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2. Leadership


The Party is headed by an effective National Board that provides strategic leadership in line with the Party’s aims and values.



Strong and effective leadership helps the Party adopt an appropriate strategy for effectively delivering its aims. It also sets the tone for the Party, including its vision, values and reputation.


Key outcomes

  1. The National Board, as a whole, and National Board members individually, accept collective responsibility for ensuring that the Party has a clear and relevant set of aims and an appropriate strategy for achieving them.

  2. The National Board agrees the Party’s vision, values and reputation and leads by example, requiring anyone representing the Party reflects its values positively.

  3. The National Board makes sure that the Party’s values are reflected in all of its work, and that the ethos and culture of the organisation underpin the delivery of all activities.


Recommended practice

  1. Leading the Party

    1. The National Board and individual National Board members take collective responsibility for its decisions.

    2. The chair provides leadership to the National Board with prime responsibility for ensuring it has agreed priorities, appropriate structures, processes and a productive culture and has a National Board and senior staff who are able to govern well and add value to the Party.

    3. In the case of the most senior member of the Party (the Party Leader) the National Board makes sure that there are proper arrangements for their appointment, supervision, support, appraisal, remuneration and, if necessary, dismissal. The Party leader is chosen from a vetted list provided by the ‘1957 Committee’.

    4. The National Board’s functions are formally recorded. There are role descriptions defining responsibilities for all National Board members that differentiate clearly those of the chair and other officer positions and outline how these roles relate to other members.

  2. Leading by example

    1. The National Board (NB) agrees the values, consistent with the Party’s aims, that it wishes to promote and makes sure that these values underpin all its decisions and the Party’s activities (see also Principle 1).

    2. The National Board recognises, respects and welcomes diverse, different and, at times, conflicting NB member views.

    3. The National Board provides oversight and direction to the Party and support and constructive challenge to the Party, its members and, in particular, the Party leader.

    4. The National Board, through its relationship with the senior members of the NB, creates the conditions in which the Party members are confident and enabled to provide the information, advice and feedback necessary to the National Board.

  3. Commitment

    1. The National Board give sufficient time to the Party to carry out their responsibilities effectively. This includes preparing for meetings and sitting on National Board committees and other governance bodies where needed. The expected time commitment is made clear to National Board before nomination or appointment and again on acceptance of nomination or appointment.

    2. Where individual National Board members are also involved in operational activities, for example as volunteers, they are clear about the capacity in which they are acting at any given time and understand what they are and are not authorised to do and to whom they report.

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