The Independent Network
Over the last two decades, membership to UK political parties has fallen by over 50 per cent. Whilst the vast majority of the electorate remains interested in national and local issues, most people in the UK feel that they do not have a say in how the country is run.
This public frustration and disillusionment with career politicians and party politics demonstrates a role for Independent candidates elected to public office.
The Independent Network (IN) is a new association that provides support to candidates who are not members of traditional political parties. Independent candidates do not have access to a large national party structure with its human and financial resources. The Independent Network was formed to attend to this inequality and will encourage the electorate to acknowledge the success and influence Independents are having in local government and can have in Parliament.
As a not-for-profit association with a simple constitution, the IN supports: Independent elected members, candidates or prospective candidates of Government. Members of the public who support the principle of elected representatives of public office being free of the established party political system will be encouraged to support the efforts of the IN to get more Independents elected to public office.
The IN will provide Independents running for election with the necessary support including but not limited to:
Support with the administrative and legal requirements necessary to stand for election as an Independent or to set up, register and maintain a registered political party for Independents.
A common pool of knowledge on best practice regarding campaigning, fundraising, public relations and the use of the Internet.
Public opinion and policy research and a central forum for debate and discussion.
Services provided to elected members by the IN will include but are not limited to:
A central resource for networking with other elected Independent Network affiliates nationally
The sharing of best practice, knowledge and experience on delivering policy objectives.
The IN is not a political party. The IN does not impose any political views on the individuals and parties it supports or that support the Independent Network. However, the IN does insist that all affiliates are non-racist and non-discriminatory and have no affiliation with any group or party that embodies beliefs contradictory to these principles.
All affiliates must also agree to adhere to The Bell Principles.
Affiliation with the IN will create a sense of cohesion and identity for Independent candidates. The IN will establish national credibility for its affiliates, enabling the electorate to vote Independent with greater confidence that an Independent vote is a vote for a more representative government at all levels.
Notes to editors:
The Independent Network (IN) is a loose association that provides support to candidates who are not members of traditional political parties. As a not-for-profit association with a simple constitution, the IN consists of: independent representatives in national, regional and local government, and candidates or prospective candidates whom the Independent Network supports. Members of the public who support the principle of elected representatives of public office being free of the established party political system will be encouraged to become affiliated with the IN.
The Independent Network does not impose any political views on the individuals and parties it supports or that support the Independent Network. However, affiliates of the Independent Network must be non-racist and non-discriminatory and adhere to The Nolan Committee's recommendations on Standards in Public Life.