Image by Richard Rutter
In a message to emailed members, and available online, Tim Carpenter has announced his intention to call an SGM:
This meeting is essential, in my view, as the Leader, Chair and Treasurer have resigned without and still refusing to sign over replacements as per Electoral Law, and so these posts should, in my view, be filled by popular mandate
The constitution of the Party contains a serious flaw in that it places itself entirely under the sovereignty of electoral law. In effect, caving in, in advance, to any conflict between the electoral department of our imperfect government and the interests of the governed, however. This clause was cited in support of the argument that Andrew Withers, and Nic Coombe remain official leader and chair, since they remain registered as such. Since the treasurer has resigned, the electoral law is again sovereign when it nominates the leader to be interim treasurer.
In the message Tim pauses to condemn the continued withholding of financial information by the registered Treasurer:
The post of Treasurer may be problematic as access to the bank account and all historic documentation is still being withheld from the remaining members of the NCC, who, as per the Constitution, have a right to oversee the financial affairs of the Party. We hope the open and democratic nature of the above plan will make those responsible for this realise that I and others of the NCC wish the membership to decide the future of the party and to know what has happened. To resist that request is, in my view, to hold the membership in contempt and I will not stand for that. Should that situation persist and a Treasurer not be elected or, if they are, denied full and complete transfer, then I will support immediate use of legal/offical avenues without fear or favour. I believe you would expect nothing less from the NCC.
We know, thanks to Ken Ferguson’s minority report that there are expenses claimed by Andrew Withers that require explanation:
two of the transfers marked A P Withers are described as “Election Expenses” and party members might be interested to ask why LPUK funds appear to have been used to fight an uncontested parish council election on an “Independent” platform.
The sovereignty of the Electoral Commission does have it’s advantages, as it provides for a mechanism to reallocate control of the Party by official diktat:
The officers in post will then be able to follow the Electoral Commission’s advice given to me of contacting the Electoral Commission with this mandate so as to resolve the bureaucratic impasse.
It is, of course, entirely reasonable to expect the Government to intervene in cases where the control of an asset – the Libertarian Party accounts and name – is disputed. But as Tim concludes:
It would, however, be much simpler if those who have the means to make this transition dignified and correct, do so, by transferring the official posts in accordance with the membership’s wishes.