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

Sunday, November 28, 2004 

EGMs, Conferences, Extraordinary Conferences - If a man's got to go ----

I have received two similar communications on the possible legal quibble over whether Roger Knapman should stand down . The point not to be lost in all this is, of course, that if the majority of party members do not wish their leader to continue in his post in the run-up to a general election, has he any alternative other than to stand down ( only a man with zero conscience and similar concern for his party's cause could even consider continuing for more than a nanosecond surely?).

What political party would have any chance of victory with a leader the members clearly do not want. Only someone desiring an electoral fiasco could possibly contemplate continuing in such a scenario.

That said I quote the e-mails I received on the topic. Both of these quote in full the UKIP Constitution, January 2001 version, Section 8.3 and Section 6.0 and 7.19 which I will not repeat here. Those wishing to study the contradictory constitutional provisions and legalities, having probably already lost the plot in my view, can therefore seek it for themselves!

Earliest E-mail


I believe they may be trying to differentiate between what is "the Party conference" (in 8.3 below) and an "Extraordinary Conference" (as in 6.10 below). I have copied the two constitutional paragraphs complete. Effectively what they are saying then is that the party leader cannot be deposed by party members EXCEPT at an Annual Conference (BTW - where's the procedure for initiating that debate then???) OR IF the NEC first pass a vote of no confidence in the leader - and then allow party members their say at an "Emergency General Meeting" (which is NOT a "conference"). In a nutshell - they're playing with words - aided and abetted by a ridiculously inept constitution.

To which I replied


I had noted that seeming contradiction when quoting this part of the constitution before. Whatever the leagalities and quibbles, what kind of man would consider staying in his post if a vote had been passed indicating he should go, particularly on such a thin pretext.

Certainly shows the true worth of the Party Secretary and Chairman!!


The second communication was from Mr Denis Cooper, from which I have removed the Constitutional Quotes:
Martin On your blog today you quote this passage from a letter sent out to UKIP branches, referring to recent calls for an "EGM":

"Finally we feel bound to mention that our informal legal soundings have suggested that the wording of the Party Constitution might not be unequivocally construed as constituting a mechanism for triggering a leadership election"

That is correct. Presumably that is why the last such "EGM" on January 22nd 2000 attempted to get round it by having as Item 6, and the first formal motion, the following so-called "Technical Motion":

"This Extraordinary Conference takes to itself the powers of an Emergency General Meeting as defined by Paragraph 8.3 of the Party Constitution" disregarding the fact that even Paragraph 8.3 does not give UKIP members the right to act alone to oust their leader and precipitate a leadership election at an "Emergency General Meeting", but only to endorse a previous vote of no confidence passed by the NEC - and that NEC vote was a hotly disputed matter.

The members, acting alone, can only force a leadership election at "the Party Conference". See below. I doubt if the proceedings of that "EGM" would have stood up in a court of law, but more to the point the meeting while necessary and in fact inevitable would have been a complete disgrace for any party, let alone one which presents itself to the public as the defender of sound constitutional principles.

One member was so distressed that he suffered a heart attack during the meeting, and I believe later died, which might have shamed senior members into looking seriously at how the party could conduct its affairs in an orderly and civilised manner.

Not so apparently - five years on, and UKIP is again in a similar mess. At an earlier meeting in the Civil Service Club, on January 13th 2000 - a South East Region Committee Meeting, but opened to all SE branch chairmen by Nigel Farage - my sole contribution was to say that: "We must get a Constitution that works, and then stick to it".

It was blindingly obvious then, as now, that UKIP members cannot rely on the leader and NEC members to take an impartial view on questions like: "Under the UKIP Constitution, must there now be a leadership election?" and so all such questions must be taken away from them, and be decided by an independent judicial arm. Of course it would be a damn sight better if Knapman would play the man and accept the challenge from Kilroy-Silk.

Let the members choose who they would now prefer to follow, and "may the best man win". He is doing UKIP a lot of damage by trying to hide behind procedural technicalities, even if they are valid, and in fact the longer he does that the fewer members will vote for him when the election finally happens.

Maybe individual UKIP members should write to him, and tell him that he should stop being such a wimp, and put his popularity to the test in an election. It could be done quite quickly, and that would settle it. "He either fears his fate too much, Or his deserts are small, That dares not put it to the touch. To gain or lose it all."

posted by Martin |2:24 PM
www Ukip Uncovered
This site is a member of WebRing.
To browse visit Here.
Copyright © 2006 Martin Cole.
contact us
my other blogs
nigel farage
landmark links
fired treasurer
glw incitement
glw & farage
a complaint
a neutered nec
graham booth
derek clark
mark croucher
michael harvey
roger knapman
mike nattrass
buy my book
Copyright © 2003/6 Martin Cole.