Please find below the content of an open letter to the Speaker, Mr John Berkow from Andrew Withers, Leader designate of the Libertarian Party UK (LPUK).
Mr John Bercow
Speaker to the House of Commons
Dear Mr Bercow
On the 12th November 2010 the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation & Skills Dr Vince Cable MP instructed a firm of solicitors, Osborne Clarke of Bristol to write to District Judge Watson of the Bristol Registry requiring that I have leave of the Court to act as elected Leader of the Libertarian Party, further more and I quote:
‘Our client does not consider that Mr Withers has currently demonstrated sufficient need for leave in respect of the entity’
The Libertarian Party is a registered party within the meaning of the Political Parties,Elections and Referendums Act 2000, and I have a mandate from the members of the party to act as the party leader as from the 27th November, what further sufficient need do I require ?
It is extraordinary that a Minister of the Crown has made such a legal move against the leader of a minor party and creates a dangerous precedent constitutionally. Can you please advise when government ministers and the executive think that they can act in such a manner, and interfere with the internal workings of another party through the Courts.
Can you please urgently advise as Chairman of the Speakers Committee under the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act, when such powers were transferred from the Electoral Commission and to the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation & Skills.
I have no intention of seeking the leave of the Court to act as the leader of the Libertarian Party and I suspect this act is both illegal and ultra vires on the part of the Secretary of State. I am urgently seeking Counsels opinion on this letter.
I would be grateful for your urgent observations by return.
Andrew P Withers
c.c. The Electoral Commission, Dr Liam Fox MP.
We await the observations of Mr Speaker with interest. As I have said previously, this is much more than Andrew Withers, or the Libertarian Party, for should a precedent be set with this case, then Vince Cable as Secretary of State has the power to cancel out any politician, of any party, at any time. A truly frightening development.
The background to this letter can be found below:
An Interview with Andrew Withers – Oct 18, 2010