The Group’s Objectives, Activities and Rules were formally adopted on 5 July 1967 and have since been subject to minor amendments in 1968, 1981, 1982, 1996, 2000, 2003, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2015, 2017, 2018 and 2020.
- The objects of the British-American Parliamentary Group are to promote friendly relations and mutual understanding between Members of both Houses of Parliament of the United Kingdom and Members of both Houses of Congress of the United States of America; to discuss problems common to the United Kingdom and the United States; to exchange courtesies and to provide opportunities for discussion with Senators, members of the House of Representatives, and other distinguished citizens of the United States; and to arrange for the exchange of visits and information between legislators of both countries.
- Any member of the House of Lords or House of Commons is eligible for membership of the Group and shall become a member on setting up a Standing Order for an Annual Subscription or on paying a Life Subscription.
- The Annual Subscription shall be not less than £10.00 (ten pounds), payable upon joining and thereafter on 1 April in each year. Any member may opt to pay a Life Subscription of £60 (sixty pounds), subject to the other Rules of the Group.N.B. When members leave either House their subscription becomes forfeit. If the member subsequently returns to either House, a Life Subscription would become re-activated.
- Any members ceasing to be a Member of either House of Parliament shall cease to be a member of the Group.
- The Speaker of the House of Commons and the Lord Speaker shall be ex-officio Honorary Joint Presidents of the Group, subject to ratification at each Annual General Meeting.
- Members of either House shall be eligible for election at the Annual General Meeting of the Group as Vice-Presidents on the nomination of the Executive Committee and shall hold office till the next Annual General Meeting.
- The management of the Group shall be vested in the Executive Committee.
- (a) The Executive Committee shall consist of not more than 18 Members, who shall be elected each year at the Annual General Meeting. There will be two separate ballots to elect 12 members from the House of Commons, of which six members from the Government Party and six members from the Opposition Parties who receive the most votes being declared elected, and six members elected to represent the House of Lords, the proportion of which is to be determined by the Lord Speaker and the representatives of the parties and groups in the House. In addition, the Executive Committee may co-opt not more than four other Members who shall hold office until the following Annual General Meeting.(b) The Joint Honorary Treasurers and the Honorary Secretary shall each be nominated by the Executive, ratified each year at the AGM, and shall be additional members of the Executive Committee with full voting rights. The Honorary Secretary shall be eligible to continue in that office for a maximum of eight consecutive years.(c) Nominations for election to the Executive Committee shall be proposed and seconded by members of the Group and shall reach the office of the Group not less than seven days before the Annual General Meeting.
(d) The Executive Committee shall meet, when summoned by the Honorary Secretary, or at the request of the Joint Vice-Chairs or of any six members, not fewer than four times between one year’s AGM and the next.(e) At all meetings of the Executive Committee, six members shall form a quorum.
(f) The Honorary Chair shall be the Prime Minister, subject to ratification at each AGM. The Executive Committee shall nominate three Vice-Chairs – two from the House of Commons, preferably of Ministerial and Shadow Ministerial office, and one from the House of Lords – for up to three years, subject to ratification at each AGM. The Senior Vice-Chair shall be the Vice-Chair who is a member of the Party in Government. No Vice-Chair shall be eligible to continue in that office for more than three consecutive years. The Vice-Chair or Vice-Chairs vacating office under this rule shall not be eligible for re-election to that office for two years after vacating such office.
(g) The Executive Committee may fill any casual vacancy occurring amongst the Officers or Committee by appointing a suitable and qualified member of the Group, of the same Party and the same House as the person causing the vacancy.Any person so appointed shall hold office until the Annual General Meeting then next ensuing.
- The Duties of the Executive Committee shall include:
(a) The Group’s programme of activity;
(b) Ensure that the selection of participants in delegations is balanced and reasonable;
(c) The promotion of membership of the Group;
(d) The control of the expenditure of the Group’s funds;
(e) The appointment of a paid Administrator, whose duties shall be to co-operate with the Officers and Executive Committee in carrying out their duties;
(f) The Duties of the Executive Committee shall include the execution of the Group’s affairs in accordance with the Financial Memorandum setting out the aims and objectives of the British-American Parliamentary Group and describing the administrative and financial arrangements for the Group’s activities and its relationship with the House of Commons Commission and the House of Lords Commission.
- The Annual General Meeting of the Group shall be held at such time and place as the Executive Committee may appoint.(a) Twenty members shall form a quorum.(b) The Executive Committee shall submit to the Annual General Meeting a report of their proceedings and a statement of the receipts and expenditure in the past year.
(c) Notice of the Annual General Meeting of the Group, together with an Agenda and the URL address to view the Annual Report and Accounts on-line, shall be posted to every member not less than fourteen days before the day appointed for such a meeting.
(d) At least seven days’ notice of any motion not mentioned on the Agenda to be brought up at the Annual General Meeting shall be given to the Executive Committee.(e) Any election of Officers must be advertised on the All Party Notices not less than seven days beforehand.
- A Special General Meeting of the Group may be summoned at any time and place by the Executive Committee to consider and determine any matter of interest and importance that may arise and also by the Honorary Secretary in accordance with Rule 12(b) and 12 (c). If a requisition in writing of not less than twenty members, stating the object for which the meeting is demanded, shall reach the Executive Committee, the Executive Committee shall summon a Special General Meeting to be held not less than twenty-one days and not more than thirty days from the receipt of such a requisition. The provisions of Rule 10(c) and 10(d) shall, so far as is practicable, apply to Special General Meetings.
- In the event of a General Election:(a) The re-elected members of the Executive Committee who were in office on the date of the dissolution of Parliament shall carry on the affairs of the Group until the next Annual General Meeting. In the event of any of the Officers not being re-elected, the Executive Committee, as then constituted, shall nominate a member or members of the Executive Committee to act in their place until the election of Officers takes place at the next Annual General Meeting;(b) In the event of fewer than six members of the Executive Committee being re-elected, the Honorary Secretary (or other eligible Officer should the Honorary Secretary not be re-elected) shall take immediate steps to arrange for the election of a new Executive Committee and will call a Special General Meeting of the Group for this purpose;
(c) When the results of the elections held by virtue of Rule 12 (b) are known, those Officers and members of the Executive Committee still eligible for membership of the Group shall, with the exception of the ex-officio Officers, Vice-Presidents, and Honorary Secretary, retire forthwith unless re-elected to office.
- Any amendment to these Rules shall be made by simple majority at the Annual General Meeting of the Group provided that notice of the amendment shall be included in the notice summoning the meeting.
- In the event of the interpretation of any of the foregoing rules being in doubt or in the event of a situation arising which is not apparently covered by any of the rules, it will be for the Senior Vice-Chair of the Executive Committee to decide what to do and the ruling will remain operative unless and until rejected at the next Annual General Meeting.