Ed: The letter below was sent in by Stanley Oram before the Sunday Rally and was thus subject to the moratorium of not publishing anything pro or con in the run-up. It can still be acted upon:
WE can still save UKIP
5.8 The Party Secretary shall call an Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM), giving members a minimum of 28 days’ notice, if requested to do so by application in writing from at least twenty per cent (20%) of the Party’s duly registered and properly constituted constituency associations or branches, drawn from at least four regions.
Each such application shall include a written statement, signed by the respective branch or constituency association chairman as the case may be, certifying that the application was supported by a majority of members attending a properly convened Extraordinary General Meeting of the constituency association or branch.
Each such application shall set out the business to be dealt with at the EGM and the agenda of any such EGM shall be restricted to that business and to matters arising.
Each such application shall further be accompanied by payments to UKIP Head Office account for such sum as shall be determined by the NEC from time to time, drawn against the constituency association or branch bank account, as a contribution towards the cost of the meeting.
For the purposes of this Article, “constituency association” and “branch” shall bear the meaning ascribed to them under the Rules of the Party.
5.9 For the purposes of Article 5.8, a constituency association or branch is deemed to be duly registered only if it has been registered by the Party HQ (following approval by the NEC) for not less than six months before the date of application.
5.10 Upon receipt of a valid application or petition under Article 5.8 hereof, the Party Secretary shall call an Extraordinary General Meeting of the Party to be held within three months of such receipt.
Action to Save UKIP from extinction
The provisions from our constitution reproduced above are now much more onerous than they were when I first drafted such a provision included in our first ever constitution at our UKIP conference at the LSE way back in about 1995 or 1996 when Michael Harvey was our Party Secretary.
However, there is still such a provision and we can invoke it now to solve the crisis in UKIP.
I have requested the Party Chairman to enumerate how many branches amount to 20% of the Party’s duly registered and properly constituted constituency associations or branches and I call upon as many branches as possible to support the call for an EGM.
Among the many changes made to the provision which I first drafted there is the clause which gives the NEC the power to demand of branches an amount towards the cost of such an EGM (which I personally think is unconstitutional) and which means that we should urge the Party Secretary to arrange such an EGM in as low cost a venue as possible. My last act as Regional Organiser for the SE was to arrange the first ever UKIP Regional Conference (in Guildford) and in the course of such arrangements I investigated many venues including University meeting halls and I believe some such would fit the bill for visitor numbers, parking and reasonable road/rail access while being reasonably affordable.
If Party developments mean that we are all going to walk away from UKIP we may as well at least use our branch funds to try to avoid the apocalypse.
Time is short and the requirement for branches to supporting a Party EGM request to have held a branch EGM to approve that support means that, with time for branch committees to call a branch EGM and give the minimum 21 days notice, then for the Party Secretary to give the specified 28 days notice means that we cannot arrange an EGM within less than two months. However, if we set the ball rolling now we may well avoid such huge numbers of resignations among long standing members that we have no party left to save after all. And we may avoid the establishment of competing parties which may well be set up to continue the fight which UKIP was born to fight and which would so divide loyalties and yet not have a hope in hell of getting established quickly enough to have the required impact.
I believe the agenda for an EGM should be along the following lines:
This conference resolves that:
1 All party members who have resigned their UKIP membership within the last twelve months shall, for the purposes of this EGM, be considered to hold valid membership without a break, and shall in all respects be eligible to speak and to stand for election to any office which becomes vacant as a result of this conference.
2 The current Party Leader (Gerard Batten MEP) is bringing the party into disrepute and shall be removed as party leader with immediate effect.
3 Said Gerard Batten be dismissed from the party with immediate effect.
4 That applications from members for the post of Party Leader shall be accepted from the floor at this conference provided that the normal process of Proposer, Seconder and assenters is met and that if this proposal is adopted by this conference we should immediately hold an adjournment to elect a new leader. If no such candidate comes forward the normal party routine for the replacement of a departing leader shall be invoked.
5 that this conference reiterates the party provision for the exclusion of previous members of all banned political organisations.
While we may tidy up the above suggested agenda I sincerely believe that we should progress along these lines as expeditiously as possible. We need to take urgent and decisive action to stop the rot (internally), restore the electorate’s faith in UKIP and to give us any hope of making an impact at significant future elections (which applies the pressure we need to apply on the legacy parties in power).
Stan Oram, Member since December 1994 / 1995 (I’m not sure which!).