What are the rules around provisional membership?

All new members are classed as provisional members for eight weeks after they first join the party. For the vast majority of people this provisional membership period passes without issue, and the only restriction is that until the provisional membership period is over, the member is not allowed to vote at their local branch meetings or attend CLP meetings.

Within this period, either the General Secretary or the local party (CLP) that the new member has joined may decide to reject the person’s membership. Rejection could be for a range of reasons that essentially lead to the conclusion that the person’s membership would be damaging to the Party.

To take this unusual step there of course need to be legitimate reasons. If they wish to reject a new member, the CLP must pass a resolution at an Executive Committee or General Meeting to that effect. They must confirm they’ve done so to the Governance and Legal Unit in email or writing and provide a short statement of reasons – which the rejected member is entitled to ask to see.

In most cases, if a new member is rejected they can lodge an appeal to the NEC. The exception is when the new member has done something in the previous two years that would have caused them to be automatically excluded from membership, had they been a member at the time (for instance standing as a candidate for another political party).

Before the provisional period expires if the Governance and Legal Unit are informed of a provisional objection against a new membership, it can extend the new member’s provisional period by up to four weeks. If this extension is granted, the new member will be advised.