Conference begins tomorrow afternoon, however there is a series of pre-meetings which take place on the eve of conference (today).
Before I got into the meetings there are a few things around delegates who have been suspended or received a 'notice of investigation' (NOI)
Billy and I had received a handful of emails from CLPs and/or their delegates that their elected delegated had been informed that they were either suspended or received a 'notice of investigation'.
We have sought clarity from the Governance and Legal Unit (GLU) and they have said:
1. If a member has been suspended they cannot attend conference and are no longer allowed to be a delegate.
2. If they were the only delegate for their CLP, the CLP can ask for a visitor who was attending conference (and passed the security check) to be promoted to act and vote as their delegate.
3. If there were other delegates of the CLP also attending then they will get the proportion of the voting power of the suspended member. So if 2 delegates were attending, they would have 50/50 but the sole delegate will not have the full 100.
4. If the delegate received a 'notice of investigation' then they can still attend conference and still continue to be a delegate.
Meeting 1: 3pm
At this meeting we looked at emergency motions and reference backs.
It is obvious what constitutes an 'emergency' is subjective and what the ask is from conference needs to relate to that emergency.
So we cannot have a motion stating on the 20th September there was a national Marmite shortage declared and then ask for us to lift the ban on Marmite in Denmark, it's irrelevant to the shortage. (And if Denmark doesn't want it, then more for us - yum!).
Party staff guided us, with recommendations, some were upheld, others were heavily debated and some were ruled in. Those ruled out will have the chance to appeal, however 2 exceeded the word limit... they can still appeal.
We moved to the Reference Backs and this was much more straight forward.
Meeting 2: 9pm
It's usually this meeting that feels like a 4 hour wait in A&E as we're waiting for the NEC to conclude their meeting to then go through the NEC Constitutional Amendments (rule changes).
However, the NEC had finished and were already in bed!
We will talked through the changes, (more headings) and were informed a further set were coming through after the NEC meeting at 11am on (Sat).
Myself and Billy expressed our concerns, as we do every year, that CLPs have to submit in June (July this year) and yet the NEC put in literally at the 11th hour. It feels and to be honest is, very unfair.
However maybe a Constitutional Amendments is needed for that.
As a result, the rule changes will be heard in two batches, first batch on day one (Sat) and second batch on day two (Sun)
We ensured that the consequences of voting for an NEC rule change should be made clear in the CAC report if voting for it rules another one from a CLP out of order. This was agreed and done in 2019 and we were assured it would be going forward, including for this year.
Proposing and Seconding Constitutional Amendments
I was approached by several members who stated that their rule change proposer and seconder (if multiple CLPs put in the same) would be selected by the CAC..... Like we don't need sleep!
It was clarified that the CAC office will inform delegates who else has put in the same rule change and they will need to let us know who is proposing and seconding. It's not our role to choose.