NEC Elections 2020 – Co-operative Party

NEC Elections 2020

Interested joining our National Executive Committee? Here's everything you need to know.

The Party’s National Executive Committee sets the strategic direction for the Party and works closely with the General Secretary and staff to ensure that we meet our purpose and agreed plans.   

Party policy is agreed by the NEC in consultation with members and Annual Conference. 

The NEC is also the Board of Co-operative Party Ltd, a registered Society under the Co-operative & Community Benefits Society Act 2014.  It is responsible for ensuring that the Party complies with all aspects of good corporate governance and meets its responsibilities in law and to statutory bodies such as the Financial Conduct Authority and Electoral Commission.   

Elections to the Co-operative Party National Executive Committee take place every three years.  Members elected in 2020 (and at subsequent by-elections) will serve from June 2020 until the next NEC is elected in 2023. 

Nominations are now open for the election of one representative each to represent Scotland & Northern Ireland (combined), Wales and the nine English regions.  These will be elected by one member, one vote by individual members in that nation or region. 

Nominations are also open for one Youth Representative, who must be under 27 on 6 February 2020.  They will be elected by one member, one vote by all individual members aged 30 or under. 

For this election, we are inviting candidates to self-nominate.  After the closing date (5pm on Thursday 6 February), valid nomination forms will be forwarded to branches and local parties in the relevant nation or region for them to endorse a candidate if they choose. You do not need to be endorsed by a branch or party council however to go forward for election. 

There are also two NEC places for representatives elected by and from the Party’s subscribing societies and affiliates.  If you wish to seek election for one of these places your please contact your society or affiliate to request a nomination.

Nominate yourself to the NEC

Please read all of the information on this page before clicking the button below to begin the nomination process.

Read the NEC Guide & Code of Conduct

Got a question?

Please contact our Deputy General Secretary, Karen Wilke, at or call 02073674178.

NEC Elections Timeline

18 December 2019

Self-nominations open for the NEC and CPDC 

6 February 2020 (5pm)

Closing date for self-nominations 

13 February 2020

Branch and Party Council endorsements open

15 March 2020

Closing date for branch and Party Council endorsements 

27 March 2020

Ballot papers will be issued to Societies, Affiliates and Party Councils for the 2 Societies and Affiliates NEC representatives and 22 Co-operative Party Disciplinary Committee representatives. 

6 April 2020

Ballot papers will be sent by email to all individual members for the regional and national election and to members 30 and under for the election for the youth representative 

4 May 2020

Ballots close

4/6 June 2020

Induction & AGM for new NEC, followed by the Co-operative Party Ltd AGM  

Frequently asked questions

Who are the NEC?

The NEC has 19 voting members:

  • 11 Regional members: one each for Scotland & Northern Ireland, Wales and the 9 English regions. These are elected by individual members by one member, one vote 
  • youth representative, elected by individual members aged 30 and under.  Candidates must be under 27 at the date of nomination.  
  • 2 members (1 man and woman), elected by Societies and other affiliates other than the Co-operative Group.  
  • members nominated by the Co-operative Group 
  • member from Co-operatives UK.   
  • 2 members of the Parliamentary Group.   

The Secretary General of Co-operatives UK, or their nominee, if a member of the Party, may sit on the NEC as a non-voting member.  

The General Secretary and the Board Secretary also attend each meeting, along with other Party staff as required. 

Who can stand?

NEC members must have a good understanding of corporate governance and finance or be prepared to receive training  

All NEC candidates must: 

  • Have been a full member of the Co-operative Party for six months by the close of nominations (6 February 2020) i.e. have made a valid application to join by 6 May 2019, and not be in arrears. 
  • Meet the legal requirements for a Board member of a registered Society.  For example, they must be over the age of 16.   
  • Complete the online Candidate Nomination Form 

Additionally, no-one can be an NEC member who:  

  • is not a member of a local Party, which is itself a member of the Party;  
  • refuses to sign a statement accepting the code of conduct for members of the National Executive Committee 
  • has been declared bankrupt or compounded with their creditors and not been discharged; 
  • is subject to a disqualification order made under the Company Directors Disqualification Act 
  • has been convicted of an offence where the conviction is not treated as spent under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 
  • fails to abide by any rules for the conduct of elections made by the National Executive Committee 

Regional representatives (11) must: 

  • Live in the nation/region for which you are seeking nomination. 

Additionally, the elections in the South East region, Scotland & Northern Ireland and Wales will be for women only candidates. 

Youth representative (1) must be: 

  • Under 27 at the date of nomination. 

Societies representatives (1 man & 1 woman): 

  • Must be nominated by a Society or Affiliate that is currently subscribed to the Co-operative Party.   
What are the rules for the election?
  • Candidates must complete all sections of the on-line nomination form.   This information will be forwarded to local parties and branches, who will be invited to endorse a candidate in their region and for the Youth representative.   
  • The information provided by candidates on the form will also be circulated with ballot papers and on the Co-operative Party’s website, together with a list of endorsing parties and branches. 
  • The supporting statement may include links to social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter. 
  • No additional printed materials may be circulated by the candidates or by others on their behalf. 
  • No candidate, or person on their behalf, may use access to the Party’s membership data to promote their candidacy.   
Are there rules for gender balance?

For 2014 and future elections, where required, the NEC agreed that some seats should be reserved for women candidates to ensure a gender balance on the NEC that better reflects the overall membership.   

For the elections in 2020 the following are only open to women candidates: - South East, Scotland & Northern Ireland, Wales.  These were selected on the basis that they were not chosen in 2017 and do not have a sitting member of the NEC who would be prevented from contesting the seat. 

Are members of the NEC renumerated?

Members of the NEC do not receive a fee or an attendance allowance, but they are reimbursed reasonable travel expenses to attend meetings of the NEC or on the NEC’s behalf. 

Next NEC Meetings

5/6 June

AGM & induction (followed by Co-operative Party AGM) 


9/11 October (tbc)

Annual Conference 

Leeds (tbc)

28/29 November

NEC Strategy Weekend 

Venue TBC

Nominate yourself to the NEC

Read all the information? Start the nomination process now!