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Liberal Democrats

Scottish Internal Elections 2021

For the 2021 Internal Elections in Scotland, the following posts are open for election.

  • President
  • Convener
  • Deputy Leader
  • Treasurer
  • Conference Convener
  • Policy Convener
  • Candidates and Campaigns Convener
  • Exec x 12
  • Conference Committee x 6
  • Policy Committee x 5
  • A member of the Federal Board
  • A member of the Federal Policy Committee
  • A member of the Federal Conference Committee
  • A member of The Federal People Development Committee
  • A member of The Federal International Relations Committee




Friday 1st Oct

Nominations Open

Monday 25th Oct

Deadline for nominations

Monday 1st Nov

Deadline for Manifestos

Friday 12th Nov

Ballots posted

Thursday 2nd Dec

Close of ballots

Friday 3rd Dec


Job Descriptions for roles across the Scottish Party


Extract from the Constitution: The role of the Office Bearers
‘F21. The Office Bearers shall be responsible for the appointment and management of staff and for agreeing their terms and conditions according to a policy determined by the Executive, and for the Party's compliance with employment law.
F22. The Officer Bearers shall also be responsible for ensuring the co-ordination of the political and other work of the party and for this purpose will meet regularly and may make recommendations to the Executive and its Standing Committees and sub-committees.’

The Office Bearers include the posts below, plus the Leader and Deputy Leader. They are responsible for the appointment and management of Party staff plus the coordination of the political and other work of the party.

The Office Bearers meets digitally on a 6-weekly basis, Monday’s at 6pm. The agenda and papers are circulated one week in advance by the CEO/Member of staff in conjunction with/ agreement with the Convener.

President – formally they are the guardian of the Party Constitution. The President chairs the Appeals Tribunal. The President shall be entitled to attend and speak at meetings of the Executive but not to vote. The President may preside at the Conference on formal occasions.

Convener - responsible for the day-to-day organisation of the Party and chairs meetings of the Executive and Conference. They are also a standing member of all sub-committees of the Executive and have a legal responsibility, with the Treasurer under the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000, for party finances. They represent the Scottish Liberal Democrats on the Federal Board, which meets approx 10 times per year, normally in London/online.

Treasurer – chairs the Finance & Membership Committee which meets around 6 times per year to set budgets and monitors party finances. The Treasurer is the registered treasurer of the Party in terms of the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000 and is responsible for overseeing the donation reporting and production of the accounts. They are also the Scottish representative on the Federal Finance Committee which meets in London/ online.

Vice Convener (Policy) – chairs the Policy Committee, responsible for researching, developing and formulating policy, and managing and overseeing the policy-making process.

Vice Convener (Conference) – chairs the Conference Committee, responsible for overseeing the organisation of the Scottish conferences, including setting the agendas.

Vice Convener (Campaigns) – chairs the Campaigns & Candidates Committee, responsible for overseeing candidate approval and selections, supporting and coordinating campaigning activity, and organising campaign training for members.


Job Description

Strictly speaking the principal role of the Party President in Scotland is to convene appeal tribunals. This role will change when the Scottish Party constitution fully endorses and accepts the complaints procedures which are part of the Federal constitution. There are, however, a number of duties/functions that the Party President can usefully perform on a voluntary basis and these are briefly noted below.

Principal responsibilities
•Participation in Scottish Party Executive Committee meetings and meetings of Scottish Party office bearers. *reclusion from some meetings and discussions maybe necessary to retain impartiality in the role of convener of the appeal tribunal.

•Attendance at and participation in Scottish Party and Federal Party conferences. This might involve introducing speakers or chairing certain sessions at conferences.
•Speaking engagements. These can include constituency annual general meetings or dinners and might include ‘by invitation’ speaking at the Scottish Liberal Club or affiliated groups within the Party in Scotland.

•Constituency visits. These can cover a whole range of things such as fund-raising events, action days and political meetings.

•Providing support and encouragement to office bearers, staff and Party members. This is by no means a formal part of the duties but on occasions it may be helpful to lend a listening ear or empathetic sounding board to a whole range of individuals in the Party employing skills, diplomacy, tact and understanding.

Job Description

The Convener shall be responsible for the day-to-day direction of the Party and shall be entitled to chair meetings of the Office Bearers, the Executive and Conference.
Principal responsibilities
•Provide leadership across the Party and in their interaction with the other State and Federal Parties.

•Ensure that the Executive fulfils its duties and responsibilities for the effective governance of the Party.

• Only appraise CEO, if staff management remains delegated by OBs
•Seek to ensure that the Executive and the staff carry out the responsibilities delegated to them by Conference.

•Chair meetings effectively and efficiently.

•Seek to ensure that decisions taken at meetings are implemented.

Time Commitment
The role of the Convener has increased in recent years, but, following the appointment of a CEO can probably reduce again. At present 8 Executive meetings a year; 8 Office Bearers’ meetings a year; roughly the same each for the 4 Standing Committees; two Scottish Conferences, 2 Federal Conferences (optional); 10 Federal Board Meetings. In addition, there are ad hoc meetings. Most of these can be attended remotely by Skype/Zoom etc. The Convener, for the Office Bearers, should have regular meetings with the CEO, and the Leader, generally supervise the staff through the CEO, and also represent the Party at various events and meetings with stakeholders.

Principal responsibilities
•Seek to ensure the Scottish Party is compliant with electoral accounting rules, and oversee the audit of the accounts;

•Chair the Finance and Membership (FMC) Committee, which provides financial governance and oversight of membership recruitment and retention on behalf of the Executive Committee. The chair also manages the diversity, fundraising, finance and membership sub cttes.
•Work with Party staff and FMC to set the annual budget and review spending against budget regularly, signing off on larger items of spending by staff;
•Oversee and support fundraising efforts;

•Provide financial reports to the Executive Committee, and fundraising reports to the Campaign Committee during elections;

•Represent the Scottish Party on the Federal Finance and Resources Committee and liaise with Federal staff on financial decisions affecting the Scottish Party. The meetings of FFRC are in London/online on a 4/6 weekly basis.

Principal responsibilities.
•Chairs meetings of the Campaigns and Candidates Committee which meets about eight times a year, usually by telephone conference.

•Works with Office Bearers', committee members, staff and politicians to ensure that the party is election ready.

•Submits a report to each meeting of the Executive (about eight times a year) and answers questions on the report at the meeting.

•Encouraging members, particularly those from under represented groups, to apply to become approved candidates and stand for selection as a prospective candidate.

•Liaising with the Scottish Candidates Assessment Facilitator to ensure applicants for the approved candidates list are allocated an assessment day in Scotland.

•Recruiting and obtaining places on training course for candidate assessors and Returning Officers.

•Seek to ensure that the recommendations of the formal election reviews are implemented in conjunction with the Convenor and other Office Bearers.
•Representing the Scottish Party on the Federal Communications and Elections Committee and the Joint States Candidates Committee.

•Working with staff to support and co-ordinate campaigning activity and training events.

Principal responsibilities
•Responsible for overseeing selection of venues for future conference.
•Responsible for ensuring smooth running, in conjunction with staff of the two annual conferences and ensure that there is an excellent programme of events for party members

•Responsible for overseeing budget for conference with the Finance and Membership Committee.

•Responsible for setting Chairs and Aides rota for conference.
•Promote conference at every opportunity, including attending regional opportunities to promote conference.

•Key advisor to Exec, party staff, members and politicians on standing orders and processes related to conference.

•Responsible for chairing the Conference Committee and working with the policy ctte and staff to provide motions for debate at conference in line with Standing Orders and the constitution.

•Set agenda for conference including overseeing selection of speakers for conference.

•Work with key stakeholders in motions, to develop potential interested exhibitors.

Principal responsibilities
• The Policy Convener will chair and organise meetings of the Policy Committee and attend Office Bearers' and Executive meetings. You also will attend Scottish Conference, present a report to Spring Conference and engage with members across the country to further policy aims.

•Working with staff, ctte and members and wider stakeholders you are responsible for the production the Scottish Manifesto at election time, and contribute to the UK ensuring joined up working and that a Scottish voice is present in the Federal Manifesto.

•Facilitate manifesto and policy roadshows so members can contribute to policy.
•Develop programmes for policy development and work with the policy committee to bring motions to Spring and Autumn Conference.

•Research relevant policy areas and bring new ideas to the table.

•Work with Politicians and Spokespeople to develop policy and conference motions.

If you're not quite ready to jump in at the Office Bearer level, getting to contribute to the Party by serving in a committee is a great way to learn about the Party and help it to reach its goals. The committees in which we directly elect members are, The Executive Committee, Policy Committee and Conference Committee. We also have one space for a Scottish Representative on the following Federal Committees: Federal Board, Federal Conference Committee and Federal Policy Committee.

There are 12 places available. The Executive Committee is made up of the Office Bearers and the twelve directly elected members. The committee is responsible for the management and conduct of the Party. There are normally 6-8 meetings per year, held at 10.30am on Saturday mornings in Edinburgh/ online. You will need to be nominated by 10 fellow party members to stand for this committee.

There are 6 places available. The committee is responsible for setting conference agendas and members are expected to take responsibility for specific tasks in the run up to and during conferences. The timetable for meetings is based around key dates for motion deadlines, with normally 6 meetings each year. Only those who have registered to attend one or both Scottish Conferences in the year of election are eligible to vote. You will need to be nominated by 10 fellow party members to stand for this committee.

There are 5 places available. The committee is responsible for researching, developing and formulating policy, and managing and overseeing the policy-making process. The schedule for meetings may depend on specific policies being developed and the expertise of individuals involved. There are normally at least 6 full committee meetings each year. You will need to be nominated by 10 fellow party members to stand for this committee.

It is important that the Scottish Party maintains good, regular contact with the activities of the corresponding Federal committees. There is one place available on each of the following.
•Federal Board - meets 6-8 times per year, in Westminster or online, normally on a weekday evening. Travel and accommodation expenses can be claimed.
•Conference Committee – meets in London/online to oversee the organisation of the two main events and set the agendas, and then at the conference venues immediately before the conferences
•Policy Committee - meets once a month, usually on Tuesday or Wednesday evening at 6pm in Westminster/online. Reasonable travel expenses can be claimed. FPC members are also invited to sit on at least one Party Parliamentary Committee, although attendance in London is not required formally.

Job Description for an ordinary member of the Executive
*Members of the Scottish Executive, appointed to that position as a result of being a convenor/vice convenor of another ctte have a very specific role on the Executive. That is, to report to the Executive, the business of their Standing Ctte. They also have a responsibility to scrutinise the activity of others cttes through the Executive.

Extract from the Constitution
F26: The Executive shall be responsible for the management and conduct of the Party and ensuring compliance of the Party with the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000 and any subsequent legislation, and shall be accountable to the Conference.
Principal responsibilities
•To retain a view of all matters of strategic importance to the party. Staffing and operational matters are within the remit of the Office Bearers and the Chief Executive.

•To ensure that the organisation works in a joined up way using its resources to maximises impact in achieving strategic objectives.

•Scrutinise report, plans drafted by or provided to the ctte to ensure that these are in the best interest of party members, deliver best value for its members and live its values at all times.

•Executive Ctte members predominately make up the membership of the various Standing Cttes alongside additional co opted members.

Job Description for a member of a Standing Ctte
Working with the Ctte convener you will establish a work plan for the ctte for the year. This will set out the aspects of the ctte’s work you will look at throughout the year. For example, planning the autumn conference, planning member recruitment, or trying to find more member to be candidates depending on the ctte you have put yourself forward to sit on.

Principal responsibilities
•Work with the Ctte Convener to deliver the work plan.

•Work with the relevant party staff where applicable to deliver shared objectives.

•Scrutinise report, plans drafted by or provided to the ctte to ensure that these are in the best interest of party members, deliver best value for its members and live its values at all times.
•Implement decisions made by the Executive – for example ensuring the actions from the diversity and inclusion report are embedded by the organisation by staff and volunteers through the ctte’s work.

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