On July 19th UKIP held their National Executive Committee (NEC) Meeting, to preside over the party's activities over the coming months. Here is what they decided:
1. Post-election Roundup by David Lott and Linda Guest. Linda Guest presented her impressions of the problems that she and others had experienced in conducting the campaign, together with their views on what lessons could be learned for the future. She understood that the campaign had to be conducted on a shoestring financial basis. David Lott added that money is the bottom line for action and that branch funds are an essential element. Good grassroots communication must be established and an additional person was being recruited to the press office to achieve precisely that. A summary of the views expressed in regional meetings was also presented to members.
2. Affinity Card. (Membership card) Ian Gillman gave a presentation on the probable financial benefits of a UKIP affinity card. The committee agreed that his suggestions should be pursued.
3. Autumn Campaign. Robin Collett and Roger Knapman informed the meeting of more detailed plans for the petition being organised for mid-September following an initiative of our MEPs and with the financial backing of the Ind-Dem group. Polling on various questions including whether the UK should or should not remain a member of the EU was being undertaken within the next few days.
4. Party Constitution. It was agreed that a special meeting of the NEC should be arranged solely for the detailed discussion of the new constitution so that the proposals could then be presented to the membership as a whole. Michael Zuckerman considered that it was also important that a new set of rules on disciplinary and other matters should be drawn up as soon as possible so that they were mutually consistent with the new constitution.
5. UKIP Local. David Samuel-Camps presented a paper on local government and it was agreed that the existing literature should be revised, put on CD and sent to every branch. A manual for local government candidates should be produced and a local government policy document. Roger Knapman observed that the financial decision on this would be taken as soon as the new General Secretary had been appointed.
6. Conference Details. Mike Nattrass gave details of how the two days will be organised The first day will be held at the Methodist Central Hall, organised by the Ind-Dem Group and will concentrate on European issues. The leaders of the successful no campaigns in France and Holland will be in attendance. The second day will be the traditional UKIP conference held at the nearby Emmanual Conference Centre. The conference committee had met the previous day.
7. Party Groups. It is a sign of the increasing importance and size of the party that new special interest groups are being set up. The Party chairman was authorised to add to the new constitution definitions of the precise relationship between any such bodies and the Party. Lobby groups which the party can ignore or support were considered acceptable
8. GLA Defectors. It was agreed that letters should be sent to the Department of Constitutional Affairs about the present legal situation.