Christian Party (UK)
|National affiliation||Alliance for Democracy|
|European Parliament group||None|
The Christian Party, which includes the Scottish Christian Party and the Welsh Christian Party, is a minor political party in Great Britain. Members of the Christian Peoples Alliance split off in 2004 under George Hargreaves to found the Christian Party, which compared to the CPA, has more of a Christian right perspective. Its leader is now Jeff Green.
The party originated as Operation Christian Vote, founded by George Hargreaves, a Pentecostal minister and former songwriter, in May 2004. It was based in Stornoway, Scotland. It contested the 2004 European Elections in the Scotland constituency, gaining 1.8% of the popular vote.
Hargreaves was a candidate for Operation Christian Vote in the Birmingham Hodge Hill by-election in 2004 where he received 90 votes, last place in a field of seven candidates, and lost his deposit. In the 2005 general election, Hargreaves stood in Na h-Eileanan an Iar, where he was placed fourth, ahead of the Conservatives, and retained his deposit with 1,048 votes or 7.6%.
The party became known as the Christian Party.
Registration as a party
The party was registered by the Electoral Commission on 29 April 2004, with the name 'Christian Party "Proclaiming Christ's Lordship!"'. It has registered nine party descriptions, and two translations, to be used on ballot papers, namely:
- Christian Party
- Christian Party (Scotland)
- Scottish Christian Party
- Scottish Christian Party "Proclaiming Christ's Lordship"
- The Christian Party
- The Scottish Christian Party
- Welsh Christian Party
- Welsh Christian Party "Proclaiming Christ's Lordship"
- Plaid Gristionogol Cymru
- Plaid Gristionogol Cymru "Datgan Arglwyddiaeth Crist"
In June 2012, legal action was taken against the Christian Party treasurer by the Electoral Commission for £2,750 for failure to supply accounts for two years as well as for failure to pay previous fines. The party de-registered the following month. Hargreaves was given a further 6 months to supply accounts, but failed to do so and was consequently fined a further £3,000 on top of a previous fine of £1,125 for failing to meet the deadline for provision of accounts.
As a result, the party was de-registered in July 2012 and after the regulatory 6 months had elapsed, re-registered under a new party RPP under the leadership of Jeff Green. Sue Green is the party treasurer and Dr Donald Boyd is the nominating officer and leader of the Scottish Christian Party. The leader of the Welsh Christian Party and overall leader is Green.
Candidates from the party stood in the Sedgefield and Ealing Southall by-elections in 2007. The party received 26,575 votes (0.7%) in the 2007 Scottish Parliament election and 8,693 votes (0.9%) in the 2007 Welsh Assembly Election; it did not come close to winning any seats.
Hargreaves stood for the party at the Haltemprice and Howden by-election, 2008, and received 76 votes or 0.3% of the total votes cast.
The party competed in the 2009 European elections. Its campaign was mainly focussed in London. The British Humanist Association had put up advertisements on London buses saying "there's probably no God, now stop worrying and enjoy your life". The party then produced similar adverts saying "there definitely is a God, so join the Christian Party and enjoy your life." The advert received over 1,000 complaints. On election day, the party retained one deposit in the London region through gaining 51,336 votes (2.9%).
The newly re-registered Christian Party contested the Eastleigh by-election in February 2013 with its candidate Kevin Milburn, a retired former prison officer and health care worker who stood against same-sex marriage. He received 163 votes (0.4%).
The Christian Party fielded nine candidates in the 2015 general election who between them polled 3,205 votes. Only John Cormack in Na h-Eileanan an Iar (Western Isles) saved his deposit with 6.6%; the other eight each received less than 1% of the votes cast. In the Scottish Parliament constituency covering the Western Isles John Cormack received 8.8% of the vote at the 2016 Scottish Parliament election, coming fourth ahead of the Liberal Democrats.
The party's mission statement is, “Christians working together to bring Christian concern, goodwill and action into the community, education, business and politics.”
The party's website includes a statement of its policies which include the following:
- Promote personal and corporate financial responsibility
- Promote government creation of money to be managed by the Bank of England to avoid national indebtedness to commercial banks
'Law and order' manifesto
- Change the role of the Social Services to support parental authority
- Make contraception for minors illegal without parental approval
- Re-instate in loco parentis as a fundamental principle of school teaching
- Make private health insurance a visa requirement for migrants
- Oblige private medical insurers to inform the Home Office when a private medical insurance policy linked to a visa is allowed to lapse or expires
- Review and reduce Health and Safety legislation
- Reform the benefit system to remove the risk associated with leaving the welfare system and entering work. This would be accomplished by suspending benefit claims for a period of 9 months rather than closing them when an unemployed person gains employment. Within the 9-month period an unemployed person will be able to audit three jobs before their claim is liable to closure.
- Negotiated agreement with the European Union to apply the immigration points system to migrants from the European Union, or in the event of non-agreement the declaration of a unilateral change in immigration policy
- Make private health insurance a visa requirement for immigrants
- Initiate a “No (private sector) Home – No Visa” policy
- Challenge the increasing levels of consumption
- Have Sunday restored as a day of rest
- Seek a new global financial system which supports sustainable use of resources
Government and democracy
- Support significant cuts in the public sector workforce in order to reduce the size of government and the size of the government spending
- Support a major re-employment and training programme to make it easier for public sector workers to transfer to the private sector
- Call for a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty within the first year of the new Parliament
'Respect for the human person' manifesto
- Oppose abortion
- Opposing the legal recognition of same-sex marriage
- Support funding for hospices which provide terminal or palliative care for adults, children and infants
- Maintain a well resourced military with a nuclear deterrent
- Support the doctrine of a ‘just war’, but not military adventurism
- Withdraw British troops from Afghanistan
- "Scottish Christian Party "Proclaiming Christ's Lordship"".
- "Christian Party "Proclaiming Christ's Lordship"". Register of political parties. The Electoral Commission. 29 April 2004. Retrieved 27 June 2008.
- http://www.whfp.com/1677/editor.html Archived March 8, 2007, at the Wayback Machine.
- "Scotland On Sunday".
- "Christian right forces attack "blasphemous" British television comedy".
- Electoral Commission press release, "Electoral Commission fines the Christian Party Proclaiming Christs Lordship treasurer and Ashfield and Mansfield Liberal Democrats", 14 June 2012
- Electoral Commission press release, "Electoral Commission fines former treasurer of the Christian Party Proclaiming Christs Lordship", 14 February 2013
- Rebecca Smithers, "Christian party advert draws more than 1,000 complaints", The Guardian, 11 March 2009
- See Christian Party election results#2010 General Election for details.
- "Christian Party candidate standing in Eastleigh by-election", christiantoday.com, 16 February 2013
- BBC News Election 2015Results
- "Why a Christian Party?".
- "Christian Party Policies".
- "banking manifesto".
- "law and order manifesto".
- "health manifesto".
- "immigration manifesto".
- "environment manifesto".
- "government and democracy manifesto".
- "respect for the human person manifesto".
- "defence manifesto".
- Molly Watson, "Christian group wants 'evil' Welsh flag changed" Western Mail, 3 March 2007