The current political system, created centuries ago, is flawed and in need of reform. The system and the establishment have, over the years, failed to keep abreast of changes within our communities, society and the country. It has been reticent to bring about change effectively, with regards to technological advances that make it easier for the public to become more involved with the decisions made on their behalf, as well as the desire and right of the public to be able to fully hold their elected representatives to account. We want to do something about this.
Currently MPs and other paid elected representatives are considered to be self-employed, hence they have no employer and are therefore not fully accountable, giving them the ability to vote however they want. Yes, they are representatives of their individual parties and can have the Party Whip removed, and they can be suspended or ejected from membership of the party. That is all a party can do to them until the next election, when the party can deselect them and replace them with a new candidate.
Within Parliament, actions are limited whereby they can address a lazy, negligent, reluctant, corrupt, criminal or a poor quality elected representative. The only way that they can be removed is at the next election, should enough voters cast ballots for an alternative candidate or as a result of a recall by their electors. However, the recall option can only be activated in certain circumstances as laid down by an Act of Parliament. Guess who stipulated these circumstances? Yes, you guessed it, the elected representatives themselves.
We believe that this situation needs to change. We want to bring about changes that make our elected representatives more accountable to the electorate. We want to change the Recall Act so that the opportunity to recall and remove an elected member is easier. We want to change the employment status of our elected members, making them more accountable and less prone to ignoring their electorate. At present, they serve themselves, live off the gravy train and get rich whilst doing little in the way of serving their constituents. We and the public are fed up of being ignored and taken for granted throughout the parliamentary period. They have to listen to us when they are again seeking our vote but without necessarily hearing us.
We aim to start by setting an example ourselves with regard to our own candidates. We expect our candidates to be fully accountable to you the electorate, the country and the Party; to act with Honour, Courage and Integrity at all times. Our candidates will be working to represent you at all levels of government, local and national, holding politicians and the government to account, seeking to bring common sense back into politics and returning the governance of our county back to you the people.
Each of our candidates must agree, as part of our vetting and selection, to sign a legal contract outlining codes of behaviour, responsibilities, conduct and accountability as part of the Party’s policies for election to public office. We will be the first political party to do this as we seek to make all elected representatives accountable whilst in office. We believe by setting this example and entering into this covenant with the electorate we can start to claw back common sense to, and ownership of, our political system. We will do this on behalf of the British people.
What is the plan for recruitment and the fielding of candidates?
As a newly registered Party with the Electoral Commission, we actively recruit members and candidates. Candidate applicants should be registered as Party members and will be required to complete a thorough application form, sign up to a code of conduct and sign a non-disclosure agreement. Applications will be vetted, references taken and an interview process will be initiated. Applicants who pass the initial vetting stage will be invited for further vetting and consideration as to their suitability, where personality and character are further assessed.
Applicants who pass this second stage will be required to submit to a Disclosure Barring Service Application (formerly a Criminal Records Bureau check). Only after this has been successful will the Party take applicants to the next stage of the process, to be considered for candidature of the Party. Applicants will be required to undertake training, as deemed appropriate by the Party, and attend final applicant interviews prior to acceptance onto the Party’s list of Prospective Party Candidates.
Successful applicants will be required to sign a contract with the Party in regards to their conduct, responsibilities and accountability as a Prospective Party Candidate. This contract will exist and remain in force for as long as the individual is a Party Candidate or holder of elected office. This is in line with the Party’s policy and desire that its candidates and elected representatives are fully accountable to both Party and the electorate, in line with the Party’s stated aim of being the most accountable Party in British politics; also its desire and aim of stopping the rot in the current political establishment, bringing change, hope and ownership of the political system back to the British public and out of the hands of a distant self-serving elite.
This is the start of a number of policies of reform we will be seeking to offer to the country and will release in the future. We aim to be the most accountable party in British Politics.