It's been slightly complicated, but my future as a member of the Appeals Panel for England suddenly doesn't exist.
As I noted a few days ago, the appointment is a matter for the Executive Committee of my Regional Party and, it seems, there was an apparent unwillingness in some quarters to simply reappoint the incumbent. I am, in fairness, pretty relaxed about such a principle - the appointment is in the gift of the Regional Party, represented by its Executive Committee.
However, there didn't appear to be a settled view as to how to proceed and, rather than see the argument over the basic principles of democracy and transparency (both of which I'm rather fond of) drag out when the focus should be on getting as many Liberal Democrats elected as possible, I've decided to withdraw from consideration.
Once the Executive Committee have decided on how to choose their next nominee, preferably after 6 May, they can then take whatever action is required. But, if you're curious as to what the role entails and how it is appointed, here's what the English Party Constitution says...
9.1 There shall be an Appeals Panel for England, which shall consist of:(a) the current members of the Federal Appeals Panel elected by the English Council under Article 22.1 of the Federal Constitution, one of whom shall be designated as the Chair of the Appeals Panel for England by the English Council; and(b) one person appointed by each Regional Party according to its internal procedures.9.2 Each member of the Panel shall hold office for five years, and shall be eligible for re-appointment: provided that no person shall be entitled to hold office for more than ten years in aggregate. No person shall be eligible for appointment if (and any member shall forthwith vacate office upon becoming) an MP, MEP or prospective parliamentary candidate or a member of the English Council Executive or the English Candidates Committee or an employee of the Party. The body making the original appointment may terminate the appointment because the appointee is no longer able to carry out his or her duties as a member of the Panel on account of ill health or for other good cause. Any casual vacancy on the Panel may be filled by the body making the original appointment for the residue of the term of that appointment.9.3 The Appeals Panel for England shall adjudicate on:(a) any dispute over the interpretation of these Articles;(b) any claim that the rights under these Articles of a member or of a Party body have been infringed, provided that no appeal may be brought under this paragraph where there is another appropriate appeal procedure;(c) any dispute between the Liberal Democrats in England and a Regional or Local Party, or between Regional Parties or between Local Parties in different Regions; and(d) any matter expressly so provided by these Articles or by rules made hereunder.Subsequent to the adoption of Article 22 of the Federal Constitution appeals relating to disciplinary matters shall not fall within the remit of the English Appeals Panel and shall be dealt with according to Articles 3 and 22 of the Federal Constitution.
If that doesn't rule you out, and you survive the additional restrictions set by the East of England Regional Constitution;
4.15 The Regional Executive shall appoint a member of the Regional Party who is eligible to be a member of the Federal Appeals Panel and is not and has not within the preceding year been a member of the Regional Executive or of the Regional Candidates Committee to be a member of the Appeals Panel for England. This appointment shall be subject to the ratification of the next Regional Conference.
then look out for an announcement from the East of England Liberal Democrats in due course.
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