The ISP Constitution sets out the objectives, direction and rules adopted by the party. It also explains how the party is organised and operated across Scotland
1. Name and Registration
The “Independence for Scotland Party (ISP)” (hereafter referred to as ISP or “the party”) will be registered in Great Britain.
It is the current aim of the party to stand for election in the Holyrood 2021 Election and thereafter contest any following Scottish Parliamentary Elections.
In the future, other elections may be contested, either at Council, Westminster or European level.
2. Aims and Objectives
The party’s aims and objectives are as follows:
- Independence for Scotland. To regain Scotland’s independence by any democratic means.
- Equality for everyone that lives in Scotland.
3. Policy and Direction
The policy and direction of the Party shall be that laid down from time to time in accordance with this Constitution and any Rules made under it. Policy and Direction shall always be in line with Aims & Objectives stated above.
4.1 Types of Member
Member – Any person of the age of sixteen or older may apply for membership of the party. The procedure for applying for membership and renewing membership shall be described in the Membership Rules.
Associate Member – A person under sixteen may apply to be an Associate Member of the party. Such Associate Members shall have all the rights and duties of members, except that they may not vote in any body of the party or be eligible for election to any position in the party.
4.2 Joining the Party – Membership Rules.
Membership shall be established in the following manner:
A person shall be approved for membership automatically regardless of citizenship or residency status upon signing the application form and stating that they:
a) Agree to the party’s Aims and Objectives as listed in the Constitution;
b) Are not members of other parties that are standing in Scotland;
c) Are not a proponent of any views, or member of/associated with a group or publication, the objects or activities of which are declared by the Executive Committee to be injurious to the interests of the party or inconsistent with its aims.
4.3 Membership Responsibilities
a) A member shall pay a subscription to the party as stipulated by the Executive Committee.
b) A member is responsible for promoting the aims of the party, and must not actively work against the party, nor bring the party into disrepute.
c) A member may not contest or be a member of any organisation contesting elections in opposition to the party.
4.4 Leaving the Party
Membership shall cease when any of the following occur.
a) The member dies;
b) Intimates his or her resignation to the Executive Committee in writing;
Ceases to pay the membership subscription;
1. Or in other cases as set out hereafter by the Executive Committee.
2. The Executive Committee reserves the right to remove the membership of any members found to be breaching one of the aforementioned stipulations in sections 4.2 and 4.3 above.
5.1 Branch establishment
Branches may only be established with the approval of the Executive Committee.
5.2 Branch Areas
The defined geographical areas of Branches may not overlap, and these areas shall be determined and may be adjusted by the Executive Committee, after consultation with the prospective branch.
5.3 Branch Alignment
Branches shall conduct their business in accordance with, and contribute to the party’s aims and objectives, as determined by the Executive Committee.
5.4 Branch Dissolution
The Executive Committee may, on stating reasons, unilaterally dissolve any Branch. In this case, provision shall be made in the Membership Rules for transfer of remaining membership to other Branches.
5.5 Branch Operation
To be an official branch the branch shall:
a) Have the number of members required by 5.1 of this Constitution;
b) Have paid any levies required by the Executive Committee or by National Conference;
c) Have been established in accordance with 5.1 and have an area of operation determined in accordance with 5.2 of this Constitution;
d) Have the necessary arrangements in place to enable the branch operations to conform with political party registration and the accounting requirements of current legislation;
e) Will conform to the Branch Rules.
5.6 Branch Business
Branches shall conduct their business in accordance with, and contribute to, the party’s aims and objectives, whether determined by the National Conference or the Executive Committee.
5.7 Branch Authority
Branches shall have authority to conduct their own affairs, subject to the Branche Rules and this Constitution.
6. Executive Committee
The committee is the supreme governance body and is responsible for the day to day running of the party. It shall:
a) Make all administrative decisions apart from those delegated to the branch;
b) Create non -executive office bearer party roles as deemed necessary;
c) Constitute functional sub committees with elected members drawn from the party membership;
d) Receive reports from office bearers and committee chairs;
e) Develop and maintain party standing orders and rules;
f) Set the membership fee and branch levies;
g) Authorise crowd funders and appeals for donation;
h) Make all expenditure decisions; the executive committee may delegate some expenditure decisions to the branches but the executive committee remains ultimately accountable for the financial governance;
i) Be responsible for the IT operations including the party website and social media accounts. The executive committee may delegate responsibility for branch social media accounts but the executive committee remains accountable;
j) Be responsible for political strategy and political campaigns;
k) Be the Final Appeal body in the disciplinary process;
l) Be the Appeal body for all disputes within the party.
6.1 Office Holders – Named Roles
- The Party Leader is Colette Walker;
- The Party Deputy Leader is Julie McAnulty;
- The Nominating Officer is Kevin Borthwick;
- The Treasurer is Joan McDowall;
- General Member is Andrew Bentley- Steed .
6.2 Office Holders – Executive Committee (EC)
The founding members listed below shall act as the (initial) Executive Committee:
- Colette Walker
- Joan McDowall
- Julie McAnulty
- Kevin Borthwick
- Andrew Bentley -Steed
The Executive Committee may be expanded in future by two thirds agreement of the existing Executive Committee.
All expenditure of over £250 must be approved in advance by the Executive Committee. Discretionary expenditure of up to £250 in total by the Treasurer or Party Leader does not require prior approval, but must be reported and accounted for at the next Executive Committee meeting.
6.4 Change of Office Holder
6.4.1 Voluntary transfer of role
All officers will hold their post until the decide to step down and the procedure for change shall be as follows: an officer who chooses to stand down will give 28 days notice in writing. The Electoral Commission will be informed of the change of office bearer with at least 14 days’ notice. During that period, the Executive Committee will together vet and select a replacement.
6.4.2 Compelled transfer of role
An officer can be made to stand down, should all the other Executive Committee members declare their lack of confidence in said officer unanimously in writing. The disciplinary process will include provision for 14 days’ notice of the change of officer to be notified to the Electoral Commission. The Executive Committee will vet and select a replacement if required.
a) Meetings of the Executive Committee shall be held once a month.
b) Additional meetings (including but not limited to AGM/EGM) can be held as needed.
c) Attendance via video conference is encouraged to allow accessibility.
d) The quorum shall be (The party leader and three EC members) or (five members of the EC.
e) Minutes of these meetings shall be taken by the nominated delegate, and these minutes shall be made available to all party members. Politically sensitive information maybe redacted from these minutes.
The conduct of the Executive Committee shall be governed by:
1. Executive Committee Standing Orders
2. Rules on the Conduct and Procedure of the Executive Committee.
7. National Conference
National Conference of the Party shall be the supreme policy making body of the Party.
All party members are eligible to participate – provision shall be made for members to fully participate (including proposing and seconding motions) and vote remotely for those members that cannot attend in person. All members will be able to actively participate in the decision- making process, including, but not limited to, any policy propositions and the dissolution of the party.
a) All members shall have an equal vote.
b) Decision shall be by majority vote of the membership.
c) Any member or branch can submit a resolution to conference; it will be considered for inclusion by the standing orders and agenda committee and will be included subject to a vote of party members.
d) National Conference shall meet at least once a year. The Executive Committee shall decide the dates of a National Conference.
e) The conduct of National Conference shall be governed by National Conference standing orders.
f) National Conference will elect office bearers and functional sub -committee members as defined by the Executive Committee.
7.1 The Standing Orders and Agenda Committee
The agenda for National Conference shall be the responsibility of the Standing Orders and Agenda Committee.
The Standing Orders and Agenda Committee shall, in compiling the agenda for National Conference, act in accordance with the National Conference Standing Orders.
Submitted resolutions will be evaluated for competence and if judged competent, will be included on the ballot of agenda items. If judged incompetent, the reason will be communicated to the submitter. The decision can be contested by appealing to the executive committee. The executive committee’s decision is final.
7.1.1 The Standing Orders and Agenda Committee shall comprise:
a) The Party Leader;
b) Two members elected annually by the Executive Committee from among their own number;
c) Four ordinary members, who shall not be members of the Executive Committee, elected annually by National Conference.
8. Candidate Selection
A Candidate Selection Process will be created by the Executive Committee which will allow for a sex balanced list of candidates including, (but not limited to) minorities and disabled people, thus reflecting the diversity of Scotland.
If elected, successful candidates are hereby required to pay to the party 5% of any and all payments, incomes, speaking fees, remuneration and emoluments of any sort generated as a result of holding such elected office.
9. Financial Scheme
The Party has adopted a financial scheme as per attached document, “Independence for Scotland Party – Financial Scheme”.
9.1 Other Financial Provisions
The Executive Committee shall have full control over all monies, funds, property, investments and securities of whatever kind and description belonging to the Party.
The financial affairs of all bodies mentioned in this Constitution must comply with the Financial Scheme.
If a body within the Party goes out of existence or is dissolved, all assets shall become the property of the Party.
The Executive Committee shall set and/or vary the standard rate or rates of membership at its sole discretion. Increases shall be reasonable and no more than 5% per annum over base rate of interest.
Membership rates shall be at a reduced level for unwaged members.
9.2. Process for Dissolution
Dissolution shall be by majority vote of members, as per decision making process in Section 7. Should this be required, a National Conference can be called specifically for the Dissolution of the Party and remote participation facilitated.
10. Registered Office
Registered Office: 22 Monteith Gardens, Clarkston, Glasgow, G76 8NU, Scotland
11. Code of Conduct
The Executive Committee shall draw up and maintain a Code of Conduct for Party Members, and a further Code of Conduct for Elected Members which shall set out minimum standards of behaviour expected from members towards each other and in representing the Party externally.
A Disciplinary Committee shall be established in order to hear complaints and take disciplinary action where it considers necessary, against members of the Party.
The Disciplinary Committee shall be selected and appointed by the Executive Committee, members of which may also be members of the Disciplinary Committee.
12.1 Disciplinary Rules
The Party Leader shall have the power to suspend a member he or she believes has contravened the requirements of the Party’s Constitution. This suspension will be for a temporary or specified period, and the case will be referred immediately to the Disciplinary Committee. The Disciplinary Committee will meet for adjudication within one month of the case being referred to them and will have powers which include the right to expel party members.
The Disciplinary Rules shall set out the disciplinary measures which may be taken against members, but these shall include the power to admonish, suspend for a specified period, or expel a member from the Party.
Any member disciplined shall have a right of appeal to the Executive Committee.
13. Rules and Standing Orders
In addition to where referred to above, the Executive Committee shall draw up and maintain Rules and Standing Orders covering the following at its discretion:
a) The standing orders and rules of all bodies referred to in this Constitution;
b) Selection of candidates to stand at any election in the name of the Party;
c) Conduct of the Party’s elected members and groups at all levels of government;
d) Conduct required of members and party discipline
e) Job descriptions for Party Office Bearers and any other roles it may consider necessary;
f) Any other aspect of the Party’s activity which it considers necessary or appropriate.
All such Rules and Standing Orders shall be based on the principles laid down in this Constitution.
All such Rules and Standing Orders shall be changed only at the volition and approval of a two thirds decision of the Executive Committee in its role as the highest authority of the Party, as laid down in this Constitution.
All Rules and Standing Orders referred to above shall have the same status as if they were incorporated in this Constitution and will be binding on the structures and procedures of the party to which they refer.
In the event of any conflict between such Standing Orders or Rules and this Constitution, the Constitution shall prevail.
14. Changes to this Constitution
Any change to the constitution, structure, or party objectives, shall need to be ratified with the two thirds consent of the Executive Committee.
15. Interpretation of this Constitution
Should any question arise regarding the interpretation of the Constitution, Rules or Standing Orders of the Party, the Party Leader shall adjudicate on the question and his or her reasonable adjudication shall be final.
15.1. Annex 1 – List of Additional Documents
- Branch Rules
- Executive Committee Standing Orders
- National Conference Standing Orders
- Rules on the Conduct and Procedure of the Executive Committee
- Candidate Selection Process
- Financial Scheme
- Code of Conduct – Party Members
- Code of Conduct – Elected Members
- Disciplinary Rules
- Job Descriptions for Party Office Bearers.