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THE 1960 LABOUR PARTY CONSTITUTION

 

Clause I. - NAME. The Labour Party

 

Clause II. - MEMBERSHIP

 

(I) There shall be two classes of members, namely:

(a) Affiliated Members. (b) Individual Members.

 

(2) Affiliated Members shall consist of:

(a) Trade Unions affiliated to the Trades Union Congress or recognised by the General Council of the Trades Union Congress as bonafide Trade Unions.

(b) Co-operative Societies.

(c) Socialist Societies.

(d) Professional organisations which, in the opinion of the National Executive Committee, have interests consistent with those of other affiliated organisations.

(e) Constituency Labour Parties and Central Labour Parties in Divided Boroughs.

(f) County or Area Federations of Constituency Labour Parties, hereinafter referred to as Federations.

 

(3) Political organisations not affiliated to or associated under a National Agreement with the Party on I January I946, having their own Programme, Principles and Policy for distinctive and separate propaganda, or possessing Branches in the Constituencies or engaged in the promotion of Parliamentary or Local Government Candidatures, or owing allegiance to any political organisation situated abroad, shall be ineligible for affiliation to the Party.

 

(4) Individual Members shall be persons of not less than fifteen years of age who subscribe to the conditions of membership, provided they are not members of Political Parties or organisations ancillary or subsidiary thereto declared by the Annual Conference of the Labour Party (hereinafter referred to as 'the Party') or by the National Executive Committee in pursuance of Conference decisions to be ineligible for affiliation to the Party.

 

(5) British citizens temporarily resident abroad may become Individual Members, or retain such membership of the Party, by enrolment with the Head Office provided they accept the conditions of membership in Clause III.

 

Clause III. - CONDITIONS OF MEMBERSHIP

 

(1) Each affiliated organisation must:

(a) Accept the Programme, Principles and Policy of the Party.

(b) Agree to conform to the Constitution and Standing Orders of the Party.

(c) Submit its Political Rules to the National Executive Committee.

 

(2) Each Constituency Labour Party, Central Labour Party, and Federation must, in addition to the conditions mentioned in Section I of this Clause, adopt the Rules laid down by the Party Conference.

 

(3) Each Individual Member must:

(a) Accept and conform to the Constitution, Programme, Principles and Policy of the Party.

(b) If eligible, be a member of a Trade Union affiliated to the Trades Union Congress or recognised by the General Council of the Trades Union Congress as a bona fide Trade Union.

(c) Unless temporarily resident abroad, be a member of a Constituency Labour Party, either where he or she resides, or where he or she is registered as a Parliamentary or Local Government elector.

 

Clause IV. - PARTY OBJECTS NATIONAL

 

(1) To organise and maintain in Parliament and in the country a Political Labour Party.

 

(2) To co-operate with the General Council of the Trades Union Congress, or other Kindred Organisations, in joint political or other action in harmony with the Party Constitution and Standing Orders.

 

(3) To give effect as far as may be practicable to the principles from time to time approved by the Party Conference.

 

(4) To secure for the workers by hand or by brain the full fruits of their industry and the most equitable distribution thereof that may be possible upon the basis of the common ownership of the means of production, distribution, and exchange, and the best obtainable system of popular administration and control of each industry or service

 

(5) Generally to promote the Political, Social and Economic Emancipation of the People, and more particularly of those who depend directly upon their own exertions by hand or by brain for the means of life.

 

INTER-COMMONWEALTH

(6) To co-operate with the Labour and Socialist organisations in the Commonwealth Overseas with a view to promoting the purposes of the Party, and to take common action for the promotion of a higher standard of social and economic life for the working population of the respective countries.

 

INTERNATIONAL

(7) To co-operate with the Labour and Socialist organisations in other countries and to support the United Nations Organisation and its various agencies and other international organisations for the promotion of peace, the adjustment and settlement of international disputes by conciliation or judicial arbitration, the establishment and defence of human rights, and the improvement of the social and economic standards and conditions of work of the people of the world.

 

Clause V. - PARTY PROGRAMME

 

(1) The Party Conference shall decide from time to time what specific proposals of legislative, financial or administrative reform shall be included in the Party Programme. No proposal shall be included in the Party Programme unless it has been adopted by the Party Conference by a majority of not less than two-thirds of the votes recorded on a card vote.

 

(2) The National Executive Committee and the Parliamentary Committee of the Parliamentary Labour Party shall decide which items from the Party Programme shall be included in the Manifesto which shall be issued by the National Executive Committee prior to every General Election. The Joint Meeting of the two Committees shall also define the attitude of the Party to the principal issues raised by the Election which are not covered by the Manifesto.

 

Clause VI. - THE PARTY CONFERENCE

 

(1) The work of the Party shall be under the direction and control of the Party Conference, which shall itself be subject to the Constitution and Standing Orders of the Party. The Party Conference shall meet regularly once in every year and also at such other times as it may be convened by the National Executive Committee.

 

(2) The Party Conference shall be constituted as follows:

(a) Delegates duly appointed by each affiliated Trade Union or other organisations to the number of one delegate for each 5,000 members or part thereof on whom affiliation fees and byelection insurance premiums were paid for the year ending 31 December preceding the Conference.

(b) Delegates duly appointed by Constituency Labour Parties (or Trades Councils acting as such) to the number of one delegate for each ooo individual members or part thereof on whom affiliation fees and by-election insurance premiums were paid for the year ending 31 December preceding the Conference; where the individual and affiliated women's membership exceeds 2,500 an additional woman delegate may be appointed; where the membership of Young Socialist Branches within a constituency is 200 or more an additional Young Socialist delegate may be appointed.

(c) Delegates duly appointed by Central Labour Parties or Trades Councils acting as such in Divided Boroughs not exceeding one for each Central Labour Party provided the affiliation fees and by-election insurance premiums have been paid for the year ending 3 I December preceding the Conference.

(d) Delegates duly appointed by Federations not exceeding one for each Federation provided the affiliation fees have been paid for the year ending 3I December preceding the Conference.

(e) Ex officio Members of the Party Conference as follows:

(i) Members of the National Executive Committee.

(ii) Members of the Parliamentary Labour Party.

(iii) Parliamentary Labour Candidates whose candidatures have been duly endorsed by the National Executive Committee.

(iv) The Secretary of the Party. Ex officio Members shall have no voting power.

(f) Any special Party Conference shall be called on the same basis of representation as that upon which the last Annual Party Conference was convened.

 

(3) In the event of a duly appointed delegate being elected as Treasurer or as a member of the National Executive Committee, the Affiliated Organisation responsible for his or her appointment as a delegate may claim authority at subsequent Party Conferences during his or her period of Office, to appoint a delegate additional to the number applicable to it under paras. (a), (b) and (c) of Section 2 of this Clause, provided the delegate elected as Treasurer or as a member of the National Executive Committee: (i) Remains qualified to be appointed as a delegate under Clause VII; and (ii) Continues to be duly appointed as a delegate by the Affiliated Organisation claiming authority to appoint an additional delegate within the provisions of this Section.

 

Clause VII. - APPOINTMENT OF DELEGATES TO THE PARTY CONFERENCE

 

(1) Every Delegate must be an individual member of the Labour Party as described in Clause II, Section 4, except persons resident in Northern Ireland who are duly appointed Delegates of affiliated trade unions and who individually accept and conform to the Constitution, Programme, Principles and Policy of the Party.

 

(2) Delegates must be bona fide members or paid permanent officials of the organisation appointing them, except in the case of Members of the Parliamentary Labour Party or dulyendorsed Parliamentary Labour Candidates appointed to represent Constituencies in accordance with Section 4 of this Clause.

 

(3) Delegates appointed by Federations or Central Labour Parties must be resident within the area of the organisation concerned or be registered therein as Parliamentary or Local Government electors.

 

(4) Members of the Parliamentary Labour Party and dulyendorsed Parliamentary Labour Candidates may be appointed as Delegates by Constituency Labour Parties responsible for their candidatures; otherwise, Delegates appointed by Constituency Labour Parties must be resident in the Constituency appointing them, or registered as Parliamentary or Local Government electors therein.

 

(5) No person shall act as a Delegate for more than one organisation.

 

(6) No person shall act as a Delegate who does not pay the political levy of his or her Trade Union.

 

(7) Members of Parliament not members of the Parliamentary Labour Party are ineligible to act as Delegates.

 

(8) The following are also ineligible to act as Delegates:

(a) Persons acting as candidates or supporting candidates in opposition to duly-endorsed Labour Candidates.

(b) Persons who are members of political parties or organisations ancillary or subsidiary thereto declared by the Annual Party Conference or by the National Executive Committee in pursuance of the Conference decisions to be ineligible for affiliation to the Labour Party.

 

Clause VIII. - THE NATIONAL EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE

 

(1) There shall be a National Executive Committee of the Party consisting of 25 members and a Treasurer, elected by the Party Conference at its regular Annual Meeting in such proportion and under such conditions as may be set out in the Standing Orders for the time being in force. The Leader and Deputy Leader of the Parliamentary Labour Party shall be ex officio members of the National Executive Committee. The National Executive Committee shall, subject to the control and directions of the Party Conference, be the Administrative Authority of the Party.

 

(2) The duties and powers of the National Executive Committee shall include the following:

(a) To ensure the establishment of, and to keep in active operation, a Constituency Labour Party in every Constituency, a Central Labour Party in every Divided Borough and a Federation in every suitable area, in accordance with the Rules laid down by the Party Conference for the purpose.

(b) To enforce the Constitution, Standing Orders, and Rules of the Party and to take any action it deems necessary for such purpose, whether by way of disaffiliation of an organisation or expulsion of an individual, or otherwise. Any such action shall be reported to the next Annual Conference of the Party.

(c) To confer with the Parliamentary Labour Party at the opening of each Parliamentary Session, and at any other time when it or the Parliamentary Party may desire a conference on any matters relating to the work and progress of the Party.

(d) To see that all its Officers and members conform to the Constitution, Rules and Standing Orders of the Party.

(e) To present to the Annual Party Conference a Report covering the work and progress of the Party during its period of office, together with a Financial Statement and Accounts duly audited. The Report, Financial Statement and Accounts shall be sent to affiliated organisations at least two clear weeks before the opening of the Annual Party Conference.

(f) To propose to the Annual Party Conference such APPENDIX I amendments to the Constitution, Rules and Standing Orders as may be deemed desirable and to submit to the Annual Party Conference or to any Special Party Conference, called in accordance with the Standing Orders, such resolutions and declarations affecting the Programme, Principles and Policy of the Party as in its view may be necessitated by political circumstances.

(g) To organise and maintain such fund or funds as may be thought necessary for any or all of the objects for which the Party exists, including a fund to finance Parliamentary byelections and a fund established for the purpose of insuring against the forfeiture of Returning Officers' Deposits at every Parliamentary General Election.

(h) To secure advances from time to time or to raise loans, either on mortgage or otherwise and on such terms as it may deem expedient; to employ any part of the funds at its disposal in the purchase of any freehold or leasehold building or site and for in the building, leasing holding or rental of any premises and in the fitting-up and maintenance thereof; and to invest any moneys not immediately required in such securities as it may deem proper and to realise or to vary such investments from time to time and to appoint Trustees andfor form a Society, Association, Company or Companies in accordance with the provisions of the Friendly Societies Acts or the Companies Acts for any or all of the above purposes and to define the powers of such Trustees, Society, Association, Company or Companies and the manner in which such powers shall be exercised.

(i) To sanction, where local circumstances render it necessary, modifications in the rules laid down by the Annual Party Conference for the various classes of Party Organisations in the Constituencies and Regions, provided that such modifications comply with the spirit and intention of the Annual Party Conference and do not alter the objects, basis or conditions of affiliated and individual membership, vary the procedure for the selection of Parliamentary Candidates (except as provided in the rules) or effect a change in the relationship of Central Labour Parties or Constituency Labour Parties with the Labour Party.

 

(3) The decision of the National Executive Committee, subject to any modification by the Party Conference, as to the meaning and effect of any rule or any part of this Constitution and Standing Orders, shall be final.

 

(4) The National Executive Committee shall have power to adjudicate in disputes that may arise between affiliated and other Party organisations, and in disputes which occur within the Party's Regional, Federation, or Constituency machinery, and its decisions shall be binding on all organisations concerned.

 

Clause IX. - PARLIAMENTARY CANDIDATURES

 

(1) The National Executive Committee shall co-operate with the Constituency Labour Party for each Constituency in selecting a Labour Candidate for any Parliamentary Election.

 

(2) The selection of Labour Candidates for Parliamentary Elections shall be made in accordance with the procedure laid down by the Annual Party Conference in the Rules which apply to Constituency and Central Labour Parties.

 

(3) The selection of Labour Candidates for Parliamentary Elections shall not be regarded as completed until the name of the person selected has been placed before a meeting of the National Executive Committee, and his or her selection has been duly endorsed.

 

(4) No Parliamentary candidature shall be endorsed until the National Executive Committee has received an undertaking by one of its affiliated organisations (or is otherwise satisfied) that the election expenses of the Candidate are guaranteed.

 

(5) Labour Candidates for Parliamentary Elections duly endorsed by the National Executive Committee shall appear before the electors under the designation of' Labour Candidate' only. At any Parliamentary General Election they shall include in their Election Addresses and give prominence in their campaigns to the issues for that Election as defined by the National Executive Committee in its Manifesto.

 

(6) At a Parliamentary By-Election a duly-endorsed Labour Candidate shall submit his or her Election Address to the National Executive Committee for approval. The National APPENDIX I Executive Committee, whenever it considers it necessary shall give advice and guidance on any special issue to be raised, or in the conduct of the Campaign during such By-Election.

 

(7) No person may be selected as a Parliamentary Labour Candidate by a Constituency Labour Party, and no Candidate may be endorsed by the National Executive Committee, if the person concerned:

(a) is not an Individual Member of the Party and, if eligible, is not a member of a Trade Union affiliated to the Trades Union Congress or recognised by the General Council of the Trades Union Congress as a bonafide Trade Union; or

(b) is a member of a Political Party or organisation ancillary or subsidiary thereto declared by the Annual Party Conference or by the National Executive Committee in pursuance of Conference decisions to be ineligible for affiliation to the Labour Party; or

(c) does not accept and conform to the Constitution, Programme, Principles and Policy of the Party; or (d) does not undertake to accept and act in harmony with the Standing Orders of the Parliamentary Labour Party.

(8) Any Candidate who, after election, fails to accept or act in harmony with the Standing Orders of the Parliamentary Labour Party shall be considered to have violated the terms of this Constitution.

 

Clause X. - AFFILIATION AND MEMBERSHIP FEES

 

(1) Each affiliated organisation (other than Federations, Constituency and Central Labour Parties) shall pay an affiliation fee of Is. per member per annum to the Party.

 

(2) Each Constituency Labour Party shall pay an affiliation fee of Is. per annum on each individual member attached to the Party directly or indirectly through its local Labour Parties, Polling District Committees, Ward Committees and Women's Sections, subject to a minimum payment of so per annum.

 

(3) Each Central Labour Party shall pay an affiliation fee at the rate of 5 per annum for each Constituency Labour Party within the Divided Borough.

 

(4) Each County Federation shall pay affiliation fees in accordance with the following scale: Per annum Federations of 2, 3 or 4 Constituency or C.L.P. I or 2, 3, 4 or 6.

 

(5) Each Individual Member of the Party shall pay a minimum membership fee of Is. monthly to the Party to which he or she is attached in the manner laid down in Constituency and Local Labour Party Rules except Old Age Pensioners who have retired from work and they shall be allowed Individual Membership of the Party on the minimum payment of Is. per annum. These contributions shall be entered on membership cards supplied by the National Executive Committee to Constituency Parties at Is. per card, which sum shall include the affiliation fee payable by such organisation to the Party in respect of such members.

 

Clause XI. - PARTY CONFERENCE ARRANGEMENTS COMMITTEE

 

(I) There shall be appointed in accordance with the Standing Orders at each Annual Party Conference a Party Conference Arrangements Committee of Five Delegates for the Annual Party Conference in the year succeeding its appointment, or for any Party Conference called during the intervening period. A member of the Head Office staff shall act as Secretary to the Committee.

 

(2) The duties of the Party Conference Arrangements Committee shall be:

(a) To arrange the order of the Party Conference Agenda.

(b) To act as a Standing Orders Committee.

(c) To appoint Scrutineers and Tellers for the Annual Party Conference from among the Delegates whose names have been received at the Head Office of the Party two clear weeks prior to the opening of the Conference and submit them for approval to the Conference. In the case of a Special Party Conference called under Clause VI, the National Executive Committee may appoint a date prior to which such names must be received.

 

Clause XII. - AUDITORS

 

There shall be appointed in accordance with the Standing Orders at each Annual Party Conference two Delegates to act as Auditors of the Party Accounts to be submitted at the Annual Party Conference next succeeding that at which they are appointed.

 

Clause XIII. - ALTERATION TO CONSTITUTION AND RULES

 

The existing Constitution and Rules or any part thereof, may be amended, rescinded, altered or additions made thereto, by Resolution, carried on a card vote at an Annual Party Conference (in manner provided in the Standing Orders appended hereto) held in every third year following the year I956, unless the National Executive Committee advises that amendments shall be specially considered at any Annual Party Conference. Notice of Resolutions embodying any such proposals must be sent in writing to the Secretary at the Offices of the Party as provided in Standing Orders.

 

Clause XIV. - STANDING ORDERS

 

The Standing Orders of the Party Conference shall be considered for all purposes as if they form part of this Constitution and shall have effect accordingly. New Standing Orders may be made when required, or the existing Standing Orders amended, rescinded, or altered by Resolution in the same manner as provided for alterations in the Constitution itself.

 

END.

(Source Labour Party Rulebook 1960)

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