Sunday, 12 April 2015

Fringe 2015: Northern parties

There are regional parties in all the expected places, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, even Cornwall in the form of Mebyon Kernow a small Cornish nationalist party. There is even a Wessex Regionalist Party that aims to bring a degree of autonomy for the Wessex counties, that's Berkshire, Devon, Dorset, Somerset, Hampshire (including the Isle of Wight) and Wiltshire if you are not sure as these areas once formed part of a Kingdom of ancient Saxons. I hear they seek to to embrace another couple of counties on some spurious historical ground, but that's for another life.

In the meantime there are some new and long established regional parties. The Guardian reported on the formation of The Northern Party by a disgruntled Tory MP earlier this month:

Former MP for Blackpool North, Harold Elletson, and former Fylde Tory councillor Elizabeth Clarkson will stand as parliamentary candidates, as well as former prominent Green Party members Shaun Hargreaves and James Walsh, who play a major role in the Frack Free Lancashire Campaign.

With the recent talk of governmental powers being devolved to Manchester, and the rising distrust of centralised government after the Scottish independence referendum, it comes as no surprise that regional political parties have emerged ahead of the general election.

The Northern Party leader Michael Dawson, a former executive committee member of the Labour Campaign for Human Rights, said the party is a “northern rebellion against a system that has failed the north.”

However their website does not currently list any seats that they are actually contesting. Perhaps next time then.

Yorkshire First

However the Yorkshire First party has no less than 14 candidates ready for the general election. They outline their objectives thus:

Power is increasingly remote from people and suffers too much influence from vested interests.

The vested interests – predominantly big business – are organised internationally, and so must the means to control them.

We recognise that to combat big business and other cross border issues some form of cooperation is both necessary and desirable. The question is who decides, who influences the decisions? So for us in/out of the EU is the wrong question. Wherever Yorkshire’s voice needs to be heard, we should be there.

However, it is also critical to secure the devolving of powers to the least centralised authority capable of addressing those matters effectively, within Yorkshire, within the UK and within the European Union.

Not wanting to be left out there is also the Lincolnshire Independents; They of course have a vision for Lincolnshire and are running 5 candidates in the general election. They proudly state:

“Lincolnshire Independents are determined to focus on what residents need and want. We are not tied into the coat-tails of any Whitehall party politician, but free to think, say and do the very best for Lincolnshire,” said Leader Marianne Overton. “In a new hung parliament, our voices will be more effective.”

Not all is well for them as one of their leading members, a certain Lyn Laxton split after a row and formed her own party as the Lincolnshire Echo reports if you wish to read more....

Finally for now is the The North East Party  who are standing 4 candidates this year and already have some local councillors. The NEP unsurprisingly stands for:

The North East Transformed

We want a fair share of prosperity and better opportunities for all North East people.
In future we want to live in an enterprising region which plays a positive part in the UK, Europe and the World.

One Strong Voice For The Region

With your support at a referendum, 12 powerless unitary authorities and ineffective ministers
replaced by one elected and accountable North East Government.

Who would have guessed?


  1. Northern Party is contesting Rossendale and Darwen, Fylde, Blackpool North and Cleveleys, Lancaster and Wyre, Lancaster and Fleetwood. News at:

  2. One of the Northern party contested seats is Morecambe and Lunesdale, not Lancaster and Wyre. Their leader Michael dawson is standing in that constituency. Their party banner is the raven banner of King Olaf, the Irish Viking defeated at the Battle of Brunanburh in 937, probably on the Wirral. The raven was the first bird released by Noah from the Ark as the floods began to recede.