Momentum constitution – read it in full

11th January, 2017 9:47 am

Momentum

This is the full constitution of Momentum – published last night.

1. Name
The name of the association is Momentum.

2. Administration
The association shall be governed under this constitution by the members of the National Coordinating Group (“NCG”) as provided for under Rules 6 and 7 below.

3. Aims
The association aims:

  • To work for the election of a Labour government;
  • To revitalise the Labour Party by building on the values, energy and enthusiasm of the Jeremy for Leader campaign so that Labour will become an effective, open, inclusive, participatory, democratic and member-led party of and in Government;
  • To broaden support for a transformative, socialist programme;
  • To unite people in their communities and workplaces to win victories on the issues that matter to them;
  • To make politics more accessible to more people;
  • To ensure a wide and diverse membership of Labour who are in and heard at every level of the party;
  • To demonstrate how collective action and Labour values can transform our society for the better and improve the lives of ordinary people; and
  • To achieve a society that is more democratic, fair and equal.

4. Commitments

To achieve its aims the association will:

  • Work towards the association’s affiliation to the Labour Party;
  • Encourage those inspired by Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership campaigns to join the Labour Party;
  • Consult with its members using a variety of means including but not limited to surveys of members and local groups, referenda, and canvassing members at local, regional or national gatherings;
  • Focus on issues and campaigns on which its members broadly agree and which further its aims;
  • Be guided by the 10 pledges outlined by Jeremy Corbyn in the 2016 Labour Leadership campaign;
  • Encourage, support, train and mentor its members and supporters in the Labour Party;
  • Encourage, support, train and mentor potential Labour Party candidates;
  • Ensure there are more Labour candidates with a wide range of life experiences, especially working class, Black, Asian, ethnic minority, LGBT, disabled and women candidates;
  • Facilitate, coordinate, create, foster and support organisations to make improvements to people’s lives;
  • Organise events, rallies, meetings and policy consultations for political education; and
  • Organise an annual conference open to all members of the association which shall provide opportunities to participate in political education and training, and discuss the political environment, the organisation’s performance and campaigning objectives for the forthcoming year. This may be supplemented with periodic regional conferences along similar lines to ensure that such opportunities are genuinely accessible to all members. In exceptional circumstances such as a general election, referendum or Labour leadership contest being called, the NCG may delay the annual conference by a two thirds majority of those participating in the meeting. The annual conference should then take place as soon as practicable after the general election, referendum or Labour leadership contest.

5. Membership

5.1 Membership is open to anyone who either was a financial subscriber of
Momentum on 10 January 2017, or
(i) Is 14 or over;
(ii) Is a member of the Labour Party and no other political party nor an organisation disallowed by the NCG;
(iii) Agrees to be bound by the rules of Momentum, including its code of ethics and equal opportunities policy; and
(iv) Is accepted for membership by the NCG.
5.2 There will be a minimum annual membership fee.
5.3 Membership will begin when a membership application and first payment is received.
5.4 A list of members will be kept by or on behalf of the NCG.
5.5 All members will be eligible to vote in one-member-one-vote (“OMOV”) ballots.

Ceasing to be a member
5.6 Members may resign at any time by notifying the NCG.
5.7 Any member who has not paid their fee for more than 15 months (in the case of annual payers) or three months (in the case of monthly payers) may be deemed to have resigned.
5.8 Any member who does not join the Labour Party by 1 July 2017, or ceases to be a member of the Labour Party, or acts inconsistently with Labour Party membership, may be deemed to have resigned.
5.9 Anyone whose behaviour contravenes the code of ethics or equal opportunities policy may be asked not to attend further meetings and may be deemed to have resigned.
5.10 Where a member may be deemed to have resigned in accordance with Rules
5.7, 5.8 or 5.9 there will be a right to be heard by the NCG or a delegated
panel before a final decision is made.

6. National Coordinating Group
6.1 The business of Momentum will be carried out by a NCG.
6.2 The NCG shall consist of Momentum members who confirm (and can provide evidence on request) that they are current Labour Party members, confirm their agreement to the rules of Momentum, who are nominated and if necessary elected in accordance with Rule 7, in the following numbers and categories:
(i) 4 from each of three divisions – (a) the North and Scotland; (b) the Midlands, Wales and the West; and (c) the South East – at least two of whom are women and at least one of whom identifies as BAME in each division;
(ii) 6 from affiliated trade unions;
(iii) 4 who are Labour members of the UK, European or Scottish Parliaments, Welsh or London Assemblies, Elected Mayors or Police Commissioners, or Labour members of a British local authority, at least half of whom identify as women and one of whom as BAME;
(iv) 1 from Campaign for Socialism (Scotland) and 1 from Welsh Labour Grassroots; and
(v) 4 from other affiliated organisations as defined in Rules 11 (iii) and
(iv) below.
6.3 In the event that 12 members in category defined in Rule 6.2 (i) are elected in accordance with Rule 7.4 below and do not include at least one member selfidentifying as disabled, one member self-identifying as LGBT+ and two members who are under the age of 30, further nominations shall be sought and runoff elections held in accordance with Rule 7.6 to appoint further members to the NCG in order to rectify the lack of representation of those members who identify as such.
6.4 Up to 4 additional members may be co-opted onto the NCG at the discretion of the NCG. In addition, in the event of any casual vacancies, the NCG may organise by-elections to fill the vacancy in accordance with Rule 7 or co-opt
additional members at its discretion.
6.5 The NCG shall meet no less than 4 times per year.
6.6 Unless specified otherwise in this constitution, the NCG shall make decisions by a majority of those of its members participating in a meeting. No meeting of the NCG can take decisions unless there are 10 members of the NCG participating. Members of the NCG participate in a meeting of the NCG, or part of a meeting of the NCG, when they can each communicate to the others any information or opinions they have on any particular item of the business of the meeting.
6.7 The NCG shall appoint a chair and any other officers from its members that it deems necessary in order to carry out its business. In the event of a tied vote, the chair shall have the casting vote.

7. Elections

7.1 Members of the NCG shall be nominated or elected within 12 weeks of the date of this constitution and elections shall be held in each calendar year thereafter. NCG members shall remain members of the NCG until new members are nominated and elected.
7.2 In exceptional circumstances such as a general election, referendum or Labour leadership contest being called, the NCG may, on a two-thirds majority, delay elections. The elections should then take place as soon as practicable after the general election, referendum or Labour leadership contest.
7.3 Candidates for the NCG may be nominated as follows:
(i) Members who reside in one of the three divisions defined in Rule 6.2 (i) above can be nominated by 20 members who reside in the same division;
(ii) Each affiliated trade union with up to 100,000 members in Great Britain may nominate one member and each affiliated trade union with more than 100,000 members may nominate two members, at least one of whom must be a woman;
(iii) Each member who has been identified either as a Labour member of the UK, European or Scottish Parliaments, Welsh or London Assemblies, an Elected Mayor or Police Commissioner, or a Labour member of a British local authority above may nominate themselves
(iv) Campaign for Socialism (Scotland) and Welsh Labour Grassroots may each nominate one member; and
(v) Each affiliated organisations as defined in Rule 11 (iii) and (iv) above may nominate one member.
7.4 Where there are more candidates nominated for the NCG in any of the categories defined in Rule 6.2 above than the number of places open to members in that category, then elections for candidates in that category shall be held in the following manner:
(i) Each member who resides in one of the three divisions defined in Rule
6.2 (i) may cast a vote in an OMOV ballot of members in that division for candidates nominated under Rule 7.3 (i) above and who resides in the same division as the member;
(ii) Each affiliated trade union with up to 100,000 members in Great Britain may cast a vote for candidates nominated under Rule 7.3 (ii) above and each affiliated trade union with more than 100,000 members in Great Britain may cast two votes for candidates nominated under Rule 7.3 (ii) above;
(iii) Each member who has been identified either as a Labour member of the UK, European or Scottish Parliaments, Welsh or London Assemblies, an Elected Mayor or Police Commissioner, or a Labour member of a British local authority may cast a vote in an OMOV ballot of such members for candidates nominated under Rule 7.3 (iii) above;
(iv) Members nominated by Campaign for Socialism (Scotland) and Welsh Labour Grassroots are automatically elected; and
(v) Each affiliated organisation as defined in Rule 11 (iii) and (iv) below may cast a vote for candidates nominated under Rule 7.3 (v) above.
7.5 Any member or affiliated union that wishes to vote in an election must confirm to the NCG that they are members of or are affiliated to the Labour Party and that they agree to be bound by the rules of Momentum. Any other affiliated organisation that wishes to vote in an election must confirm that they agree to be bound by the rules of Momentum. The NCG may require members to provide evidence of Labour Party membership.
7.6 In the event envisaged by Rule 6.3, each of those candidates who selfidentifies as disabled, LGBT+ or is a under the age 30 who obtained more votes than any other candidate who identifies in the same way or is also aged under 30 in the division in which they are resident shall be automatically treated as nominated in a runoff election. Each member may cast a vote in an OMOV ballot of members in each runoff election.

8. Members Council

There will be a Members’ Council consisting of 50 members randomly chosen by lot. This Council will be renewed every six months and shall meet at least twice in that period. Members of the Council will be given facilities and the opportunity to directly participate in the development of activities, resources and campaigns for the use of Momentum members and groups. The format of this engagement will be defined by the NCG, having regard to the requirements of the individual members of the Council. The Members Council shall not be required to make decisions on the operation of the constitution or administration of the organisation, this being the remit of the NCG, but it may review decisions of the NCG and the administration of the organisation as a whole. It may make recommendations and provide advice on the basis of its findings.

9. Constitutional Amendments

9.1 Proposed amendments to this constitution shall be considered by the NCG within three months where it is proposed that they do so by
(i) Members, in accordance with Rule 10.2; or
(ii) A member of the NCG.
9.2 When considering a proposed amendment, the NCG shall either
(i) Adopt it under Rule 9.5 (iii) or (iv); or
(ii) Vote on whether to put the proposal amendment to a ballot of the
membership.
9.3 Where a majority of all members of the NCG, including a majority of those members nominated by affiliated trade unions, agrees to put a proposed amendment to a ballot of the membership, a ballot on the proposed amendment shall be held and the amendment adopted in the event envisaged by Rule 9.5 (i).
9.4 Where a majority of all members of the NCG, including a majority of those members nominated by affiliated trade unions, does not agree to put a proposed amendment to a ballot of the membership, the proposed amendment is rejected by the NCG. A proposed amendment that has been rejected by the NCG may only be put to a ballot of the membership in accordance with Rule 10.3. The proposed amendment shall then be carried in the event envisaged by Rule 9.5 (ii).
9.5 Proposed amendments to this constitution may be composited by the NCG and shall be adopted only with the support of:
(i) at least 50% of votes cast in a OMOV ballot of the membership, where the NCG has agreed to put the proposed amendment to a ballot of the membership;
(ii) at least 50% of votes cast in a OMOV ballot of the membership and at least 30% of those eligible to vote, where the NCG has rejected the proposed amendment;
(iii) A unanimous vote of all members of the NCG; or
(iv) A majority of all members of the NCG, where the NCG receives legal advice that without the proposed amendment, the constitution may leave Momentum ineligible for affiliation to the Labour Party or that the proposed amendment is necessary to comply with the law and that the proposed amendment makes the minimum necessary changes to this constitution in order to ensure eligibility for affiliation to the Labour Party or to comply with the law.
9.6 The NCG shall give all members notice of changes to this constitution and, where relevant, the legal reasoning behind them.

10. Direct Democracy

10.1 The NCG shall ensure that there is an online facility to enable members to propose that:
(i) A proposed amendment to this constitution be considered by the NCG;
(ii) Support for a particular campaign be considered by the NCG;
(iii) A proposed amendment to this constitution rejected by the NCG be put to a ballot of members; and
(iv) A prior decision of the NCG on whether to support a particular campaign, to issue guidance or directives to all members, to groups or to networks be put to a ballot of members.
10.2 Proposals made under Rule 10.1 (i) or (ii) with the support of 1000 members or 5% of members, whichever is fewer, shall be considered by the NCG.
10.3 Where a proposal made under Rule 10.1 (iii) has the support of 10% of members, the proposed amendment to this constitution shall be put to a OMOV ballot of the membership by the NCG within three months and shall be adopted in the event envisaged by Rule 9.5 (ii).
10.4 Where a proposal made under Rule 10.1 (iv) has the support of 10% of members, the decision shall be put to a OMOV ballot of the membership by the NCG within three months and shall be overturned where at least 50% of votes cast in a OMOV ballot of the membership and at least 30% of those eligible to vote are in favour of doing so.
10.5 Results of OMOV ballots are binding on the NCG. An amendment of this constitution or decision of the NCG shall not be put to an OMOV ballot of the membership twice in a period of one year without the agreement of the NCG.
11. Affiliated organisations
The following organisations may affiliate to Momentum provided that they accept the rules of Momentum and their representatives abide by the code of ethics:
(i) Trade Unions affiliated to the Labour Party
(ii) Constituency Labour Parties
(iii) The following groups:

  • Campaign for Socialism (Scotland)
  • Welsh Labour Grassroots
  • The World Transformed
  • Campaign for Labour Party Democracy
  • Labour representation committee
  • Compass
  • Labour Assembly Against Austerity
  • Labour CND
  • Labour Briefing Coop
  • Left Futures
  • Red Labour

(iv) other groups as agreed by the NCG, provided that the NCG may not agree to the affiliation of groups whose programme and policy is incompatible with that of Momentum or the Labour Party, or who support candidates for public office from parties other than the Labour Party.

12. Other Networks and Groups

12.1 Members in Great Britain are encouraged to meet and organise at a local level in order to further the aims of Momentum, within such boundaries as the NCG may determine. When making a determination on the boundaries of a local group or network’s operation, the NCG shall consult with members in the relevant areas. Members may also form regional or national issue based groups or functional networks in order to further the aims of Momentum, with the agreement of the NCG.

12.2 The NCG shall encourage and support the development of liberation networks for women, BAME, disabled and LGBT+ people, and of Youth and Student networks in which members who self-identify as being within these categories are able to self-organise.

12.3 The NCG has the power to recognise networks and groups as “Momentum” and in appropriate circumstances, including where there has been a breach of Momentum’s rules, to withdraw recognition.

12.4 The NCG shall, as far as possible, support networks and groups to enable them to function effectively.

12.5 Local and other Momentum group or network meetings and activities at which key decisions are made or elections take place shall be open to all members of Momentum within the group or network’s boundaries and notice must be sent to all such members by such means as the NCG may determine.

12.6 Where a constituency party affiliates to Momentum, members in the area covered by the constituency party shall consider at appropriate intervals, as determined by the NCG, whether the aims of Momentum are best served by maintaining a local group or network covering its area, or by working jointly between neighbouring Momentum groups and the local constituency party.

12.7 Anyone who stands for office, such as chair or secretary, in a group or network shall be a member of the Labour Party, and in the event that they cease to be a member of the Labour Party within their term of office, they are deemed to have resigned such office.
13. Powers

The following powers may be used by the NCG provided that:

  • They are used to further the aims and commitments
  • They take account of the recommendations of the members council
  • They comply with all relevant laws

(i) Power to invite and receive contributions;
(ii) Power to raise funds;
(iii) Power to set any membership fee or affiliation fee;
(iv) Power to accept or refuse an application for membership;
(v) Power to deem members as having resigned and to expel members when they have been deemed as having resigned;
(vi) Power to employ staff as necessary for promoting the aims and to make all reasonable and necessary arrangements for the payment of pensions for staff and dependents;
(vii) Power to co-operate with other bodies with similar aims;
(viii) Power to make an application to affiliate to the Labour Party;
(ix) Power to recognise groups and networks and to remove recognition;
(x) Power to set the boundaries of groups and networks;
(xi) Power to determine which meetings of groups and networks shall be open to all members;
(xii) Power to determine at what intervals members in the boundaries of a group or network which covers the area of a constituency labour party affiliated to Momentum shall consider whether the group or network should cover that area;
(xiii) Power to require members and affiliated organisations to provide evidence that they are eligible for membership or affiliation and that they are members of or affiliated to the Labour Party;
(xiv) Power to seek nominations and organise elections and delay elections in specified circumstances;
(xv) Power to co-opt members;
(xvi) Power to establish standing orders governing how it conducts its business;
(xvii) Power to choose members of the Members Council by lot;
(xviii) Power to call meetings of the Members Council;
(xix) Power to take all necessary and reasonable steps in order to consult with its members;
(xx) Power to set campaign goals of the organisation which further its aims;
(xxi) Power to appoint officers from its members and to establish any necessary advisory or other committees as necessary for achieving the aims;
(xxii) Power to delegate any of its functions; and
(xxiii) Power to do all other things necessary to achieve the aims.

14. Receipts and expenditure

14.1 The funds of the association, including all donations, contributions and bequests, will be held in accounts operated by or on behalf of Momentum. All payments drawn on the account must be authorised by at least two members of the NCG.

14.2 The funds belonging to the association will be used only to further the aims.

15. Code of Ethics

Individuals and groups using the Momentum name and branding must operate according to the following principles at all times:
(i) As the successor to Jeremy Corbyn’s 2015 Leadership Campaign, Momentum promotes the values of fair, honest debate focused on policies, not personal attacks or harassment.
(ii) Momentum seeks to build positive relationships with Constituency Labour Parties, trade unions and other Labour movement or campaigning organisations that share its aims and principles.
(iii) Momentum seeks to reach out across the community and encourages the participation of people who may not have been involved in political activities before. Ensuring the safety and self-expression of everyone is a priority, especially of those who are often marginalised on the basis of their gender, sexuality, ethnicity, race, religion, class, disability and educational or economic status.
(iv) Groups of individuals may form local Momentum groups (in accordance with the provisions of Rule 2 of this Constitution) to share ideas, organise and participate in activities at their local level, which demonstrate how ‘socialist values’ and collective effort can make a positive social and/or environmental impact. These groups must be democratic in their nature and be organised around a spirit of collaboration, inclusion and respect.

16. Equal Opportunities Policy

(i) Momentum is committed to achieving equality of outcome and opportunity for all people of all ages. The NCG shall develop a full policy to reflect this as soon as practicable.
(ii) Momentum recognises the systemic disadvantage suffered by groups in society and therefore positively discriminates to ensure full representation of women, those aged under 30 and those who self-identify as BAME, LGBT+ or disabled, as set out in this constitution.
(iii) The NCG and all other groups or networks shall put in place measures and/or adjustments for those members or employees who are or become disabled during their course of their employment or membership. The NCG may require members, groups or networks to take all reasonable or necessary steps in order to ensure compliance with the Equal Opportunities Policy.

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