This is the link to the Independent Network an organisation set up to aid Independent Candidates. It would appear to be a similar concept to the Jury Team, but not the same in that this appears to be an unbranded network seeking to assist in the background rather than providing an umbrella for which Independents can stand under - I have written about Jury Team many times, so if you are considering standing or prodding someone else to do so, both are worthy of some attention.
They claim that 98.5% of people do not belong to a political party in the UK, yet there are only two Independently Elected MP's in Westminster, Dai Davies and Dr Richard Taylor MP.
The Independent Network claims on their site to have done the following previously:
- Helped over a dozen candidates in the 2005 general election and provided an effective national media campaign
- Produced leaflets and resources for supporters
- Started an online presence, with a website, blog and social media pages
- Connected with current and former independent politicians, such as Martin Bell and Richard Taylor
- Formed an Executive committee for the IN that act as the guiding body
- Designed and created videos for Independent candidates. Examples of these include campaign adverts and vox pops
- Adopted and edited the Bell Principles, a code of conduct for Independent candidates and representatives
- Registered IN as a Ltd company – Independent Network Campaign Ltd
- Registered IN as a Third Party with the Electoral Commission
- Held meetings with national journalists
- Arranged meetings and formed partnerships with organisations, such as Parliamentary Outreach and the Democracy Trust.
- Connected with Independent PPCs and individuals interested in non-party politics
- Arranged events and workshops for Independent PPCs
- Started a bank of volunteers
- Conducted interviews and set up media opportunities for candidates
- Created an information page on Wikipedia
Independents are vital to our system; they are predominantly focused on constituency issues and can really challenge parachuted party candidates. Independents are the candidates that dare to say if you want to run to be my MP, you have to speak to my issues, and get more votes than I can.