12 Aug 2009

Statement from the electoral returning officer (ERO)

Statement from the electoral returning officer (ERO)

A contractor working with the party overstepped their authority by sending a message to all local parties making allegations against one of the candidates for External Communications Co-ordinator without that candidate having any possibility of a right to reply. I am treating this as illegal canvassing by that contractor.

This situation is so serious that it has prejudiced the fairness of the postal ballot for External Communications Co-ordinator.

I refer all members to the following section in the Election rules:

5 Conduct of other party members
5.1 Rules of conduct

The ERO has no redress against members who are not candidates in the election. A candidate should not be disqualified due to the actions of another member, unless it is clear that member has acted with the approval of the candidate. However, if, in the opinion of the ERO, the actions of a third party may have materially affected the result of the election, the ERO may declare the election void.

As ERO, with the support of the Standing Orders Committee (SOC), I have taken the decision to call off the postal ballot for the position of External Communications Co-ordinator.

This was not a decision taken lightly.

The election for Chair of the Green party executive is not affected and will continue as normal.

Nominations for the position of External Communications Co-ordinator will re-open at conference, as for other GPEx positions where there were one or zero nominations.

There will be no campaigning allowed for the position of External Communications Co-ordinator until nominations close at conference.

Valid candidates' nominations already submitted will still stand, unless they withdraw, but will be treated in the same way as valid nominations for any other position being re-opened at conference.

These decisions were made with the support of SOC.

Gordon Hodgson
Electoral Returning Officer
Message from the Green Party Executive (GPEx)

A number of local parties and members yesterday received an email from Mark Hill of Living Lightly Limited regarding the party's freepost scheme.

GPEx wishes to reassure members that the claims made in this email are completely incorrect. The letter contains allegations about the actions of GPEx and individual members of GPEx that are completely unfounded.

We are taking legal advice regarding the statements Mark Hill has made.

This DOES NOT mean that the Green Party freepost scheme is ending.

The Green Party Executive is committed to providing full support to local parties who wish to take part in the freepost scheme as part of their local targeting efforts. GPEx will be making suitable arrangements to ensure that happens as a priority, and asks parties to keep their funds in the scheme.

Green Party Executive (GPex)


Anonymous said...

May I say how impressed I am with the way Tracy has handled the very unpleasant and personal accusations made against her. She stuck to the issues and didn’t get into a slanging match with her opponents.

It does bring into question the judgement of her opponents in allowing a highly personal attack on Tracy to appear on their website as an endorsement.

An Activist President said...

I'm now content with the fact that we need some kind of unity candidate to move forward from this episode.

Derek Wall said...

Tracy does not deserve all the attacks she has received...a calm discussion of differences over the freepost would be appropriate, and useful to members who are in the dark over this

I don't though think people with a commercial interest who are paid by the party should intervene, it becomes very problematic if they do.

In this case it has led to the election being suspended.

Anonymous said...

Derek, the important issue in this case was the methods of communication. It had gone beyond blogs and discussion lists to something direct and against the rules.

Anonymous said...

Sorry Act.Pres. I disagree. Tracy has shown great dignety why should she lose out because of the actions of MarK Hill. Before everyone gets to excited about the freepost op, it has its down side...
Mr. Watson - who was declared by Friends of the Earth to be the UK's greenest MEP during the last election - has challenged the Green party in the South West over the credentials of their campaign:

"The environment will always be one of our top priorities and we have remained true to this by sourcing the materials of our election campaign locally. The Green party may make a lot of noise about their values but in fact their campaign leaflets have been produced over 250 miles away in York. The truth is that we are now the real choice for green voters.

We've offset the carbon production of our campaign with the Taunton-based company co2balance - I'd be keen to hear from Ricky Knight and the rest of his team as to whether they've done the same.", Mr. Watson said.

Red Green Nick said...

In the South West many people didn't get the freepost leaflets, I'm sceptical as to how useful they are (outside target areas). I wouldn't take Fib Dem mudslinging too seriously, but its really sad that people are getting so personal over this election.
From my experience in the South West Green party office Tracy was far more personable and helpful than some of her critics.

Anonymous said...

I think a great dis-service has been done to the GPEW. Green will be unable to argue for clean politics after this dirty campaign.

Anonymous said...

clean politics?

oh dear


Anonymous said...

I too have been continually impressed with the way that Tracey Deighton-Brown has conducted both her work as External Communications Coordinator, and her her response to this apalling, degrading, bullying attack. She has not got involved in the slurs and insults, but kept on with the job at hand. I hope those that have masterminded this vile mysogynistic (yes they all seem to be power-hungry males) completely baseless personal campaign are ashamed of themselves for bringing the party into disrepute and holding our politics back by another decade. Shame on them.

Derek Wall said...

yes politics can get heated but the attacks on Tracy have been really over the top and yes she has faced them with dignity.

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