Yorkshire First

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Yorkshire First
Chair John Boocock
Leader Richard Carter
Deputy Leader Stewart Arnold
Founded April 2014 (April 2014)
Ideology Yorkshire regionalism
Political position Centre
European affiliation European Free Alliance[1]
Colours      Sky blue,      white
Politics of England
Political parties

Yorkshire First is a regionalist political party in Yorkshire, a historic county of England. Launched by Richard Carter and Stewart Arnold ahead of the 2014 European Parliament election,[2] it campaigns for the establishment of a Yorkshire Parliament within the UK, similar to the Scottish Parliament or National Assembly of Wales.

It is otherwise described as a party of the "pragmatic centre", with "progressive views on economic, social and environmental issues".[3] Its constitution rejects the whip system, and its candidates agree to abide by Martin Bell's code of conduct for politicians.[4]


Yorkshire First faced its first electoral test when it stood three candidates in Yorkshire and the Humber in the 2014 European elections.[5] The party's launch was welcomed by a spokesperson for Mebyon Kernow.[6] During the campaign, the party complained about BBC and Ofcom rules which precluded it from having an election broadcast.[7] It came 8th of 10 parties with 19,017 votes (1.47%),[8] which the party's lead candidate, Stewart Arnold, described as "a hugely significant result".[9]

In late 2014, a former Labour councillor, Paul Salveson, joined the party, saying the "vitality in Scotland confirmed that it was the right choice to make".[10] He stood as the party's parliamentary candidate in Colne Valley in the 2015 general election.[11][12]

The party's 2014 conference took place in Leeds on 22 November 2014, with Ed Straw (Jack Straw's brother) as a guest speaker.[13] By then, the party was planning to field up to 27 candidates in the 2015 UK election and considering Morley and Outwood as a target seat.[14]

Bob Buxton, a physics teacher at Leeds City College who is opposed to university tuition fees,[15] was announced as the party's parliamentary candidate in Leeds North West. He believes devolution will improve housing and transport development, including railways.[16][17] Former GP Dr Rod Sutcliffe stood as the candidate in Calder Valley,[18] lecturer Darren Hill in Shipley[19] and former Liberal Democrat MEP Diana Wallis in Haltemprice and Howden.[20]

In 2015, the party was granted observer status in the European Free Alliance grouping[21] and has since become a full member.[22]

The party launched its manifesto in February 2015 with calls for a directly-elected parliament for Yorkshire, a Yorkshire Futures Fund to drive sustainable growth, a new "Made in Yorkshire" label and a public holiday for the region on 1 August, Yorkshire Day.[23] The party's 2015 election slogan is "A voice for the region". Many candidates entered this as the 'description' for their ballot paper, with the party's name instead appearing as its emblem on the ballot paper.[citation needed] The party stood in 14 different constituencies on 7 May 2015.[24]

In March 2015, Vicky Butler, who was intending to contest Kingston upon Hull North for the UK Independence Party, defected to Yorkshire First and stood there for Yorkshire First.[25]

Wayne Chadburn is Yorkshire First's first local council representative, having been returned unopposed to Penistone Town Council.[26]

Electoral performance

European Parliament election, 2014

The European Parliament election was held in the UK on 22 May 2014.

Constituency Candidates Votes  % Results Notes
Yorkshire and the Humber Stewart Arnold, Richard Carter, Richard Honnoraty 19,017 1.5 None elected Multi-member constituencies;
party list[27]

United Kingdom general election, 2015

Yorkshire First had candidates standing in 14 parliamentary seats. None was elected.

Constituency Candidate Votes  %
Barnsley, E Tony Devoy 647 1.7[28]
Beverley & Holderness Lee Walton 658 1.2[29]
Calder Valley Rod Sutcliffe 389 0.7[30]
Colne Valley Paul Salveson 572 1.0[31]
Dewsbury Richard Carter 236 0.4[32]
Yorkshire, E Stewart Arnold 720 1.4[33]
Haltemprice & Howden Diana Wallis 479 1.0[34]
Hemsworth Martin Roberts 1,018 2.4[35]
Hull, E Martin Clayton 270 0.8[36]
Hull, N Vicky Butler 366 1.0[37]
Leeds, NW Bob Buxton 143 0.3[38]
Morley & Outwood Arnie Craven 479 1.0[39]
Shipley Darren Hill 543 1.1[40]
York, Central Chris Whitwood 291 0.6[41]

By-elections, 2015-

Date of election Constituency Candidate Votes  %
6 May 2016 Sheffield, Brightside & Hillsborough Stevie Manion 349 1.5[42]

2015 local elections

In local elections, Yorkshire First won five seats on parish/town councils: Wayne Chadburn was elected unopposed to Penistone parish council, Tony and Eddie Devoy were elected in Brierley, and Bob Buxton was elected to Rawdon parish council. They joined Lee Walton, a former independent councillor in Hornsea, who joined Yorkshire First before the election and defended his seat in May 2015 as a Yorkshire First candidate.[43]

In August, a Yorkshire First town councillor, Tony Devoy, contested the Dearne North seat on Barnsley Council. He received 9.8% of the votes, 25 votes behind UKIP and over twice as many votes as the Conservatives. Labour held on to its safe seat.[44]

See also


  1. "Member Parties". Retrieved 24 May 2016. 
  2. Reed, James (12 April 2014). "New party promises to put ‘Yorkshire First’". The Yorkshire Post. Retrieved 15 April 2014. 
  3. Beaton, Connor (15 April 2014). "Yorkshire devolutionists to contest Euro elections". The Targe. Retrieved 15 April 2014. 
  4. "How we work". Retrieved 15 April 2014. 
  5. Beaton, Connor (24 April 2014). "Yorkshire First reveal EU candidates". The Targe. Retrieved 24 April 2014. 
  6. Collier, Hatty (24 April 2014). "God's Own Party? Yorkshire First to contest the euro elections". The Guardian. Retrieved 24 April 2014. 
  7. "Yorkshire party told to campaign nationally". The Yorkshire Post. 12 May 2014. Retrieved 4 June 2014. 
  8. "Vote 2014: Yorkshire and the Humber". BBC News. Retrieved 25 May 2014. 
  9. Beaton, Connor (26 May 2014). "Yorkshire First reveal EU candidates". The Targe. Retrieved 4 June 2014. 
  10. Glover, Chloe (1 October 2014). "Golcar Labour activist and ex-councillor Paul Salveson quits party to join Yorkshire First". Huddersfield Daily Examiner. Retrieved 6 December 2014. 
  11. Glover, Chloe (3 November 2014). "Yorkshire First consider standing first parliamentary candidate in Colne Valley in 2015 general election". Huddersfield Daily Examiner. Retrieved 6 December 2014. 
  12. Glover, Chloe (21 November 2014). "Former Golcar Labour councillor Paul Salveson announced as Yorkshire First's candidate for Colne Valley". Huddersfield Daily Examiner. Retrieved 6 December 2014. 
  13. "Yorkshire First to hold meeting". Telegraph & Argus. 20 November 2014. Retrieved 6 December 2014. 
  14. Jim Waterson (9 December 2014). "Yorkshire Parliament Campaigners To Stand 27 MPs At Next Election". BuzzFeed. Retrieved 9 December 2014. 
  15. "Teacher to stand for county party", Telegraph and Argus, 22 January 2015
  16. "Yorkshire First put out new candidate", Ilkley Gazette, 3 February 2015. Accessed 9 February 2015.
  17. Yorkshire First website: "Yorkshire First selects Leeds City College teacher to fight Leeds North West in May’s General Election", 20 January 2015
  18. "Yorkshire First selects retired GP as general election candidate for Calder Valley". Huddersfield Daily Examiner. 29 January 2015. Retrieved 11 February 2015. 
  19. "Yorkshire Party names election candidate for Shipley". Telegraph & Argus. 27 January 2015. Retrieved 11 February 2015. 
  20. "Yorkshire First selects Diana Wallis as candidate for Haltemprice & Howden". ITV News. 19 February 2015. Retrieved 19 February 2015. 
  21. "Yorkshire First joins European Free Alliance". Retrieved 24 May 2016. 
  22. "Member Parties". Retrieved 24 May 2016. 
  23. "Yorkshire First party makes manifesto available online". Yorkshire Standard. 23 February 2015. Retrieved 24 February 2015. 
    - "New political party says it's first for Yorkshire". Northern Echo. 23 February 2015. Retrieved 24 February 2015. 
    - "Parliament at heart of Yorkshire First manifesto". Yorkshire Post. 23 February 2015. Retrieved 24 February 2015. 
  24. "Yorkshire First's call for devolution". BBC News. 1 April 2015. Retrieved 14 April 2015. 
  25. "Former UKIP candidate Vicky Butler defects to Yorkshire First". Hull Daily Mail. 17 March 2015. Retrieved 14 April 2015. 
  26. Chadburn, Wayne. "A week IS a long time in politics". Penistone Yorkshire First. Retrieved 14 April 2015. 
  27. - Candidate names from Regional Returning Officer, "Statement of Persons Nominated" (PDF). Leeds City Council. Retrieved 20 February 2015. 
    - Results from "Vote 2014 Results", BBC News, 26 May 2014. Retrieved 20 February 2015.
  28. BBC News: Election 2015 - Barnsley East
  29. BBC News: Election 2015 - Beverley & Holderness
  30. BBC News: Election 2015 - Calder Valley
  31. BBC News: Election 2015 - Colne Valley
  32. BBC News: Election 2015 - Dewsbury
  33. BBC News: Election 2015 - Yorkshire East
  34. BBC News: Election 2015 - Haltemprice & Howden
  35. BBC News: Election 2015 - Hemsworth
  36. BBC News: Election 2015 - Hull East
  37. BBC News: Election 2015 - Hull North
  38. BBC News: Election 2015 - Leeds North West
  39. BBC News: Election 2015 - Morley & Outwood
  40. BBC News: Election 2015 - Shipley
  41. BBC News: Election 2015 - York, Central
  42. "Gill Furniss wins Sheffield by-election for Labour", BBC News, 6 May 2016
  43. Declaration of Result of Poll, East Riding of Yorkshire Council
  44. "Yorkshire First enjoys by-election success". Yorkshire First. 
    - "Guest Post: Reaction to Dearne North". Yorkshire First. 

External links