Members’ assembly FAQs:
How will language be used: will people be asked to use terminology they disagree with, shut down for stating their beliefs, or expected to tolerate derogatory or offensive language?
Why are we doing this members’ assembly?
In 2018 we had a debate at conference about whether we should adopt a policy that called for people to be able to legally self-identify as a different gender to the sex they were assigned or registered with at birth; identify as non-binary in law; and lower the age of legally changing one’s gender to 16. We also debated an amendment that called for the Equality Act 2010 to be upheld, including exceptions that allow for single sex spaces to exclude people with the characteristic 'gender reassignment' in certain circumstances. Instead of voting on the proposal, it was referred back to the Policy Committee for a member-wide consultation.
The Policy Committee, with input from the Steering Committee, came up with a model that aims to build consensus, by allowing members to listen to different perspectives, and work together to make recommendations about whether to change our current policies in light of the debate.
What’s the difference between a member and a witness for the members’ assembly?
There will be around 60 members of the assembly, who are selected from the people who filled out a survey we sent to members in August. They are all members of the party, and will go through all three stages of the assembly to decide if and what recommendations to make about our policies.
Witnesses are the people who will present information to the members. There are likely to be around 18 witnesses, covering a range of topics from a range of perspectives.
The witnesses will have an opportunity to present information either prerecorded or live, and assembly members will have a chance to ask them clarifying questions (so long as they are available). Delivering a short presentation of evidence or personal testimony is the only role that witnesses have in the assembly. Witnesses can give a particular opinion or perspective, and the advisory group is responsible for ensuring that assembly members hear a balance of views.
Assembly members, having heard the evidence and testimonies, then meet in small groups to discuss what they have heard, work out what they think it means, and then go on to make recommendations about our policies.
What’s the advisory group’s role?
The advisory group is responsible for providing witnesses and shaping the questions put to assembly members. They sit outside the process but make important decisions about it. Essentially, the advisory group directs the content of the things the assembly members are exposed to, and NatCen delivers the process using expert facilitators.
What will the assembly decide?
We don’t yet know what the assembly members will decide. But the possibilities are that none of our policies need to change, or that some do, and they will recommend what those changes should be.
What will happen after the assembly?
We will have a session at conference where we report on what has happened and what, if any, recommendations have been made by the assembly. We hope that some members of the assembly will come to conference and share their experiences of being part of it.
We expect the recommendations to take the form of statements or goals, and the Policy Committee will take those recommendations and shape them into full policies that could fit in with the rest of our policies. If that is what happens, the draft policies will then go out for consultation with all members.
We don’t know exactly what shape that consultation will take yet, as we don’t know the outcome of the assembly, but we will update members when we do.
Why was the National Centre for Social Research (NatCen) appointed to run the assembly?
We do not have the expertise or capacity in-house to run the kind of process we want to, one that will allow for a full and respectful deliberation and be a reliable source of evidence. The Steering Committee therefore agreed to outsource the work, and we used a competitive tendering process to find a provider. We sent out the brief to a number of organisations including NatCen, Ipsos Mori, and Involve, and assessed any proposals we received against our criteria, as set out online. NatCen’s proposal most closely met the brief.
What due diligence was done before signing the contract?
We raised some due diligence concerns with NatCen in the process of assessing their suitability for this work, as we would with any contractor. NatCen provided assurances of their impartiality and independence in carrying out the assembly, which is further strengthened by the role of the advisory group in determining things like the criteria for witnesses and evidence. Members of the advisory group have also decided to attend the moderated sessions as observers, which means there is no part of the process that will not have been determined or observed by the advisory group, which is completely independent from NatCen.
Did NatCen ‘no platform’ an academic?
We raised press reports of no platforming with NatCen during the due diligence process. NatCen assured us that the event that was postponed had been programmed as a survey methodology event, and not a debate about census questions around sex and gender. Not only did they not have a range of speakers to ensure a balanced debate on that topic, but they felt it was beyond their remit to do so when it rightly is the function of the UK census authorities to consult on the Census sex question.
How will language be used: will people be asked to use terminology they disagree with, shut down for stating their beliefs, or expected to tolerate derogatory or offensive language?
As a general rule, derogatory language will not be tolerated from witnesses or assembly members, including slurs commonly used on social media, unless used by a witness to describe their own experience. The advisory group has agreed that witnesses will be asked to define terms they intend to use in their testimony ahead of time, if the definition of those terms are contested. This includes the use of the terms, ‘sex’ and ‘gender’.
Assembly members will be expected to respect the pronouns and prefixes of each other’s (and witnesses) choice/ definition. For those who reject the term ‘cis’ when being referred to in relation to trans identities, we invite people to use the term ‘natal’. However, we will also ask assembly members (and witnesses) to be open minded and generous towards members who are less familiar with the topic.
The advisory group will approve a glossary of terms for assembly members who are not familiar with the topic, and for NatCen’s moderators.
Will there be any guidance for branch officers?
We will be producing guidance for members of the assembly on things like confidentiality, use of social media, and actions to take if they have any concerns during the assembly. We will produce another version of the guidance for branch members and other officers of the party.
The advisory group is made up of volunteers working together to provide advice and guidance to the independent contractor and WE staff managing the consultation. They have a range of views on the topic, but are broadly balanced on their views self-ID.
Advisory group selection
Two members of the Policy Committee were appointed to the advisory group by the Policy and Steering Committees, Tabitha Morton and Ruth Wilkinson, to provide continuity on the consultation process and to advise on our policy areas.
Following an open application process, four members of the Party were invited to join the advisory group. The group of six met on Friday 14th August, and agreed that between them they had gaps of knowledge and experience necessary for informed and robust advice and ensuring the range of witnesses needed. Gaps included experience of and connections with people with trans identities; BAME representation; and experience of working in the violence against women sector.
The initial group agreed to reach out to additional people, including non-members, to invite them to join the group (in that time, two of the appointed members stepped down due to conflict of interests arising from professional opportunities and advising a political party).
An additional four members were invited to join the advisory group, which now has eight members in total. Meetings of the group are also attended by Erin Mansell, and some meetings by the project manager at NatCen. Neither have a vote in decision-making.
Advisory group members
Tabitha is the spokesperson for Ending Violence against Women and Deputy Leader of the Party. Tabitha has been on the Policy Committee for almost two years, and played a significant role in creating a citizen’s assembly design for the member consultation. Tabitha believes that of our seven objectives ending violence against women and girls is key, while it’s still acceptable for women to be raped and killed, none of us will be free. When designing policy or campaigning Tabitha focusses on the furthest in our communities first, gaining equality for one group should never leave others behind. She is also the CEO of cross-party campaigning organisation, More United.
Tabitha and Ruth Wilkinson provide continuity of oversight of the process. They have different views on the topic and were nominated by the Policy Committee with the need for balance on the Advisory Group in mind.
Ruth was elected spokesperson for equality in Scotland at the beginning of the year. She is currently doing an MSc in Applied Gender Studies at Strathclyde University and has lived in Scotland for over twenty years. She and Tabitha Morton provide continuity of oversight of the process. They have different views on the topic and were nominated by the Policy Committee with the need for balance on the Advisory Group in mind.
Rae is a recently retired doctor, she was a consultant in intensive care. She holds a Law degree (LLB Hons) and has had specific training in the Equality Act 2010 (EA) and Gender Recognition Act 2004 (GRA) for her roles as Clinical Director, Educational and Clinical Supervisor and membership of Appointment Committees for doctors, nurses and support staff. Rae is an Accredited Mediator (London School of Mediation) and has also undergone training in Workplace Mediation. She has concerns around the impact of potential reforms to the Gender Recognition Act on women’s spaces, the narrowing of gender stereotypes and de-platforming of academic women.
Alex has many years of professional experience building women's spaces and is well versed in the issues around inclusivity and safety that are inherent in saying something is "for women". In university, she contributed to a women's debate network and since then has founded women's improv groups. She now works as a project manager for a large girl focussed UK charity. Alex develops policies and quality standards in accordance with members' needs and current legislation. Alex believes in making the equality tent bigger, not smaller.
STOOD DOWN 8 SEPTEMBER 2020
Christina is a parent of two children and a trans woman who's a vocal part of the LGBTQ+ community where she is treasurer of her local pride event and volunteers for a local LGBTQ+ charity. Feeling there aren't enough trans voices being listened to and feeling the need to defend herself constantly, she has conducted a lot of research into the GRA and the EA in order to become informed about the legislation and her rights under the law.
Val set up her first women’s liberation group in 1969 and has been involved in the women’s liberation movement ever since. She was the first Girls and Young Women's officer at the National Association of Youth Clubs, fighting for the voices and rights of young women. She set up NCBI and then Diversity Hub training citizens in skills to tackle prejudice and discrimination and do community-based conflict resolution.
Gita is a writer and journalist. Gita co-founded Southhall Black Sisters in 1979, and in 1989 she co-founded Women against Fundamentalism. Gita was Head of Amnesty International’s Gender Unit between 2002 and 2010, when she left in a dispute with Amnesty over its endorsement of Moazzam Begg, the director of an organisation supporting detained men, who also supported the Taliban despite its record on women’s rights.
Dr Victoria Cann is a Lecturer in Humanities and Course Director of MA Gender Studies in the Interdisciplinary Institute for the Humanities at the University of East Anglia. She works in the fields of cultural studies, sociology and gender studies and is author of the book Girls Like This: Boys Like That: the reproduction of gender in contemporary youth cultures(IB Tauris, 2018). Tori is from a working-class family and is the only member of her family to have gone to university. She is passionate about engaging and finding a place for working class and other underrepresented students in higher education and committed to bringing feminist projects to her local community and beyond.
The criteria used to select the initial members of the group are set out below, for information.
To ensure diverse representation within the group, additional weighting was to be given to people with protected characteristics under the Equality Act 2010 and under-represented groups.
|Selection criteria used to select members
One or more of:
An excellent understanding of the role of the advisory group and its members.
The ability to work effectively as part of a team.
The ability to foster respectful engagement.
Availability between 14th August and 28th September.
The ability to work to tight deadlines and good time management.
The ability to consume and understand large amounts of information.
Good analytical skills.
Good written and verbal communication skills.
Good IT skills.
Terms of reference
Consultation Advisory Group
TYPE OF COMMITTEE:
To advise the independent organisation carrying out the members' assembly process to ensure the assembly’s plans, evidence and materials are accurate, balanced and unbiased and perceived as such by the outside world.
The Advisory Group will make decisions with regards to the witness selection process for the Members' Assembly and work with the independent organisation to plan the assembly and react to their requests throughout the process.
The advisory group shall ensure the assembly hears from the broadest possible range of expertise and lived experience from the witnesses, while retaining a deliberative process that is as consensus-building as possible.
Factors to be considered include:
The advisory group will work with the independent organisation throughout the members assembly process to make decisions that are relevant to its purpose.
The advisory group will have no more than 11 members.
Of those 11, there must be:
Of the other people on the advisory group, one or more of the following criteria for membership must be fulfilled:
It is a condition of membership of the advisory group that they foster respectful engagement, and commit to the aims of the assembly by providing a balance of evidence to the assembly members.
Chair of the advisory group to be elected at the first meeting of the advisory group by a two/thirds majority. If further votes are required these will also be by two/thirds majority.
The advisory group will meet by Zoom, initially to decide the criteria for the call for witnesses by the 16th August. After the initial process, they will work with the independent organisation running the assembly to select witnesses before the first meeting of the members assembly on 24th August.
They will then be available throughout the members assembly as required until the 28th September.
The group may conduct business about routine planning matters by email.
The chair of the advisory group will work with the independent organisation, central office staff and Steering Committee, in order to meet the requirements of the members assembly.
The advisory group will have the use of the party’s Zoom account.
The advisory group will produce its agendas in conjunction with the independent organisation. The advisory group will take its own minutes.
This section details the terms of reference for the group, which were agreed by both committees before the group was convened. It also includes details about the members of the scoping group and why they were selected. The group was convened, chaired and facilitated by Erin Mansell, Political Adviser and Researcher for the Party.
Terms of reference
Consultation Scoping Committee
|TYPE OF COMMITTEE:
To advise the Women’s Equality Party on carrying out a Members' Assembly (based on a citizen’s assembly design) that will consider and deliberate on Self-ID. The scoping group will collectively consider the aims of the members' assembly and make recommendations on its the design and operation, taking into account the likely restrictions that will be in place as a result of COVID-19.
The Scoping Committee will make recommendations to the Policy and Steering committees of the Women’s Equality Party as to the make-up and design of a Members' Assembly and associated costs, taking into account the likely restrictions that will be in place as a result of COVID-19.
The Scoping Committee shall make recommendations that ensure WE hear from the broadest possible range of expertise and lived experience from the witnesses, while retaining a deliberative process that is as consensus-building as possible.
Factors to be considered include:
The Committee is acting in an advisory role, it does not have powers to enact decisions on behalf of the Party.
The Scoping Committee will have no more than 12 members.
Of those 12, there must be:
Of the other people on the scoping committee, one or more of the following criteria for membership must be fulfilled:
It is a condition of membership of the committee that personal opinions must be put aside in favour of objectivity and working towards solutions.
Chair of the Scoping Committee to be elected at the first meeting of the Scoping Committee by a simple majority vote.
Ideally the Committee will meet by Zoom, at least once as a full group for half a day, repeated if needed, and from then may advise in an individual capacity as available. The Committee may conduct business about routine planning matters by email.
Scoping of the assembly is to take place in May, and the assembly in July/ August 2020.
The Chair of the Scoping Committee will work with Erin Mansell to send the minutes of Scoping Committee meetings and recommendations to the PC, to be included in a report from the PC to the SC.
The Committee will have the use of the party’s Zoom account.
The committee will produce its agendas in conjunction with Erin Mansell, who is the Central Office liaison. The committee will take its own minutes.
Members of the Scoping Group
Policy Committee random selection
Director, Deliberative Research, NatCen
Deliberative processes, social research (including sampling), WE member, online research facilitation
Steering Committee elected
Senior lecturer in the Department of Government & Politics, Cork University
Advisory board member for citizen’s assemblies on contentious issues.
Accessibility of group participation
Participant in Ireland citizens’ assembly
Experience of interpreting legislation, and WE member
The members' assembly has now completed its deliberations. Recommendations will be published soon.
The members' assembly was run by an independent third party, managed by WE staff, with guidance from our advisory group. The brief for this work was sent out to tender, and we appointed NatCen Social Research to carry out the work, based on the proposal they submitted in response to the brief.
The members' assembly was based on the citizens' assembly model, which has been used to tackle a range of issues and policies including abortion, Brexit, climate change and social care.
What is a citizens' assembly?
Typically, a group of people are chosen at random using certain additional information to ensure they are representative of the general population (such as age, geography, race, ethnicity, sex, gender, sexual orientation, disability status etc.), and their views on the topic are assessed to ensure a broad range. They are asked to read evidence and/or hear presentations from experts, lobby groups and people with lived experience of the issue/s at hand and are asked to deliberate on a question or series of questions based on the information they hear. It is often a three-stage method, with citizens spending the first part learning about the issues and context, the second part deliberating in small groups on their own understanding, opinions and questions, and finally the third part coming to conclusions and recommendations. For more information about citizens' assemblies and deliberative methods online see:
How were members of this assembly chosen?
We sent out a survey of all our members on the 13th August 2020, asking about their demographics (including age, ethnicity, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, disability status, and where they live) as well as some general attitudinal questions on how much they know about the Gender Recognition Act, and whether or not they agree that people should or should not be able to legally change their gender without taking the steps they currently have to.
Participants were selected to represent a range of attitudes in relation to changes to the GRA; age groups and geographical locations. Those selected also included at least 20% of people who said they had a disability or long-term health condition and at least 15% who said they were lesbian, gay or bisexual. All respondents to the survey who said they are trans and non-binary, and those from ethnic minority groups are being invited, as their total responses made up a small proportion of the overall number.
An invitation was sent to people who, as a group, meet these criteria and quotas. The information we sent to members who were invited is available at https://www.womensequality.org.uk/members_consultation_assembly_participant. Participation was entirely voluntary, and members were free to turn down the invitation or withdraw at any time.
We aimed for around 60 members in total (with an assumption that some would drop out as is normal) and had 56 participants who attended at least one of the three sessions. 51 participants attended all three, and are listed below.
When did the assembly happen?
There were sessions on Wednesday evenings for three consecutive weeks from 5pm until 8:30pm on the 16th, 23rd, and 30th September. The first two weeks were informational, and all the evidence presented to assembly members was live streamed and is now available at https://www.womensequality.org.uk/members_consultation_testimonials.
Parts of the first and second week and all of the third week were confidential, as the members of the assembly met in small groups to ask questions, deliberate, and make recommendations. They were guided by moderators from NatCen.
Members of the advisory group observed the small groups without taking part in the discussions, to ensure the moderators' impartiality and to be clear about how the recommendations were reached.
Audio recordings of the deliberations have been made available to WE staff and the Policy Committee.
What were members of our assembly asked to do?
Members selected to participate were asked to listen to witness testimonies from people with a range of views, expertise and experiences, read a selection of documents, and take part in small group discussions before collectively making recommendations about whether or not the Party needs to add or change any of its policies in light of the evidence they have heard.
The debate about whether there is a conflict of rights between the goals of the Gender Recognition Act and the Equality Act (and the debate about the motion two years ago) was the backdrop to the task of the assembly. We were looking for ways to move forward, given our mission and our objectives for women’s equality.
Members of the assembly were provided summaries of our key policies and asked to focus on whether, given what they had heard, they had recommendations for changing or adding to any of our policies. They were not asked to take a position on self-ID.
How were witnesses and evidence elected?
We selected a full advisory group of eight people, more information about the advisory group is available at https://www.womensequality.org.uk/members_consultation_advisory_group.
The advisory group worked together to compile a list of witnesses for the assembly, who were invited to present evidence to the assembly members.
Participants heard about the legislative context of the debate at conference 2018 (Gender Recognition Act, Equality Act and/or other relevant legislation) and listened to a range of testimonies relevant to the motion. These included cross-cutting topics:
- Service provision, e.g. services that support survivors of male violence, health services;
- Single sex spaces;
- Data collection and categorisation; and
- Language around sex and gender in terms of services and inclusion.
They are also covered some of our seven policy objectives:
- Equal Representation
- Equal Pay & Opportunity
- Equal Parenting & Caregiving
- Equal Education
- Equality in and by the Media
- Ending Violence Against Women
- Equality in Health
We invited witnesses to speak to their professional experience and views, as well as witnesses who provided testimony of their own experiences between the evidence sessions, some of which could have been distressing or traumatic. The advisory group provided options for people giving testimony anonymously if needed, including written testimony, audio only, or having their experiences read out by someone on their behalf.
Witnesses for the first week were as follows:
|Manager of the Scottish Trans Alliance
|Trade unionist and co-founder of Women's Place UK
|Academic with expertise in 'the study of culturally induced ignorance'
Witnesses for the second week were as follows:
|Non-binary trans teacher
|Dr Shereen Benjamin
|Senior Lecturer in Primary Education, University of Edinburgh
|Ending violence against women
|Karen Ingala Smith
|Chief Executive of NIA, which runs services for women and girls who have been subjected to sexual and domestic violence and abuse
|Ending violence against women
|Tabitha Morton presenting summary of Women's Aid & Cornwall Refuge Trust
|Witness testimonies from evidence session of the Women and Equalities Select Committee about the exemptions in the Equality Act in relation to single sex services
|Dr Jane Clare Jones
|Feminist writer, philosopher and activist
|Former Green party policy coordinator
Conference delegate debate the motion, ‘Gender recognition act’ and an amendment. Conference votes down the amendment and the proposers of the motion call for it to be referenced back to the Policy Committee.
The Policy Committee designs a consultation process that will aim for consensus-building whereby two groups identify the issues that need to be covered by the consultation. One group is made up of members, randomly selected. The other group is made up of people with expertise and lived experiences. Both are moderated by external facilitators. The Policy Committee cross-compares the issues they identify and works with a social research expert to translate them into questions to put to the full membership.
The Steering Committee asks the Policy Committee to develop their proposal further and asks for clarification on membership of the two groups, including definition of ‘experts’ and of ‘lived experience’ and criteria for selection for both groups. It also asks for more detail on the format and structure of their meetings. The Steering Committee asks the Policy Committee to consider alternative consultation models for consensus building.
The Policy Committee submits a revised model to the Steering Committee that adapts a citizen’s jury process with a members’ assembly in place of the jury. The proposal is for 12 randomly selected members to form the jury or assembly, who will hear evidence from 12 individual members of the Party selected by the Policy Committee through an application process. The jury will hear from as many perspectives as possible, following the format of the conference debate, which had people speaking for and against the motion. The outcome from the Jury will help the Policy Committee decide if and how the wider consultation should take place.
The Steering Committee welcomes the revised model but questions the order of the steps involved, suggesting that a citizen’s jury could consider evidence based on questions defined by members in the member-wide consultation. The Steering Committee also directs the Party to include third parties in the members’ assembly step of the consultation process, asks the Policy Committee to increase the number of members to at least 20, and to ensure that witnesses are invited from outside the Party as well as from within.
In response to queries from the Policy Committee on some of the Steering Committee’s decisions, the two committees meet online to discuss the rationale behind the model put forward by the Policy Committee and the Steering Committee’s changes. Following discussion, they agree on all the amendments made by the Steering Committee other than the order of the two steps of the process. The committees agree to meet in May to continue their discussion.
The Policy Committee and the Steering Committee meet in person to discuss the options for the sequence of the consultation steps. They consider three options: the consultation before the members' assembly; the members' assembly before the consultation; or the consultation between two sessions of the members' assembly. The committees agree that the assembly should come first, in order to make recommendations that members can be consulted on, having been through a learning and deliberation process.
This is subject to the appointment of a scoping group to include methodology expertise that can advise the party on carrying out the consultation in this sequence, and best practice on citizen's assemblies. The committees email members to update them on this four-step process (the final step being a review of the consultation findings by the Policy Committee) and advise that the scoping work will begin in autumn 2019, subject to balancing priorities, particularly any General Election.
General Election campaign
The Policy Committee submits a paper to the Steering Committee with an updated timeframe for the consultation and recommended criteria for the scoping group. The scoping group would be selected in January 2020, and would meet and make recommendations in February 2020. The members' assembly would take place between May and June 2020 (following local and regional elections, of which the Greater London Assembly was a priority for the Party). Following the assembly, a social research expert would be contracted to develop a questionnaire for the member-wide consultation, with an update to Conference planned for September 2020 whereby members could feed back on the questionnaire. The Steering Committee approved the timeframe.
The Policy Committee agrees to the individuals suggested for the scoping group following the criteria it set out, and confirms that staff should approach them. The Policy Committee asks staff to put together terms of reference for the scoping group. The Policy Committee randomly selects Pamela Ritchie as its representative on the Scoping Group.
Local elections postponed to May 2021. Lockdown announced.
The Policy Committee proposes moving the assembly online in light of restrictions on public meetings and use of public transport, as well as the uncertainty of the ongoing risks of the Coronavirus to public safety. They ask the Steering Committee to agree to convening the scoping group as soon as possible in order to take expert advice on the format and feasibility of doing so. The Steering Committee agrees, and elects Helen Mooney as its representative on the scoping group.
The scoping group meets and discusses the aims of the consultation, the model and sequencing that has been proposed, and makes recommendations on how to carry out the assembly online in the timeframe planned. They put some questions back to the committees that need to be considered before designing some aspects of the assembly, the key ones being clarification over the question that will be put to the assembly and what exactly will happen to its recommendations.
The Policy Committee makes recommendations to the Steering Committee based on the scoping group’s recommendations. It puts forward as the question for the assembly to consider, ‘What are the issues arising from our seven policy objectives in the context of the motion that was brought to conference in 2018, which proposed support for a process of legal recognition of changed gender which requires a process of self-determination and the legal recognition of non-binary people?’. It also clarifies that the output from the assembly will be a set of the issues that arise from the motion to conference in relation to our objectives, and a recommendation about whether members should be consulted on policy changes as a result.
The member-wide consultation could include questions; statements; proposed policy motions; or other formats and the results of the member’s assembly and the consultation will inform new/amended policy/policies as proposed by the Policy Committee. The Policy Committee also recommends that the identity of assembly members be anonymous but all other aspects, including witnesses and evidence, be available for all members to access. It recommends that the assembly determines for itself whether observers should be permitted access.
The Steering Committee agrees the proposal subject to the Scoping Group’s input on the reworded question, its advice on the transparency of participants in the assembly and whether or not they should be anonymous as well as whether or not they should have a say over the inclusion of independent observers. The Steering Committee directs the Party to go out to tender for the members' assembly, once those details are clarified and sent back to it for approval via email.
The Scoping Group meets for a second time and suggests that the reworded question still needs some work. It advises maximum transparency on all details other than the small group deliberations, which should be confidential. Members of the assembly should not be anonymous, but the Party or its contractor should provide guidelines for them and for other members setting out how participants should engage with others during the assembly, including on social media. The group advises that an Advisory Group should be recruited to support us with selection criteria for witnesses, who should be people with understanding and expertise of the substantive topic.
The Policy Committee rewords the question to, ‘In the context of the special debate around the 2018 motion on the Gender Recognition Act, what changes, if any, need to be made to WE policies?’. With input from the Director of Deliberative Democracy for NatCen (a member of the Scoping Group), the Steering Committee agrees the question. The committees agree that assembly members should not be anonymous and to make the assembly public to independent observers including members of the press.
The Party goes out to tender for the members' assembly.
The Party holds a feedback session with members.