UKIP Uncovered
What motivates the leaders of the United Kingdom Independence Party?

Friday, September 12, 2003 

It's Official! UKIP faces Constitutional Crisis

The following is an internal Memorandum sent out by UKIP's General Secretary following last Monday's NEC meeting and the attempted dismissal of the Party Treasurer.

To: UKIP Constituency/BranchlRegional Chairmen and Treasurers
Cc: NEC members, Regional Organisers
From; Michael Harvey, General Secretary
Date: 9 September 2003
Re: Removal from offlce of the Party Treasurer I feel it is my duty to inform you of a serious situation that has arisen as a result of yesterdays NEC meeting, which I fear has placed the Party in an unconstitutional position for the first time since 1999 and has potentially
put it in financial peril. The question of the Party Treasurer's tenure was unexpectedly included on yesterday's NEC agenda by the Party Chairman. Under the Party Constitution,
the Treasurer's tenure is annual; John de Roeck was first appointed by the NEC in May 2000. To date, including this May, renewal of his tenure was automatic and has never even been formally discussed or minuted because it was not considered a contentious matter.

In view of yesterday's agenda, a motion to renew the Treasurer's tenure backdated
to May l 2003 was duly proposed. At this point the Party Leader, Party Chairman,
Party Secretary and Nigel Farage MEP all stated that they could no longer work with the Party Treasurer. Amid some confusion, the ensuing NEC vote was tied. The Party Chairman used his casting vote against the motion to renew the Party Treasurer's tenure, so John de Roeck was purportedly removed as Party Treasurer. It is debatable whether the vote was valid but, were it to stand, the NEC has removed the Treasurer from office, bizarrely backdated to May. No attempt was made at yesterday's meeting to appoint a new treasurer, although a replacement
is now being sought. This places the Party in an unconstitutional state. Moreover, to lose an experienced Treasurer at a time when Party finances are under pressure shows questionable judgement. It may be possible to find a replacement with financial expertise, but unlikely in the extreme that they will be well- versed in the arcane and complex Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000.

Relations between the Party Treasurer and other Party Officers have recently been strained. Mr de Roeck has been striving to restore the Party to a reasonable financial state following a large overspend by the Party leadership in the recent Scottish and Welsh elections. Also he has been attempting to ensure that proper financial and database protection controls are implemented over the new operation in the South East region. It often falls to the Party
Treasurer to be unpopular in pursuing his duty to protect the financial well-being of the Party, but this does not constitute grounds for removal from office.

Mr de Roeck has served the Party as Treasurer for 3½ years restoring its financial health on taking office, and he enjoys the full confidence of Head Office staff and, I believe, the branches to manage the Party's finances. The NEC can rectify the situation by immediately nullifying its vote and confirming Mr de Roeck as continuing in office. Otherwise it may fall to the branches, as it did in January 2000, to exercise their power at the forthcoming Annual Conference to restore the Party to a constitutional and financially secure state.
Michael Harvey
General Secretary

posted by Martin |2:07 PM
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