Update on Lib Dem conference accreditation: 5,617 approved, 138 in progress, 150 pending. One person refused.

Jon Ball has just updated live from the Lib Dems’ Federal Conference Committee with the latest on the party’s conference accreditation which has provoked such internal controversy in recent weeks:

Lib Dem conference accreditation update from FCC. 5,617 people have been approved. 138 applications are in progress. There are issues with 150 applications in various categories including photos missing or unsuitable and some people (almost all non-members) being asked to provide passports at conference. These are technical issues that are very unlikely to lead to refusal. However, one person has been refused accreditation by the Chair of FCC, the President and the Chief Exec.

My Co-Editor Mark Pack blogged about the background to the issue here, Liberal Democrat conference and security checks, and with some backgrund from others here, LibDem conference accreditation: what others have been saying. Jonathan Calder has also written on the issue at The Guardian’s Comment is Free: Lib Dem conference fiasco has left few members smiling.

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14 Comments

  • “one person has been refused accreditation by the Chair of FCC, the President and the Chief Exec.” Nowhere in the party’s constitution or conference standing orders is such a power granted to these three officers.

    Hopefully the LibDems are not becoming as authoritarian & control(ling) freaks as the other two main Parties. We haven’t been given the full facts (why not?) but it sounds rather dodgy tactics to me – the slippery slope?? The Ministry of Truth has decided you are a non person or is it ‘not one of us’ or persona non grata. Who decides who may attend conference – surely the local constituency organisations rather than big brother (to quote from Mr. Blair again) or a few people in London at the top of the Party.

  • I’m sure there is a VERY good reason why this one person was approved.

    I’m a Lib Dem and I’m far from happy about the way the whole accreditation/applictaion process has been handled, but to be fair to everyone in the Police and HQ, I do feel it needs to be done, otherwise every nutcase in the country could pay their £12 join the party, arrive and conference and casue trouble.

    If 5000+ people have been approved and 1 rejected I’m content (not happy not pleased, not ex-static), If that 1 grows into 100+ over the next few days I’ll be intrigued.

    I also assume their is some sort of appeal method for this one individual?

  • Who is to say the one refusal was a Lib Dem member, I suspect it isn’t a member. They could of been an observer, trade, media etc. all have to go through accreditation as well.

  • You’re right, this person might not have been a member, personally I’ve got no problem with the media and exhibitors having to go through this.

  • Simon McGrath 10th Sep '11 - 3:17pm

    @david G and David O. Just to be clear on what you are saying. The police have told Farron, Fox and Wiseman that they have serious concerns that our security would be at risk if an individual (who joined the party less than 2 months ago) is admitted. You think they should have said that they were going to ignore that advice?

  • Paul: Quite. Heaven forbid Conference should be safely accessible to Councillors and SAO execs. They might do dangerous things like vote at AGMs and attend workshops. It’s a great reassurance to all that a vetting system that’s broken on several occasions can assist the huge ring of steel and metal detectors in keeping such troublemakers out.

  • Tony Greaves 11th Sep '11 - 12:30am

    It’s just a fascist kind of system that allows the police to blackball a member of the party from attending conference. Let’s assume as a working hypothesis that this person is an Asian Muslim. But whatever he or she is, it’s hard to see how they could compromise “our security” by attending. What on earth do they imagine such a person could do?

    I suppose the logic of all this is that the party will in due course get police checks made on all new members. And then on all of us every five years or so just to be sure. The point is that presence at the conference is only one place (and far from the most obvious) where a person could “compromise our security” if they really wanted to do so.

    The world is going mad and we are going along with it. Still the whole thing has seriously put me off from bothering to attend the conference and I suppose there are more than a few people would welcome that!

    Tony Greaves

  • It’s always so refreshing to hear from people like Tony (Greaves) & David (Grace) – you realise then that Liberalism and liberty for the individual are alive and well! It gives me the strength to carry on supporting the Party knowing that there are still people ready to prevent arbitrary & authoritarian rule from undermining individual rights – belief in which is why I joined the Party (Liberal) – YL to be exact as a student in 1974. The Liberal belief in the sanctity of the individual over the state is paramount. We have seen the gradual erosion of our civil liberties in last x number of years under both old parties – especially the Labour government of Blair & Brown et el. We cannot gloss over maltreatment of even one individual (remember the use of the anti Terrorism law in kicking out 82 year old Mr. Walter Wolfgang for simply having the temerity to start heckling the ghastly (war monger) Jack Straw at the Labour so called conference – that is what sets us apart from the other two parties – I won’t quote John Donne but I think you get the picture!

  • Mike Galloway 11th Sep '11 - 7:47pm

    What we don’t seem to have had yet is anything from FCC in answer to Tony Greaves comment on Mark Pack’s earlier post about on site registration having to wait 48 hours for GM Police to deal with accreditation.

    The party website still states: “Whilst on-site registration will be available at conference, we cannot guarantee how long it will take. Advance, online registration is recommended to ensure you get the most out of your day.” Which clearly implies a hour or at most – and certainly not 48 hours.

    Bear in mind that the Passport Office do offer an on-site urgent same-day passport service, or is it going to be held by the party or their masters GM Police that getting into your own conference should be more complex that getting a passort?

    I have not registered and was inclined not to go. Particularly as our MPs appear to ignore conference decisions. Just look at the sellout we face over ‘Localism’ and planning with the NPPF etc. Such as the claims that Localism is about local people having control when it is (now) so clear it is all about delivering more growth. “The option of local communities NOT planning for growth is not going to be available to local communities” and “This is more an agenda for growth than it is for localism” – see http://bit.ly/plgBTc to watch a detailed explaination behind the NPPF – and be afraid.

    However I am now tempted to go and register on-site so (a) I can support the motion on welfare reform having been lobbyed to do so and (b) to vote on the motion about the accreditation process and the appalling way the FCC have rolled over to turn the Lib Dems into an authoritatian state regime. So much for opposition to ID cards!

    If I don’t get “processed” in a reasonable time (I’d say 90 minutes max would be reasonable) then it indicates to me is not serious about being Liberal anymore.

  • Richard Underhill 9th Aug '15 - 1:19pm

    Tony Greaves 11th Sep ’11 – 12:30am Tony this is OTT.
    Please also see page 17 of The Times of 8/8/2015, which reports that the entire Labour Party staff are currently engaged in a vetting exercise.

  • John Tilley 9th Aug '15 - 2:25pm

    davidorr 11th Sep ’11 – 7:16pm
    “…It’s always so refreshing to hear from people like Tony (Greaves) & David (Grace) – you realise then that Liberalism and liberty for the individual are alive and well! It gives me the strength to carry on supporting the Party…”

    Yes indeed. And I have precisely the opposite reaction when I read something from Simon McGrath. Fortunately, as the recent leadership election showed very clearly the Greaves and Grace type of member is very much in the majority.

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