Tag Archives: internal party discipline

A view from conference: the Party disciplinary processes debate

Around April 2015, I was seriously considering not voting for the Liberal Democrats in the upcoming general election. It wasn’t the mistakes of the coalition that worried me, it was something about the values of the party around that time that gave me pause to wonder if it was the right thing to do. I read about the scandals about complaints in the party, and it seemed that attitudes were not as progressive or inclusive as I expected. Complaints against members appeared to be inadequate and chaotic, leaving victims (especially women), feeling unsafe in the party. I wondered if I …

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Conference motion: Reforming our party’s disciplinary processes

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There is now a superb summary of all the conference motions on the Liberal Democrat website. This allows you to see, at a glance, the final passed motions, incorporating any passed amendments.

One really important motion was that on the party disciplinary process.

This process was initiated by a motion at 2016 conference to review the party’s disciplinary processes. There have been reviews conducted by Helena Morrissey, Ken MacDonald and Isabelle Parasram. The review was delayed by the 2017 general election. The process was debated at the 2018 Spring Conference, where it was referred back for further work.

The Federal Board has appointed a steering group on Sexual Impropriety Complaints, as recommended by Isabelle Parasram.

The motion at the Brighton conference seeks to set up an independent disciplinary mechanism with trained adjudicators and investigators. There will be a strict logging process for complaints, with time limits for resolution.

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The Party Disciplinary Review

There was a recent article on Lib Dem Voice by Lord MacDonald on the review that is taking place on the Party’s disciplinary procedure. I would like to encourage you to take part if you have not already done so – I confess I only just got around to filling it in myself yesterday!

Regarding complaints, I have experienced elements of both ends of this process – having something done to me which I made a complaint about; and sitting on a disciplinary panel to decide whether charges against a party member were held or not.

My insights into the …

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Your chance to have a say on draft disciplinary reform proposals

Editor note – comments are closed on this article, given its nature.

The consultation on the Party’s governance held in late 2015 laid bare a number of concerns which members had with our current disciplinary processes. The Federal Executive at the time took the decision to commission a separate review, which I was asked to chair in the autumn of 2016.

I am clear: the only way members will be well-served by a disciplinary process is if it is simple, transparent and efficient. It needs to be independent, a stand-alone process, and it needs to deal with complaints promptly with clear lines …

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Opinion: an open letter to Tim Farron – “And who made you King, anyway?”

imageIn his recent article in Liberal Democrat Voice, the Liberal Democrat Party President, Tim Farron, refers to a review of the Party’s disciplinary procedures, carried out by a senior barrister, Diya Sen Gupta, and goes on to say;

She has now made recommendations to us and I am determined that we will implement these as quickly as possible.

Now call me a stickler for process if you will, but where does Tim get off making such a statement?

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Opinion: Post Rennard, what should the party do?

Liberal Democrat badge - Some rights reserved by Paul Walter, Newbury, UKThe news that Lord Rennard has been welcomed back into the fold has engendered both despair and joy across the party. Those who ‘never understood what the fuss was all about’, those who are no longer sure they want to be part of a party that doesn’t appear to live its values.  Lester Holloway, among others, offers an excellent analysis of the wider implications.

I have made no secret of my disappointment about the way this case has …

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Tim Farron: I want the Liberal Democrats to become the “gold standard” for the way voluntary organisations treat volunteers and staff

Since the allegations against Lord Rennard were first aired on Channel Four News, I’ve worked hard with members, activists, HQ staff and our parliamentary parties to fundamentally change the way our party treats these matters.

We asked Helena Morrissey to look at our party’s culture and practices and her report helped us to recognise our failings and set about correcting them.

We have changed our rules and codes of conduct at every level, from grassroots members to parliamentarians so that everyone involved in the party is aware of their rights and responsibilities. We have changed how complaints are reported and addressed, and …

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Frankly, I’d rather have a shambles than manage by fear and intimidation

I read a lot of political commentary by all sorts of people. I’ve been moved to tears, laughter, outrage, exasperation and delight by many of them. It’s taken until today, though, for an article written by a mainstream commentator to make me feel physically sick.

Writing in the Telegraph, John McTernan, former Labour Downing Street insider, describes the tactics of Labour whips:

A Cabinet minister who served in both the Blair and Brown governments retells his first encounter with Labour whips. Newly elected, he was walking through the corridors of the House when he was accosted by one. He was pushed

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