Pirate Party UK

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Pirate Party UK
Welsh: Plaid Môr-leidr DU
Leader Laurence Kaye
Founded 30 July 2009 (2009-07-30)[1]
Headquarters Manchester
Membership  (2014) 689[2]
Ideology Pirate politics,
Civil Liberties,
Copyright and Patent Reform
International affiliation Pirate Parties International
Colours Purple, Orange and Blue
Politics of the United Kingdom
Political parties

The Pirate Party UK (often abbreviated PPUK; in Welsh: Plaid Môr-leidr DU) is a political party in the United Kingdom.[3] The Pirate Party's core policies are to bring about reform to Copyright and Patent laws, support privacy and reduce surveillance from government and businesses, and guarantee genuine freedom of speech for everyone.[4][5]

The Pirate Party UK contested its first election in 2010, standing 9 candidates in the 2010 General Election, and also stood in the 2011 Oldham East and Saddleworth and 2012 Manchester Central by-elections. The highest percentage of votes the party has achieved to date is 5.2% by Loz Kaye when standing in the Manchester Bradford Ward during the 2012 Local Elections. In parliamentary elections the party has generally received less than 1% of the vote. They have indicated they do not expect to be elected, and that the party is only trying to raise awareness.[6]

Laurence "Loz" Kaye is the current Party Leader, having succeeded Andrew Robinson, the only previous leader, after he stepped down in August 2010.

Pirate Party UK leader Loz Kaye


Following the Pirate Bay Trial, a large surge in Pirate Party interest occurred around the world. After the success of the Swedish Pirate Party in the summer 2009 European Elections there was a sudden growth of Pirate Party organisations across Europe (notably in Germany and France) and beyond. Forum membership soared. The official formation of the Pirate Party in the UK followed shortly after the European Elections[7][8] and the Pirate Party UK was officially registered on 30 July 2009.[3][9][10]

In August, it was claimed that Pirate Party UK was undergoing rapid growth similar to one the Swedish Pirate Party had enjoyed in early 2009. It was reported that they had been flooded by enquiries and at its peak around 100 people an hour were signing up to become party members. Donations had been coming in so fast that PayPal was concerned they were a fraudulent site.[11]

On 22 August 2009, one of the Party Officers, John McKeown, resigned from his post after he made a blog post that caused controversy and debate upon party policy. He felt that as he was elected prior to official formation of the party, when there were fewer members, he could not safely say he represented the majority view of the party.[12]

In December 2009, the party voted to accept Peter Liddell as the new Party Treasurer, and John Barron was voted Nominating Officer, as well as ratifying several other positions within the party in November.

On 23 January 2010, the party opened voting to its members for the internal party elections for NEC members. It was announced on 1 February 2010 that the party members had voted to retain the current executive members.

On 30 March 2010, the party declared its intent to stand 10 candidates across England and Scotland, however to do so, further party funding would be required.[13] On 27 April 2010, the party announced that it had nine official candidates on the ballot papers, as Mark Sims had missed the deadline due to the air travel disruption after the 2010 Eyjafjallajökull eruption.

Following the resignation of first party leader Andrew Robinson,[14] composer and lecturer[15] Laurence 'Loz' Kaye was elected as the new leader on 26 September 2010.[16] In a message sent to members, Kaye stated his key aim as "building the political structure of the party".[17] Previously, Kaye had been the Election Agent for candidate Tim Dobson who stood for Pirate Party UK in Manchester Gorton.


The Pirate Party in the UK adopted a set of seven principles:[4]

  1. Our society is built upon the sharing of knowledge, ideas and culture. It is furthered by freedom of thought and expression, and protected by the rule of law. The Pirate Party exists to ensure the preservation and development of these foundations.
  2. Human dignity is inviolable. Each of us has a right to life and to live, to freedom of thought and self-determination, and to participate in society.
  3. Everyone is equal under the law. We all have a say in the structure and processes of governance and the right to know what is done on our behalf.
  4. Respect for our private and family life by government and society is fundamental and we all have freedom of choice in our associations and relationships.
  5. To be free to participate in society everyone must have access to justice, education and such services and infrastructure required for life within it.
  6. To ensure the security of our society it is the responsibility of the government to provide for its defence, the mechanisms of justice and such services and infrastructure required to meet its needs.
  7. We will act on the basis of evidence, with the consent of society through democracy, in the interests of all.

Core policies[edit]

During the initial formative weeks and months of the Pirate Party UK, there was a large number of individuals who visited the party's online forum and suggested additional policies such as changes to the UK electoral system, the legalisation of cannabis, and NHS reform. Subsequently the forum's structure was changed in order to demarcate more clearly the party's own values from the various additional suggestions that have been independently put forward by individuals. The party leadership has clarified on the official party blog that the Pirate Party UK intends to remain strictly focused on its three core policies:[18]

  1. The reform of Copyright and Patent Laws
  2. The protection of our Right to Privacy
  3. The protection of our Right to Freedom of Speech

On 22 March 2010, the party announced their 2010 general election manifesto, which expanded on how the party intended to practically implement their core policies if elected.[19]

Political objectives[edit]

It has previously been noted by Robinson, the former Pirate Party UK leader, that the Pirate Party UK's chances of getting a candidate elected to the UK parliament are "pretty much close to zero",[6] due to the use of the First Past the Post system for electing MPs to Parliament. Instead, their immediate aim is to raise awareness amongst the voters and the politicians in the other political parties.


Typical Labelling[edit]

  • Loz Kaye - Leader
  • Vacant - Deputy Leader
  • William Sizen Bell - Campaigns Manager
  • George Walkden - Nominating Officer
  • Sam Clark - Treasurer
  • Ed Geraghty - Party Secretary

Pirate Party Labelling[edit]

NEC Officers[edit]

  • Loz Kaye - Leader
  • George Walkden - Nominating Officer
  • Sam Clark - Treasurer
  • Ed Geraghty - Party Secretary

Board Members[edit]

  • Andrew Norton - Chairperson of the Board
  • Will Tovey
  • Stephen Ogden
  • Phil Cooke
  • Peter Brett
  • Liam Dolman
  • Jack Allnutt
  • Harley Faggetter
  • David Anthony Elston
  • Andrew Robinson


The Pirate Party UK has branches in the following locations:

  • London [20]
  • York [21]
  • Greater Manchester [22]
  • Wales; referred to as Pirate Party [in] Wales [23]
  • Sheffield [24]


Year Membership[1]
2009 590
2010 457
2011 224
2012 748
2013 557
2014 689


General election 2015[edit]

The party will stand 6 candidates in the 2015 General Election.[25]

Candidate Constituency Votes  %
Loz Kaye Manchester Central
Sam Clark Salford and Eccles
Mark Chapman Vauxhall
Cristian Chesha Manchester Gorton
Andy Halsall [26] Sheffield Central
David A Elston [27] Bridgend

General election 2010[edit]

The party stood 9 candidates in the 2010 General Election and received 1,340 votes overall, or about 0.34% of the total votes cast in those constituencies that had Pirate candidates:[28][29]

Candidate Constituency Votes  %
Andrew Robinson Worcester 173[30] 0.4
Graeme Lambert Bury North 131[31] 0.3
Alexander van Terheyden Bethnal Green and Bow 213[32] 0.4
Tim Dobson Manchester, Gorton 236[33] 0.6
Luke Leighton South West Surrey 94[34] 0.2
Shaun Dyer Leicester West 113[35] 0.3
Finlay Archibald Glasgow Central 120[36] 0.4
David Geraghty Derby North 170[37] 0.4
Jack Nunn Cities of London and Westminster 90[38] 0.2
Total 1,340 0.34

Mark Sims intended to stand in East Ham[39] but missed the deadline due to the air travel disruption after the 2010 Eyjafjallajökull eruption.

All their candidates lost their deposits, with their best performance being 0.62% in Manchester Gorton.

The Pirate Party fielded Loz Kaye at the Oldham East and Saddleworth by-election in 2011, after Labour's victory in the 2010 election was declared void by the courts, and the incumbent Phil Woolas was removed.[40] The result was 96 votes (0.3%).

Scottish and Local Elections 2011[edit]

Pirate Party UK stood 8 regional candidates in 2 regions in the Scottish Parliament election[41]

Region Candidates Votes  %
West of Scotland
  1. Rob Harris
  2. Laura Riach
  3. Andrew Paliwoda
  4. Miah Gregory
850[42] 0.3
  1. Finlay Archibald
  2. Mark Wood
  3. Asmaa Hounat
  4. Stuart Murray
581[43] 0.3

Graeme Lambert also stood in the local election in Bury[44] gaining 3.62% of the vote.[45]

Local Elections 2012[edit]

Pirate Party UK stood 6 candidates in 3 regions in the United Kingdom local elections.[46][47] They received 551 votes, or 2.26% on average over the 6 wards they stood in, the best results for the party in an election. In the Manchester Bradford ward the party leader, Loz Kaye, received 5.2% of the vote, the highest the party has achieved in any election.

Candidate Constituency Votes  %
Tim Dobson Manchester Ancoats and Clayton 75[48] 3
Loz Kaye Manchester Bradford 127[49] 5.2
Maria Aretoulaki Manchester City Centre 57[50] 3.1
Finlay Archibald Glasgow Govan 51[51] 0.2
Rob Harris Glasgow Anderston 46[52] 0.2
Phil Hunt Edinburgh Meadows/Morningside 195[53] 1.9

Manchester Central by-election (2012)[edit]

Loz Kaye was the PPUK's candidate in the Manchester Central by-election on 15 November 2012. He received 1.9% of the vote.

European Parliament Elections (2014)[edit]

The Pirate Party announced its intentions[54] to stand candidates in the North West England (European Parliament constituency) for the European Parliament election, 2014 on the 28 March 2014. Three Pirate Party UK candidates were nominated,[55] Maria Aretoulaki,[56] George Walkden[57] and Jack Allnutt.[58]

The party also adopted a 'common European election programme'[59] in common with other European Pirate Parties,[60] in addition to its existing policies.

The party received 8,957 votes, resulting in a 0.5% share in the North West England constituency.[61]


  1. ^ a b Barnett, Emma (2009-08-11). "Pirate Party UK now registered by the Electoral Commission". London: The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 2009-08-12. 
  2. ^ "Search statement of accounts (published)". Electoral Commission. Retrieved 2015-03-25. 
  3. ^ a b "Register of political parties, Pirate Party UK". The Electoral Commission. Retrieved 2010-02-03. [dead link]
  4. ^ a b "Pirate Party UK". Retrieved 2012-06-04. 
  5. ^ Turton, Stuart (2009-08-12). "Q&A: Why the UK needs the Pirate Party". PC Pro. Retrieved 2009-08-12. 
  6. ^ a b Turton, Stuart (12 August 2009). "Q&A: Why the UK needs the Pirate Party". PC Pro. Retrieved 2009-08-17. 
  7. ^ Scott, Katie (8 June 2009). "Pirate Party wins European Parliament seat". Wired UK. Retrieved 2009-08-17. 
  8. ^ McCormick, Andrew (8 June 2009). "Pirate Bay fans get voice on copyright issues". Revolution magazine (Brand Republic). Retrieved 2009-08-17. 
  9. ^ "Pirate Party launches UK poll bid". BBC News. 13 August 2009. Retrieved 2009-08-17. 
  10. ^ Harris, Mark (11 August 2009). "Pirate Party UK sets sail". TechRadar (Future plc). Retrieved 2009-08-17. 
  11. ^ Barnett, Emma (2009-08-13). "'Hundred people an hour' joining Pirate Party UK". London: Telegraph.co.uk. Retrieved 2009-08-13. 
  12. ^ "rancidpunk resigns". 22 August 2009. 
  13. ^ "'PPUK Announces Parliamentary Candidates'". Pirate Party UK. 
  14. ^ "'The Pirate Party UK, One Year On'". Pirate Party UK. 
  15. ^ "Loz Kaye elected leader of UK Pirate Party". Wired News. 
  16. ^ "Pirate Party Elects New Leader'". Pirate Party UK. 
  17. ^ "'A Message From the New Leader'". Pirate Party UK. 
  18. ^ "Our Core Beliefs - Pirate Party UK". Pirateparty.org.uk. 2009-08-14. Retrieved 2010-05-23. 
  19. ^ "The Pirate Party UK Launches its 2010 Election Manifesto - Pirate Party UK". Pirateparty.org.uk. 2010-03-22. Retrieved 2010-05-23. 
  20. ^ "London - Pirate Party UK blog". Pirateparty.org.uk. Retrieved 2014-11-10. 
  21. ^ "York - Pirate Party UK blog". Pirateparty.org.uk. Retrieved 2014-11-10. 
  22. ^ "Manchester - Pirate Party UK blog". Pirateparty.org.uk. Retrieved 2014-11-10. 
  23. ^ https://wales.pirateparty.org.uk/
  24. ^ https://pirateparty.org.uk/sheffield
  25. ^ https://www.pirateparty.org.uk/campaigns/issues/general-election-2015
  26. ^ https://pirateparty.org.uk/press/pirate-party-uk-will-contest-green-target-seat-sheffield-central
  27. ^ https://yournextmp.com/constituency/66095/bridgend
  28. ^ "Everything starts somewhere". Pirate Party UK Blog. 2010-05-07. Retrieved 2010-05-07. 
  29. ^ "Pirate Party celebrates 1,340-vote election result". ITPro. 2010-05-07. Retrieved 2010-05-07. 
  30. ^ Election 2010, Worcester, BBC
  31. ^ Election 2010, Bury North, BBC
  32. ^ Election 2010, Bethnal Green & Bow, BBC
  33. ^ Election 2010, Manchester Gorton, BBC
  34. ^ Election 2010, Surrey South West, BBC
  35. ^ Election 2010, Leicester West, BBC
  36. ^ Election 2010, Glasgow Central, BBC
  37. ^ Election 2010, Derby North, BBC
  38. ^ Election 2010, Cities Of London & Westminster, BBC
  39. ^ "Pirate Party UK Announces Parliamentary Candidates - Pirate Party UK". Pirateparty.org.uk. 2010-03-30. Retrieved 2010-05-23. 
  40. ^ "Voters go to the polls in Oldham by-election". BBC News. 13 January 2011. 
  41. ^ "Scottish election: Pirate Party UK profile". BBC News. 13 April 2011. 
  42. ^ "BBC News - Election 2011 - Scotland - West of Scotland". BBC News. Retrieved 6 May 2011. 
  43. ^ "BBC News - Election 2011 - Scotland - Glasgow". BBC News. Retrieved 6 May 2011. 
  44. ^ "Local election candidates announced". Bury News Online. 2010-04-04. Retrieved 2011-04-14. [dead link]
  45. ^ Dalziel, Spencer (6 May 2011). "UK Pirate Party wins record votes in local English elections". The Inquirer. Retrieved 6 May 2011. 
  46. ^ "Pirate Party UK - Best ever result in a UK election". PPUK press release. 4 May 2012. 
  47. ^ "Best ever result for the Pirate Party in Scotland". PPUK press release. 4 May 2012. 
  48. ^ Elections 2012,Manchester Ancoats and Clayton, Manchester City Council
  49. ^ Elections 2012,Manchester Bradford, Manchester City Council
  50. ^ Elections 2012,Manchester City Centre, Manchester City Council
  51. ^ Elections 2012,Glasgow Govan , Glassgow City Council
  52. ^ Elections 2012,Glassgow Anderston , Glassgow City Council
  53. ^ Elections 2012,Edinburgh Meadows/Morningside , Edinburgh City Council
  54. ^ "Pirate Party to stand Euro Candidates in North West Region". Pirate Party UK. 2014-04-24. Retrieved 2014-05-04. 
  55. ^ "Statement of parties and individuals candidates nominated and notice of poll 2014". Stockport Council. Retrieved 2014-05-04. 
  56. ^ "Prospective EU Candidate: Maria Aretoulaki". Pirate Party UK. Retrieved 2014-05-04. 
  57. ^ "Prospective EU Candidate:George Walkden". Pirate Party UK. Retrieved 2014-05-04. 
  58. ^ "Prospective EU Candidate: Jack Allnutt". Pirate Party UK. Retrieved 2014-05-04. 
  59. ^ "Common European Election Programme". Pirate Party UK. Retrieved 2014-05-04. 
  61. ^ "North West England EU 2014 election results". northwestvotes. 2014-05-25. Retrieved 2014-05-26. 

External links[edit]