Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Police can veto who goes to Lib Dem Conference ?!!?

Today I received a message from Liberal Democrat HQ telling me that I must supply my passport (or other ID) details if I want to attend party conference. Guidelines on the website make it clear that the information will be passed to the police. They also make it clear that I may be refused "accreditation" presumably on police advice. There is nothing in our party constitution about accreditation. Local parties elect representatives and there is no power for the party nationally to choose which of these may attend. We must fight this illiberal procedure which is against what we stand for and our constitution.

Extracts from the website
"...all applicants will be required to complete a more comprehensive security pass application. These details will be passed onto the police to carry out their own accreditation procedures. Please note that Police Accreditation will be carried out by Greater Manchester Police on behalf of West Midlands Police.

In the unlikely event that your accreditation is unsuccessful, you will be issued a full refund of your registration fees. The Liberal Democrats will not accept liability for any additional costs incurred by the applicant."

"The submission of the application form does not confer any right upon the applicant to attend the conference and the Liberal Democrats reserve the right to refuse admission.
Your data will be stored in the Liberal Democrats secure conference registration system and will be made available for future conferences to speed up your registration process, in addition to keeping you updated on Party conferences. It may also be used for anonymous statistical analysis.
The information supplied by you will be provided to the relevant Constabulary for storage on a computer system in connection with the policing arrangements for the Party Conference. The information will be retained and/or passed to other police forces in the future to assist with the accreditation of subsequent political conferences only. Details of the data stored may be obtained in accordance with the provisions of the Data Protection Act.
The Liberal Democrats and police will comply with the provisions of the Data Protection Act 1998 at all times with regards to any of your data held.

Extracts from Liberal Democrat Federal Constitution

Article 6: The Federal Conference
6.1 The conference will consist of
(a) Representatives of Local Parties...
6.3 Representatives of Local Parties shall be elected by all members of the Local Party concerned...


Hywel said...

The party has always had an underlying right to refuse admission to conference to someone (even a representative).

I think this has happened in the past where a member was involved in a disturbance so it isn't completely unparalled.

Unknown said...

I'm not at all happy about this. We should lobby Federal Conference Committee.

I've blogged here about it:

David said...

@Hywel. There is no provision in the party constitution to refuse attendance to an elected representative before they have even arrived. You may be thinking of public order legislation which allows for the removal of people who cause a disturbance, AFTER they have caused it.