Mover: Isabelle Parasram (Vice President of the Liberal Democrats).
Summation: Ade Adeyemo.
Conference notes that:
- The 2019 General Election Review (the Thornhill Review) specifically recommended that the party “embed at all levels the concerns and interests of [ethnic minority] communities”.
- The post of Vice President is currently elected by the Federal Board rather than party members, and does not have a vote at the Federal Board.
Conference further notes that the Constitution refers to the Vice President as ‘the Vice President responsible for working with BaME communities’ in Articles 14.3 (b) and 20.2 (d) and that ‘Ethnic minority communities’ is preferable in this context.
Conference believes that a post as important as this one should be elected by all party members by a process of one member, one vote, as in the case of the Party President; such a process would:
- Be more democratic.
- Raise more awareness of the role.
- Give the Vice President a clearer mandate.
- Simplify the election process.
Conference resolves that from the end of the current term of office, to reform the role of the Vice President (“responsible for working with BaME communities”) and the rules associated with it by:
- Making the Vice President a voting member of the Federal Board, inserting a new Article 9.2 (i) (i):
a Vice President responsible for working with ethnic minority communities;’
(renumbering subsequent articles as appropriate).
- In Article 14.3 (b), changing ‘BaME’ to ‘ethnic minority’.
- In Article 20.2 (d) changing ‘BaME’ to ‘ethnic minority’ and replacing ‘the Federal Board’ with ‘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’.
- Making any necessary alterations to any and all further documents to be consistent across Party documentation.
The current Federal Party constitution is available at www.libdems.org.uk/constitution
The existing text of the relevant parts of the Articles are as follows:
9.1. There shall be a Federal Board (FB), which shall be responsible for directing, coordinating and overseeing the implementation of the Party’s strategy and the work of the Federal Party.
9.2. It shall consist of:
(i) voting members:
14.3 The Committee [The FPDC] shall comprise:
(b) the Vice President responsible for working with BaME communities;
20.2 The Vice Presidents of the Party shall be:
d) a Vice President responsible for working with BaME communities, elected by the Federal Board.
Mover: 5 minutes; all other speakers: 3 minutes.
For eligibility and procedure for speaking in this debate, see page 6.
The deadline for amendments to this motion – see page 8 – and for requests for separate votes – see page 5 – is 13.00 on 8 March. Those selected for debate will be published in the Conference Extra and Friday Conference Daily updates to the Conference Agenda.
Constitutional amendments require a two-thirds majority to pass.