Mark Whittet; Leader
Educated at Edinburgh University, Mark R. Whittet (LLB, BA) – Leader of Scotland’s Independence Referendum Party – resides in Edinburgh West.
He previously served as an elected Councillor on the Cramond, Cammo and Barnton Community Council – which is in the Edinburgh West parliamentary constituency – and is experienced in local affairs (such as the noise from Edinburgh airport, and Edinburgh West planning, housing, transport, environment, economic development, the NHS and local government issues.
In 2008, Whittet created Scottish Legal News Ltd as a commercial joint venture while serving pro bono as Director and Deputy Chairman of the Scottish Legal Action Group, the registered Scottish charity which aims to help improve access to justice for geographically and/or financially under-privileged people.
Over the following five years, the number of Active Daily Subscribers rose from a modest 500 people on launch to just under 10,000 daily email readers.
Scottish Legal News Ltd (where Whittet also served as a Company Director) has since traded profitably for a number of years and, as intended, is the largest single source of income to the Scottish legal action charity. He a Company Director of Scottish Energy News Ltd and a member of the NUJ.
Constitution of Scotland’s Independence Referendum Party
- The Party shall be named SCOTLAND’S INDEPENDENCE REFERENDUM PARTY.
- The aims of the Party shall be:
Independence for Scotland; that is the restoration of Scottish national sovereignty by restoration of full powers to the Scottish Parliament, so that its authority is limited only by the sovereign power of the Scottish People to bind it with a written constitution and by such agreements as it may freely enter into with other nations or states or international organisations for the purpose of furthering international cooperation, world peace and the protection of the environment.
The furtherance of all Scottish interests.
2.3Fund-raising, campaigning and standing for elections in furtherance of the objective of Scotland becoming an independent democratic nation
- Policy and Direction
3.1 The policy and direction of the Party shall be that laid down from time to time in accordance with this Constitution and any Rules made under it by the National Executive Committee, and also as specified above at S2.
4.1 Any person of the age of sixteen or older may apply for membership of the Party. The procedure for applying for membership and renewing membership shall be described in the Membership Rules.
A person under sixteen may apply to be an Associate Member of the Party. Such Associate Members shall have all the rights and duties of Members, except that they may not vote in any body of the Party or be eligible for election to any position in the Party.
The following principles shall govern the Membership Rules:
(a) Members shall endorse the aims of the Party.
(b) Members shall abide by the Constitution, Rules and Standing Orders of the Party, including the Code of Conduct for Members, as stipulated by the National Executive Committee.
(c) Members shall abide by the policy and direction of the Party as stipulated by the National Executive Committee.
(d) A member may not contest or be a member of any organisation contesting elections in
opposition to the Party, or be a member of any organisation deemed to be a Political Party
under the Membership Rules.
(e) A member shall have been accepted into the Party by the appropriate body, as defined in this constitution and also as may be varied at the sole discretion of the National Executive Committee.
(f) A member shall pay a subscription to the Party as stipulated by the National Executive Committee.
Membership shall cease when the member dies; intimates his or her resignation to the National Executive Committee or ceases to pay the membership subscription; is expelled; or in other cases as set out hereafter by the National Executive Committee
Branches may only be established with the approval of the National Executive Committee
The defined geographical areas of Branches may not overlap, and these areas shall be determined and may be adjusted by the National Executive Committee, after consultation with the prospective branch.
To be an official Branch, a Branch shall:
(a) have the number of members specified by 5.1 of this Constitution;
(b) have paid any levies required by the National Executive Committee ;
(c) have been established in accordance with 5.1 and have an area of operation determined in accordance with 5.2 of this Constitution;
(d) have the necessary arrangements in place to conform with political party registration and the accounting requirements of current legislation;
(e) have a constitution that conforms with Branch Rules as stipulated by the National Executive Committee.
Branches shall conduct their business in accordance with, and contribute to, the Party’s strategic aims and operational objectives, as determined by the National Executive Committee
Branches shall have authority to conduct their own affairs, subject to the Branch Rules and this Constitution.
Branches may organise their members into Groups for the purposes of more efficient organisation.
The Branch Rules shall make general provision for the constitution of Branches.
The National Executive Committee may delegate any of its powers under clause 5.1, with regard to Branches, to Constituency Associations or Liaison Committees.
The National Executive Committee may, on stating reasons unilaterally dissolve any Branch. In this case, provision shall be made in the Membership Rules for transfer of remaining membership to other Branches.
Immediately a Scottish Parliament, EU, or UK general election is called all funds held by Branches shall become the property of the Party for the purpose of contesting the election.
Each branch must meet annually for a General Meeting to elect office bearers.
Each branch shall pay to the Party such affiliation fees and levies as may be
required by national executive committee.
- Elections and selection of candidates
SCOTLAND’S INDEPENDENCE REFERENDUM PARTY’s executive committee shall be responsible for selecting and approving candidates for elections, including but not being restricted to, local government elections, Scottish parliament elections and UK general elections and European parliament elections.
Election candidates must agree to abide by this constitution and cannot be members of any other party.
If elected, successful candidates are hereby required to pay 5% (or any other sum so decided in future at the sole discretion of the national executive committee) of any and all payments, incomes, speaking fees, remuneration, and emoluments of any sort generated as a result of holding such elected office.
7 National Executive Committee
The National Executive Committee shall be shall be the supreme governing body of the Party and shall have the unfettered power to vary its numbers, or not at its own discretion; to decide party policy; to have a minimum quorum of two, with the party leader and treasurer being permanent members ex officio and the party leader always having the casting vote; to select and appoint candidates for stand for election; to recruit and appointment persons to carry out a range of duties and obligations as may be required by the national executive committee at its sole discretion and to carry out any and all functions required to comply with the law; to hold an annual consultative conference, or not, at its own discretion and that any votes or resolutions arising said annual consultative conference, shall not be binding on the national executive committee; the convenor of the national executive committee shall be the party leader.
The decision of the National Executive Committee on contesting any election or by-election and on the selection of any candidate, shall be final.
- Job Descriptions.
The following specific provision shall apply to the position of President:
The President shall be an honorary position of the Party, elected at the discretion of the national executive committee by a majority vote of committee members whilst also stating that the committee is not obliged to elect said president
The Leader shall be the registered leader of the Party. The Leader shall also be ex officio Convenor of the national executive committee
If the Leader is a Member of the Scottish Parliament, he or she shall be the leader of the
9 Code of Conduct
The National Executive Committee shall draw up and maintain a Code of Conduct for members, which shall set out minimum standards of behaviour expected from members towards each other and in representing the Party externally.
A Disciplinary Committee shall be established in order to hear complaints and take disciplinary action, where it considers necessary, against members of the Party.
The Disciplinary Committee shall be selected and appointed by the National Executive Committee, members of which may also be members of the Disciplinary Committee.
The Party Leader shall have the power to suspend a member he or she believes has
contravened the requirements of the Party’s Constitution. This suspension will be for a temporary or specified period, and the case will be referred immediately to the Disciplinary Committee for final adjudication, with powers to include the right to expel party members.
The Disciplinary Rules shall set out the disciplinary measures which may be taken against
members, but these shall include the power to admonish, suspend for a specified period or expel a member from the Party.
Any member disciplined shall have a right of appeal to the National Executive Committee
11 Financial Provisions
The National Executive Committee shall have full control over all monies, funds, property, investments and securities of whatever kind and description belonging to the Party.
The National Executive Committee shall have the sole power to borrow money on behalf of the Party, and to continue existing borrowing, where it is necessary to do so in order to finance the Party’s activities.
A Financial Scheme shall set out how the Party will regulate its financial affairs for the purpose of compliance with current legislation.
The financial affairs of all bodies mentioned in this Constitution must comply with the Financial Scheme.
No person within the Party shall enter into commercial borrowing unless prior agreement has been approved by the National Executive Committee
If a body within the Party goes out of existence or is dissolved, all assets shall become property of the Party.
The National Executive Committee shall set and/or vary the standard rate or rates of membership at its sole discretion.
12 Rules and Standing Orders
In addition to where referred to above, the National Executive Committee shall draw up and maintain Rules and Standing Orders covering the following at its discretion:
(a) the conduct of all bodies referred to in this Constitution;
(b) selection of candidates to stand at any election in the name of the Party;
(c) conduct of the Party’s elected members and groups at all levels of government;
(d) conduct required of members, and party discipline;
(e) job descriptions for Party Office Bearers and any other roles it may consider necessary;
(f) any other aspect of the Party’s activity which it considers necessary or appropriate.
All such Rules and Standing Orders shall be based on the principles laid down in this Constitution.
All such Rules and Standing Orders shall be changed only at the volition and approval of a majority of the National Executive Committee in its role as the highest authority of the Party, as laid down in this Constitution.
All Rules and Standing Orders referred to above shall have the same status as if they were
incorporated in this Constitution, and will be binding on the structures and procedures of the party to which they refer.
In the event of any conflict between such Standing Orders or Rules and this Constitution, the Constitution shall prevail.
13 Amending the Constitution
This Constitution may not be changed, except by a majority vote of the members of the National Executive Committee and such vote shall be at the sole discretion of the national executive committee.
Should any question arise regarding the interpretation of the Constitution, Rules or Standing Orders of the Party, the convener of the national executive committee shall adjudicate on the question and his or her adjudication shall be final.