Frequently Asked Questions
Who controls you?
Our governing council is elected by our members every two years. This, in turn, elects its own chair and a management board which is responsible for overseeing the day-to-day running of the organisation.
All members are also entitled to attend our Annual General Meeting each year, which is ultimately responsible for our constitution (pdf).
Who are your members?
Any member of the public who shares our views is welcome to join Unlock Democracy. It costs £24 to join (£12 claimant rate). You can join here.
Please note that Unlock Democracy’s Management Board has a fiduciary duty to the integrity of the Organisation and may reject any individual’s application to join the Organisation within 90 days of receipt of their application, for any reason, and with no recourse to appeal. Any individual, whose application is not rejected within this period, shall be deemed to be a member of the Organisation. In the unlikely event of this happening, your membership fee will be returned to you. For full information about joining Unlock Democracy and how we are governed, please see our constitution.
We currently have just over 6,000 members.
How are you funded?
Unlock Democracy is funded from three main sources: subscriptions and donations from our members and supporters (which makes up roughly half of our income), grant income for specific projects from various foundations and trusts, and income from our subsidiary company Rodell Properties Ltd. Rodell Properties Ltd manages two small office buildings in central London, including 6-9 Cynthia Street N1 where Unlock Democracy is based.
Read more about our donations policy, including links to our fundraising policy and sources of our large donors.
Read our accounts.
Are you linked with any political party?
Unlock Democracy is a cross-party organisation committed to working with any individual or organisation which shares our values and objectives. As well as non-aligned individuals, our council currently includes members of the Conservative Party, Green Party, Labour Party and Liberal Democrats (although they are all elected in their own rights and do not represent the parties they are members of).
Unlock Democracy was formed in 2007 out of a merger between Charter 88 and the New Politics Network. The New Politics Network was the legal successor to the Democratic Left, which in turn was the legal successor to the Communist Party of Great Britain (CPGB).
As part of this legacy, Unlock Democracy wholly owns Rodell Properties Ltd, a property management company that owns and rents out two buildings in central London. A portion of the profits generated from this income does go to Unlock Democracy to fund its administration costs.
We value our history as it provides a salutary reminder of the importance of democracy, human rights and civil liberties. Not only do we place pluralist, multi-party politics at the heart of our campaign aims, but we have consistently led calls for extensive freedom of information and government transparency. We continue to call for tighter laws on party funding transparency and the closing of loopholes, which enable political parties to be funded from outside of the UK. We are implacable in our defence of universal human rights and freedom of expression and oppose authoritarianism and totalitarianism in all its forms. We have no associations with any existing communist parties or organisations.
What is your data protection policy?
How can I contact you?
You can contact us, and find our contact details, on this page.