Left Unity Constitution: new 2018 version

Left Unity is a party of the radical left, linked to the European Left Party, working in solidarity with like-minded anti-capitalist, anti-imperialist parties internationally. We are socialist, feminist, environmentalist and opposed to all forms of discrimination. We are committed to the interests of working class communities, to defend services and the welfare state, and to support the organisation of labour.

Policies: Left Unity’s policies are decided by annual membership conference and these comprise our detailed positions. The annual membership conference is the sovereign body of the party. Additional policy between conferences is decided by National Council.

Membership: Left Unity is a democratic membership-led organisation, based on a one member, one vote system. Postal votes may be requested. Members are required to pay subscriptions, the rates of which are decided by the party’s National Council. Members will support party policies and abide by the decisions of conference and National Council.

Left Unity is committed to making the party and its events accessible to all members and venues for party events and meetings must be accessible. Left Unity National Council, committees and any other bodies should comprise at least 50% women. Where this proves impossible after a repeat ballot, and where the party’s membership is below 2000, the man with the next highest number of ballots will be deemed elected.

Branches: Left Unity members may organise in geographical or workplace branches. A branch will be recognised as such by National Council where a minimum of three members organise and request to be so recognised. Branches are required to conduct their political work in line with party policy, as agreed by annual conference and National Council. Recognised branches may send one rep, agreed by the branch, to National Council.

Sections: Left Unity members may organise as a Section where there are common interests e.g. Youth and Student, public sector workers etc. They will conduct their work in line with party policy and act in an advisory and informative role to the party and its leadership.

Caucuses: Left Unity members may organise as a Caucus on the basis of a shared oppression e.g women, disabled members, LGBT, black and ethnic minority members. They will conduct their work in line with party policy and act in an advisory and informative role to the party and its leadership.

Platforms: Left Unity members may organise in platforms of like-minded members within the party, to articulate a particular position, but they must work publicly within the policy framework agreed by Left Unity conference and National Council.

National Council: National Council is the elected political leadership of the party, carries out conference decisions, ensures the effective activity of the party between conferences and makes all decisions necessary to advance party policy. It meets every three months.

Its membership comprises the national officers elected by online ballot of the membership, 15 directly elected members elected by online ballot of the membership, a rep from each caucus or section and a rep from each recognised branch.

National Officers: These are national secretary, treasurer, four principal speakers of which at least two must be women, campaigns officer, media officer, membership officer, trade union officer, international officer and nominating officer.

Executive Committee: Between meetings of the National Council, the Executive Committee will ensure the smooth functioning of the party. It will meet once a month, in person or online. It comprises the officer team and five other members of the National Council as agreed by that body.

Annual Membership Conference: The annual membership conference is the sovereign body of the party. There will be one per year but the month may vary. All members may participate on a voting basis, and it is also open to observers.

National Council may decide to have other policy or decision-making conferences during a year, or within 3 months of receiving a resolution from at least half the branches.

The National Council will make all arrangements for the Conference via a Conference Arrangements Committee which will be agreed as a sub-group of the National Council. It may be supplemented by local members. The Conference Arrangements Committee will be responsible for the practical arrangements and functioning of conference. The National Council will agree a subgroup of its members which will act as a Standing Orders Committee, ensuring that submitted motions etc are properly scheduled on an agenda and made available to members in advance. It may be supplemented by other party members as agreed by the National Council.

National Council may decide to have other policy or decision-making conferences during a year, but the annual membership conference is the minimum requirement for party democracy.

Disbandment:

Left Unity can be disbanded by the decision of a Special Conference called for that purpose. Such a conference can be called by a resolution passed by an Annual Membership Conference or by a National Council (NC) resolution passed by 2/3 of NC members.

To be applicable, the disbandment motion must be passed by 2/3 of those members attending the conference.

If the disbandment motion is passed, the NC will oversee the process. All remaining Left Unity monies will be donated to an organisation which shares the values and objectives of Left Unity, as determined by the NC.

Disputes and Discipline: If party members wish to make a complaint about another member, or party body, they should contact the party’s Disputes Committee.

Where a member is considered to have acted against the interests of the party or engaged in conduct prejudicial to the party, a member or party body will refer their case to the Disputes Committee.

Disputes Committee:

The Disputes Committee comprises three members and is elected by online ballot of members. Postal ballots are available. Where there is no election of a Disputes Committee, the National Council will appoint a sub-committee to carry out this function.

The Disputes Committee (or sub-committee if in place) shall have the power to suspend a member from membership of the party for up to 3 months while the dispute is being considered. Extensions to this suspension can only be made if the Disputes Committee has good reason to believe that the member has failed to cooperate with the investigation.

The Disputes Committee (or sub-committee if in place) is empowered to undertake a number of sanctions, such as limiting involvement in branches, sections and caucuses; roles and officerships in the party at a local, national or regional level; up to expulsion from the party.

Appeals Committee:

The Appeals Committee comprises three members and is elected by online ballot of members. Postal ballots are available. Where there is no election of an Appeals Committee, the National Council will appoint a sub-committee to carry out this function.

Where either side is unhappy with the decision of the Disputes Committee they make take this to the Appeals Committee (or sub-committee if in place). The Appeals Committee will review any appeals. Where either side is unhappy with the decision of the Appeals Committee they may take it to the annual membership conference which is the sovereign body of the party.

Standing Orders:

The National Council shall set its own Standing Orders.

All branches, sections and caucuses and party committees may devise their own standing orders, subject to approval by the National Council.

Finance:

  1. All monies received by or on behalf of Left Unity shall be applied to further the aims of Left Unity and for no other purpose.
  2. Any bank accounts opened for Left Unity shall be in the name of Left Unity.
  3. Any cheque issued shall be signed by the Treasurer and at least one other member of the National Council.
  4. Audited accounts will be presented at the Annual Membership Conference.

 

 


Left Unity is active in movements and campaigns across the left, working to create an alternative to the main political parties.

About Left Unity   Read our manifesto

Left Unity is a member of the European Left Party.

Read the European Left Manifesto  

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September and October
Remain Reform Revolt, public meetings

In Southampton, Manchester, Cambridge, Newcastle, Nottingham and Sunderland. Organised by Another Europe Is Possible and with a great lineup.

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8-10 Nov
European Forum, Brussels

The annual event for progressive, environmental and left forces will take place in Brussels. If you are interested in attending contact info@leftunity.org

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