There are two changes, which I set out below which should not be too controversial. They are as follows:
(1) Prior to the Representation of the Peoples Act 2000, amended in 2006, relating to the formal start for recording of a candidate’s expenses during a General Election campaign, each Constituency Association held an Adoption Meeting for the candidate including for sitting MPs. It was this Adoption Meeting which triggered off the recording of expenses. We believe that there should be an Adoption Meeting for all candidates in a General Election in the 12 months prior to a General Election. Now that we have fixed term Parliaments this is easier to calculate. The main reason for this change would be to involve all the members of the Association in the decision. A secondary reason is that with the reduced membership in an Association many Executive Councils are correspondingly small and thus are easily manipulated.
(2) In 2005, when Howard Flight had the Conservative Whip withdrawn he was also banned from the candidates list which prevented him from standing again as a Conservative Candidate. This was a new provision brought in by the 1998 Constitution. The decision appears to have been taken by the then Party Leader. It is wrong that the Party Leader alone should have such power and it is proposed that for a sitting Conservative MP the decision on banning them from the candidates list should only be taken after the approval of the Executive of the 1922 Committee.
I am sending a copy of this letter to Sir Graham Brady as Chairman of the 1922 Committee to ask for his support for the changes.
With best wishes
John E. Strafford