SECTION 1. INFORMATION REQUIRED IN A LETTER BEFORE CLAIM
Proposed claim for judicial review
Mr Stephen Phillips
Secretary to the Board
The Conservative Party
Conservative Campaign Headquarters
Ms Claire Khaw
“Decision of the Conservative Party Disciplinary Committee in the matter of the appeal by Ms Claire Khaw against her expulsion from the Conservative Party by the Board
The Committee met at Conservative Campaign Headquarters, 30 Millbank on Wednesday 27th March 2013 to consider an appeal by Ms Claire Khaw against the decision by the Board to expel her from membership of the Conservative Party.
Members of the Disciplinary Committee who heard the Appeal on the papers were:
Simon Mort (Chairman)
In attendance: Marcus Booth
The Committee DISMISSED the appeal.
Based on the evidence provided (including by Ms Khaw), the Committee concluded that Ms Khaw's publicly stated views and values, together with her conduct (that the Committee were in a position to appraise) are such that they are not compatible with membership of the Conservative Party, which is not an absolute right.
The aims, objectives and policies of the Conservative Party are freely available to read and Ms Khaw should have reasonably appraised herself of these before applying to join the Party.
Ms Khaw questioned the whereabouts of these principles. The Committee commend to anyone suffering from similar uncertainty to study the Foreword to the 2010 General Election Manifesto
[http://www.conservatives.com/~/media/Files/Activist%20Centre/Press%20and%20Policy/Manifestos/Manifesto2010.] Page vii seems particularly applicable in this specific context.
A reading of her wholly unconvincing evidence [http://thevoiceofreason-ann.blogspot.co.uk/2013/03/my-appeal-against-cancellation-of-my.html] therefore led the Committee to reach the view that her expulsion should be upheld and that the Board of the Conservative Party acted reasonably.
The details of the matter being challenged
(a) That anything contained in the David Cameron’s Foreword of the 2010 General Election manifesto of the Conservative Party amounts to a statement of any principle. Principles are stated in complete sentences containing the words “should”, “would”, “must”, “shall”, “will” and “always” and no sentence in the Foreword fulfills this criteria.
(b) That the Defendant is confusing a Statement of Principles with “puffery” ie "promotional statements and claims that express subjective rather than objective views, which no reasonable person would take literally". It is well-established that all election manifestos are a list of promises which are either broken or kept.
(c) The purpose of a principle is to govern and guide our own behaviour while the purpose of making a promise is to induce the other party to act in some desired way, eg in the case of a political party making a promise to the voter, to induce the voter to vote for the political party making that promise. The purpose of a principle and the purpose of a promise are therefore easily distinguished. The purpose of a political party having political principles is to prevent unscrupulous leaders from using the party as a vehicle for self- aggrandisement while making promises in its name that are against its principles.
(d) Even if it were the case that David Cameron’s Foreword does indeed contain the principles of the Conservative Party the question arises as to whether the Defendant can really be admitting to changing its principles every time they have to produce a new election manifesto ie approximately every five years when a general election is called.
(e) Even if it were the case that David Cameron’s Foreword does indeed contain the principles of the Conservative Party, the Defendant has not shown how the Claimant acted in a way that could be described as being “wholly inconsistent with the aims, objectives and principles of the Conservative Party”.
(f) The reasons given for dismissing the Claimant’s appeal was that her evidence was “wholly unconvincing”, without explanation. In fact, all the points raised by the Claimant’s appeal consisted of points of logic rather than denials of facts.
(g) The terms in which the Claimant was informed that her appeal was dismissed is evidence that the Defendant used its power to expel her for an improper purpose, that its decision is irrational, that the procedure followed by the decision-maker was unfair or biased and that the decision was taken in breach of the Human Rights Act.
If it is the case that the Conservative Party has no principles that it cares to state, then it has no principles against which the claimant could have acted. This therefore means that the decision to expel the claimant was one or some or all of the following, i.e.
· the decision-maker does not have power to make that decision, or is using the power
they have for an improper purpose;
· the decision is irrational;
· the procedure followed by the decision-maker was unfair or biased;
· the decision was taken in breach of the Human Rights Act.
It is not in the public interest that a governing party in a position to affect the rights of individual citizens and society at large can give its members no rights at all, while being either unwilling or unable to state its principles.
If any member of the Conservative Party could be said to be acting in a way that is “wholly inconsistent with the aims, objectives and principles of the Conservative Party” then it could be said the member most infamous for doing so would be the leader of the Conservative Party, David Cameron, currently Prime Minister, for proposing to legalise gay marriage. It would be reasonable to expect the Conservative Party to be the party of social conservatives and expect that social conservatives would support the institution of marriage. Marriage was created for the purpose of procreation and the raising of children in optimum conditions. To allow same sex couples (who are incapable of procreation with each other) to legally marry each other is to sanctify a sin considered an abomination forbidden by all the Abrahamic faiths, amounts to a casual and deliberate desecration of the institution of marriage. The claimant invites the Defendant or any court to think of another policy that could be said to be more inconsistent with the aims, objectives and principles of a party purporting to support Conservative principles, than that of legalising gay marriage.
The details of the action that the defendant is expected to take
1. State the official aims, objectives and principles of the Conservative Party.
2. State how and why the claimant has acted in a way that is “wholly inconsistent with the aims, objectives and principles of the Conservative Party.”
3. Acknowledge that the claimant has in no way infringed any principle of the Conservative Party and annul her expulsion.
4. Undertake to consider whether the current leader of the Conservative Party has infringed the aims, objectives and principles of the Conservative Party by proposing to legalise gay marriage and give reasons for any decision.
The details of the legal advisers, if any, dealing with this claim
The claimant is dealing with this matter herself.
The details of any interested parties
The interested parties are the entire membership of the Conservative Party who are similarly liable to be expelled from the party without warning, explanation or the right to a fair hearing on appeal. It is not possible to send them all a copy of this letter.
The details of any information sought
1. A formal statement of the official aims, objectives and principles of the Conservative Party
2. A statement as to how and why the claimant has acted in a way that is “wholly inconsistent with the aims, objectives and principles of the Conservative Party.”
The details of any documents that are considered relevant and necessary
As in 9 above.
Proposed reply date
Within 14 days of receiving this letter sent on 10th June 2013