Statement about recent social media posts regarding the 2021 AGM and its trustees
Update 13 July 2021
The investigation has now concluded and a statement from trustees is now available along with a copy of the executive summary of the report.
Update 13 May 2021
We are aware that some social media activity is continuing. We want to emphasise that our concern is to encourage everyone to ensure statements made on social media are accurate. In particular that includes making clear where something is personal opinion as opposed to fact.
As a society we remain impartial and committed to ensuring fairness for everyone in the lead up to our AGM on 22 May.
We respect and support legitimate canvassing for candidates and resolutions that will be decided at the AGM, and existing trustees as well as candidates who are not currently on the board are welcome to participate in those activities. We emphasise that it should be clearly stated where something is opinion, and that canvassing should be relevant to an individual’s position on Council and be factual.
As we noted above, trustees have been asked not to comment publicly on the separate investigation as it remains ongoing, and the integrity of its outcome must be preserved. We trust that this will also assist everyone with an interest to understand the collective decision of the trustees to avoid public comment regarding the ongoing investigation, as distinct from the legitimate canvassing that takes place prior to any AGM.
30 April 2021
This statement is in response to comments on social media regarding a live investigation into Vegan Society trustees. The Vegan Society would like to make it clear that the integrity of this investigation has been protected at all times and due process will continue to be followed. Both the Chair and the Vice-Chair have removed (recused) themselves from the process to the satisfaction of full Council and have not taken part beyond providing evidence to that ongoing, independent investigation. They therefore cannot influence the duration or cost of this investigation.
We reiterate the need to avoid speculation and/or targeting of specific trustees, which could be seen as unduly influencing an investigation. All trustees have been asked not to comment publicly in relation to it and they are respecting that request to preserve the integrity of its outcome.
In addition, public speculation and factual inaccuracies regarding candidates in the upcoming Council election are inappropriate because there must be no question as to the integrity of the AGM vote. The society remains fair and impartial and, on that basis, it is necessary to confirm in particular that the 12 year term resolution was not proposed by the Chair. Any claims to the contrary are inaccurate.
There have also been misrepresentations about the behaviour of other trustees named in recent Facebook posts. Whilst lobbying is a legitimate process and we will not interfere with opinion, it is important that the distinction between facts and opinion is made clear, so that all parties can respect the outcome of the vote of our membership, who are the only people able to determine whether or not a resolution is passed.
Whilst we support healthy debate, we would encourage members to treat each other with respect. We all share the common commitment to supporting the growth of veganism and advancing the rights of animals.