Rebel ACCA members were overwhelmingly defeated by more than ten votes to one at last week’s egm, as their bid to force an independent corporate governance review of the association failed. In all, just 772 members backed the motion, while 7,648 voted against and 35 abstained. But the rebels, led by Anthony Thomas and Tony Cruse, have vowed to fight on. In the council chamber, the margin was narrower, with 31 against and 23 for the proposal. Vice president George Auger said: ‘The message from the voting is clear. Members recognise that a small group has tried to suggest otherwise but ACCA has a strong structure of corporate governance and accountancy members like the direction in which council is taking the association.’ He added that the meeting had been unnecessary and members had felt the right to call an egm ‘has been abused’ and that the proposal was based on ‘inaccuracy and without substance’. Several speakers attacked the use of the delegated proxy vote, which currently allows ACCA members to delegate their vote to another member, usually the president, to use as they see fit. President John Brockwell said the egm had cost £65,000 and said it would cost up to £20,000 to set up a working party to review the proxy vote system. An independent governance review would have cost in the region of £100,000, he added. Auger said he is chairing a committee to look at the proxy vote issue but that no changes had yet been planned. Anthony Thomas, one of the ex-council members behind the proposal, said that despite the vote, he would fight on. ‘The ACCA has much to think about. I have given council a wake-up call.’ News analysis, page 16.
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