongst this group shall be filled in accordance with the election regulations.

ARTICLE 13: The Federal Communications and Elections Committee

13.2 The Committee shall consist of:

H. two members elected by the Federal Board from among its members. Casual vacancies amongst this group shall be filled in accordance with the election regulations.

13.2 final paragraph: The FCEC thus constituted may co-opt such persons and for such periods not exceeding three years as it thinks fit who shall be entitled to attend and speak but not vote (but so that there shall not be more than three persons co-opted at any time).

ARTICLE 14: The Federal People Development Committee

14.3 The Committee shall comprise:

D. six members elected by the Federal Board, one of whom shall be elected by members as Chair. Casual vacancies amongst this group shall be filled in accordance with the election regulations;

14.3 final paragraph: The FPDC thus constituted may co-opt such persons and for such periods not exceeding three years as it thinks fit who shall be entitled to attend and speak but not vote (but so that there shall not be more than three persons co-opted at any time).

ARTICLE 15: The Federal International Relations Committee

15.2 I Voting members:
A. one person elected by the Federal Board from amongst its members;
B. one person elected by the Federal Policy Committee from amongst its members;
C. one person elected by each State Party according to its internal procedures;
D. one person elected by the Affiliated Organisation representing youth and students;
E. one person elected by Members of the European Parliament as set out in clause
F. one person representing Foreign Affairs spokespeople in the Westminster Parliament
G. six members who shall be elected by all members of the Party. Casual vacancies amongst this group shall be filled in accordance with the election regulations.

15.2 II Non-voting members

D. one representative of Liberal Democrats Abroad.

15.2 final paragraph: The FIRC thus constituted may co-opt such persons and for such periods not exceeding three years as it thinks fit who shall be entitled to attend and speak but not vote (but so that there shall not be more than three persons co-opted at any time).

ARTICLE 17: The Parliamentary Parties

17.4 The Parliamentary Party in the European Parliament shall consist of all members of the European Parliament elected from constituencies from within the United Kingdom and in receipt of the UK Liberal Democrat Whip. It shall be entitled to make such regulations (not being inconsistent with this Constitution) as it thinks fit for the conduct of its own proceedings.

17.5 For the purposes of representation on Federal Committees, the Parliamentary Parties listed in Article 17 shall form the Parliamentary Group. The Chief Whips of each Parliamentary Party shall agree how many places each Parliamentary Party shall occupy on each Federal Committee, having due regard to the size of each Parliamentary Party.

ARTICLE 20: Officers

20.1 The President shall be the principal public representative of the Party and shall chair the Federal Board. The President shall be elected by the members of the Party for a term of three years starting from 1st January in the year immediately following the election and shall hold office until death, incapacity, resignation or the election of a successor; the President shall be eligible for re-election once only. A candidate for the office of President shall require the nomination of not fewer than 200 members in not less than 20 Local Parties (including, for this purpose, the Affiliated Organisation representing youth and students). The President shall report to the annual meeting of the Conference and may make reports to any other meetings of Conference. The Federal Board shall have the power, in the event of a casual vacancy, to elect an Acting President from any of the Vice-Presidents and to determine a convenient date for a ballot to elect a successor who shall serve for the remainder of the term, except that if the remainder of the term is less than twelve months, the successor shall serve for the remainder of the term plus a period of three years thereafter.

20.2 The Federal Board shall have power to vote on a motion of no confidence in the party's President. Such a vote may only be taken with at least seven days notice to all Board members and shall require a two-thirds majority of voting Board members (with vacancies, abstentions or absences counted as votes against). If the vote passes, a casual vacancy shall be deemed to have occurred and the processes in Article 20.1 shall be followed. The President deemed to have vacated office in this way shall have the right to seek nomination in the subsequent election. If they win re-election, this shall not count as a re-election for the purposes of the term limit in Article 20.1, and they shall not be eligible to be subject to a further vote of no-confidence for the remainder of that term.

20.3 The Vice Presidents of the Party shall be:

D. a Vice President responsible for working with ethnic minority communities, elected by the members of the Party for a term of three years starting from 1st January in the year immediately following the election and shall hold office until death, incapacity, resignation or the election of a successor; this Vice President shall be eligible for re-election once only.

20.4 The Chair of the FFRC, who shall be responsible for the overall budget and finances of the Party, shall be its treasurer for the purposes of the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000 and shall be responsible for its compliance with the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000 and as later amended, shall be elected for a term of three years by the Federal Board and shall, upon election, become a member of any fund-raising committee established by the Federal Board.

20.5 The Treasurer, who shall be responsible for fund-raising, shall be elected by the Federal Board at its first meeting in every term and shall serve for a term of three years and shall, upon election, become a member of the FFRC and chair of any fund-raising committee established by the Federal Board.


Applicability: Federal.


Mover: 5 minutes; all other speakers: 3 minutes. For eligibility and procedure for speaking in this debate, see page 9 of the agenda

The deadline for amendments to this motion, see page 12 of the agenda, and for requests for separate votes, see pages 8-9 of the agenda, is 13.00 Monday 5 September. Those selected for debate will be printed in Conference Extra and Saturday's Conference Daily.

Constitutional amendments require a two-thirds majority to pass.