Christian Peoples Alliance

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Christian Peoples Alliance
Abbreviation CPA
Leader Sidney Cordle
Founded 1999
Headquarters 13 Westmill Road, Hitchin, Herts, SG5 2SB
Ideology Christian democracy
Social conservatism
Euroscepticism[1]
Political position Centre-right
European affiliation European Christian Political Movement
Colours      Violet
Website
www.cpaparty.net

The Christian Peoples Alliance, CPA is a Christian democratic political party in the United Kingdom. The party was founded in its present form in 1999, having grown out of a cross-party advocacy group called the Movement for Christian Democracy. The first leader of the party was Ram Gidoomal. Alan Craig took over from him in 2004 and resigned in 2012. He was replaced by Sidney Cordle who is the current leader.

History[edit]

Early years[edit]

The roots of the party can be traced back to a movement founded in 1991 by Christians — both Protestants and Catholics — known as the Movement for Christian Democracy (MCD).[2] It was founded in Westminster at a rally which drew an attendance of 2,000 people, with the motivation of providing an answer to increasing secularism. The three founding members were David Alton, Derek Enright and Ken Hargreaves, who were Members of Parliament representing the Liberal, Labour and Conservative parties respectively. While the tradition of Christian democracy parties was well established in many other parts of Europe, it was not introduced into Britain until the MCD movement of the 1990s.[note 1] The movement existed as a cross-party advocacy group of sorts and although there were rumours in the media of it becoming a fully fledged political party it never materialised.[3]

However, out of the movement its chairman, Dr Alan Storkey, and vice-chairman, David Campanale, led an internal consultation of MCD members that led to the formation of the Christian Peoples Alliance by leading MCD activists in 1999. Elements of proportional representation at local government level, brought about after the devolution of the Scottish Parliament and Welsh Assembly, saw the party gain confidence. By 2000, Ram Gidoomal had become leader of the party, a businessman and banker who had been awarded a CBE. He had converted to Christianity from Hinduism and is a Briton of Asian background.[4] Gidoomal stood for election for the London mayoral election, 2000. Gaining 98,549 votes at the first attempt, the party surprised some, finishing fifth, ahead of the Greens in first preference votes.[4] The campaign was committed to winning more jobs for Londoners, leading to The Times claiming, based on multiple choice results from a website run by New Statesman: "if Londoners elected a mayor purely on how his or her policies match the electors' views [...] the winner would be Ram Gidoomal".[5] In November 2000, a candidate supported by the Christian Peoples Alliance stood at the Preston by-election, finishing seventh.[6]

Craig leadership[edit]

Alan Craig standing for London mayor in 2008.

Following on from this, the party continued its activities, mostly in London in such as fairly deprived working class areas like Canning Town in the London Borough of Newham. The Mayflower Declaration laid out the party's values and policies. It was at Canning Town in 2002 that Alan Craig became the first Christian Democrat elected in Britain, as a member of the local Newham council. The party voiced its opposition to the prospect of the Iraq War, deeming it "illegal, unwise and immoral" — a position by which it has stood.[7] After the London mayoral election, 2004, Gidoomal stepped down as party leader to be succeeded by Craig. The party stood members for the 2005 general election with little success, yet a "blind candidating" contest run by BBC's Newsnight programme placed the party manifesto policies second.[8] The party had more success in 2006, gaining two more council seats in Canning Town. In the following year, the party had two members elected at parish council level for Aston cum Aughton in the Metropolitan Borough of Rotherham.[9]

In the same year, it also gained encouragement from Scottish Catholic bishops Keith O'Brien and Philip Tartaglia for its social stances, including marriage, rights for unborn children and supporting the Church in the adoption debate.[10] The party also defended the Anglican bishop Michael Nazir-Ali after comments made in the media regarding Islam.[11] The CPA campaigned against the building of Abbey Mills Mosque in West Ham, planned by an alleged radical sect,[note 2] the party stated it was an "unwanted landmark" and would undermine community cohesion.[15] More than 255,000 British people supported the stance in a petition on the Downing Street website.[16] As part of a party pact with the Christian Party, Craig stood for the London mayoral election in 2008 as "The Christian Choice", gaining almost 3% of the vote.[17] This was followed with 249,493 votes at the European Parliament election 2009, 1.6% of the total.

Craig resigned as leader in October 2012 and later joined the UK Independence Party.[18]

Organisation[edit]

Annual accounts submitted to the Electoral Commission show an income of £11,000 for 2013.[19]

Leadership[edit]

Year Name Period Time in office Deputy leader/s
2004 Alan Craig 2004 – 2012 8 years
2012 Sidney Cordle 1 September 2012 – present incumbent Malcolm Martin (5 November 2016-

International affiliation[edit]

Since 2007, the party has been affiliated to the European Christian Political Movement, an association of Christian Democrat parties, think tanks and politicians across Europe.[20]

Ideology[edit]

The party has campaigned on a range of issues, winning success in 2000 when it organised a petition against government plans to require Asian visitors to the UK to place a £10,000 'bond'.[21] In 2000 and 2004 in London, it put inner-city regeneration and fighting discrimination as its top policy priorities.[22] Its policies to cut energy-use and road congestion through a motorway coach-network won acceptance at government level.[23] Its policies in support of marriage and church schools have become popular currency among secular parties.[24] The CPA has also opposed the reclassification of cannabis,[25] When Craig became leader he introduced policies in favour of linking Christianity to the European Union Constitution, building more church schools and supporting traditional Christian morality. He also has led campaigns backing the UNISON steward at Newham Council who faced disciplinary action; against plans to build London's large casino in Newham,[26] against the Excel Arms Fair;[27] against what he claims are Labour's plans to move local families out of Canning Town in support of yuppie housing. Craig has also campaigned against proposals to demolish parts of Queen Street Market in favour of "non-invasive refurbishment"[28] environment.[29]

The CPA has contested local authority elections at parish, borough, city and county level in London, Glasgow, Sheffield, Leeds, Rotherham, Middlesbrough, Ipswich, Gloucester, Northampton and Suffolk. Since Cordle became leader, the party has focussed more on putting up candidates in national elections and developing a comprehensive manifesto covering all issues of concern.. The party fought three regions in the 2014 European Parliament elections and they had 17 candidates in the 2015 General Election and 31 in the 2017 one, a record number for the party.

Same-sex marriage[edit]

The party took a leading role[citation needed] in the campaign against the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act 2013 with its leader Sid Cordle speaking at a rally in Trafalgar Square. While the debates were taking place he spoke at a rally outside Westminster.

In May 2014, during the EU elections, under questioning from Andrew Neil on the BBC Daily Politics programme Cordle said that it was possible that recent storms in the UK could have been caused by God, saying, "I think all Christians believe that God does, and can do, things with nature. A lot of Christians believe God is angry over 'gay marriage' and God can show that anger if he wants to."[30]

In May 2017, on the Daily Politics show, Cordle was accused of 'embarrassing' himself and described as a 'bigot' by journalist Owen Jones after claiming that marriage's sole purpose was the procreation of children. Presenter Jo Coburn was forced to ask Cordle to allow Jones to speak on several occasions, however Cordle accused Jones of being 'insulting' and claimed Coburn's reluctance to allow him to respond to Jones as being 'fake news'.[31]

Economic and European policy[edit]

The Christian Peoples Alliance rejects class struggle doctrine and supports a mixed market economy, with an emphasis on the community, social solidarity, support for social welfare provision and some regulation of market forces. The central theme being social justice, responsible charity and an emphasis on "people before profit".[32] Within the Mayflower Declaration the party sets out as goals and desires; providing resources to discourage economic dependency and promote gainful employment. A holistic approach to care, which moves beyond mere financial assistance, as well as help for those in danger of being pushed to the margins of society, like the homeless and disabled.[32] The Mayflower Declaration was updated and reprinted in early 2013 just after Cordle became leader. It now has a new introduction and at the back the policy on Europe was changed from support for the EU to "While we are members of the European Union to work with fellow Christians to seek to bring about moral and democratic reform." It subsequently went further and in its 2014 European manifesto said it wanted a referendum on the EU and that if a referendum was held it would support leaving the EU.

Election results[edit]

The party has never won a seat as a Member of Parliament. However, it has won some local government council elections. In Newham London Borough Council, Alan Craig was a councillor (2002-2010), as were Simeon Ademolake (2006–2010) and Denise Stafford (2006–2010). Paul Martin and David Gee were elected to Aston-cum-Aughton Parish Council (2007–2009).

House of Commons[edit]

General election year # of total votes % of overall vote # of seats won Rank
2005[33] 3,291Increase 0.0%Increase 0 Steady 29
2010[34] 6,276 Increase 0.0% Increase 0 Steady 25
2015[35] 3,260Decrease 0.0% Decrease 0 Steady 26
2017 [36] 5,869 Increase 0.0% Increase 0 Steady 15

Thirty-one candidates stood for the CPA in the General Election 2017.[37] The party also contested by-elections in 2017 and in 2018.

Date of election Constituency Candidate Votes %
23 February 2017 Stoke-on-Trent Central Godfrey Davies 109 0.5[38]
14 June 2018 Lewisham East Maureen Martin 168 0.8[39]

London Assembly[edit]

election year # of constituency votes % of constituency vote # of list votes % of list vote # of seats won Rank
2000 - - 55,192Increase 3.3%Increase
0 / 25
5
2004 43,322Increase 2.4%Increase 54,914 Decrease 2.9% Decrease
0 / 25
8
2008 65,357Increase 2.7%Increase 70,294Increase 2.9% Steady
0 / 25
6
2012 - - 38,758Decrease 1.8% Decrease
0 / 25
7
2016 - - 27,172 Decrease 1.0% Decrease
0 / 25
9

† In 2008 the CPA fielded Joint-ticket candidates with the Christian Party, standing as "Christian Choice"

The party has consistently contested elections to the London Assembly but failed to gain any seats.

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ There had been some earlier movements in the United Kingdom which claimed to represent Christian values, for example the Protestant Unionist Party in Northern Ireland. However, academics differentiate between the two kinds[2] in that the PUP was associated with regional identity and an exclusively Protestant basis, entwined with local politics of Northern Ireland, while the Movement for Christian Democracy was established on an inclusive Christian basis, with Protestant and Catholic involvement. A Christian democracy aimed at confronting secularism and representing Christians and their values in the United Kingdom in general.
  2. ^ The sect known as Tablighi Jamaat are behind the planning. A group whom the Federal Bureau of Investigation has claimed are a "key influence on terrorists targeting Britain" and "a common link to a string of attacks and conspiracies".[12] The party's broadcast in relation to the planning was censored on BBC and ITV, which led the CPA to take legal action.[13] A 23-year-old named Muhammad from Stevenage posted a death threat on YouTube in response, which was described in the Daily Mail as "chilling".[14]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Corrigan, Phil (17 January 2017). "Christian party selects candidate for Stoke-on-Trent Central by-election". Stoke Sentinel. Archived from the original on 18 January 2017. Retrieved 22 January 2017. 
  2. ^ a b Freston, Protestant Political Parties, 52
  3. ^ Watts, Pressure Groups, 11.
  4. ^ a b "Year of the Ram?". The Guardian. London. 10 June 2004. Retrieved 24 March 2010. 
  5. ^ Bolton, The Entrepreneur in Focus, 188.
  6. ^ Byelections in the 1997 parliament Election Database
  7. ^ "Three years after war, 'Iraq is worse'". Church Times. 15 March 2009. 
  8. ^ "Christian Party Manifesto comes 2nd in Pre-General Election Newsnight Contest". ChristianToday.co.uk. 22 April 2005. Retrieved 3 December 2016. 
  9. ^ "More local councillors elected for Christian Peoples Alliance". European Christian Political Youth Network. Archived from the original on 31 July 2012. Retrieved 1 February 2009. 
  10. ^ "Cardinal Throws Weight Behind Scottish Christian Democratic Party for Holyrood 2007 Elections". ischool.co.uk. Archived from the original on 18 August 2011. Retrieved 1 February 2009. 
  11. ^ "Christian Peoples Alliance defends bishop over Islam comments". ChristianToday.co.uk. Retrieved 1 February 2009. 
    - "Sharia and the scare stories". Retrieved 21 May 2014. 
  12. ^ Johnston, Philip; Foster, Peter (11 July 2007). "The 'peaceful' group linked to radical Muslims". Telegraph.co.uk. London. Retrieved 1 April 2010. 
  13. ^ "Christian party loses BBC fight". BBC.co.uk. London. 30 April 2008. Retrieved 2 January 2010. 
  14. ^ "Opponent of 'mega-mosque' receives chilling death threat on YouTube". DailyMail.co.uk. London. 6 November 2007. Retrieved 1 February 2009. 
    - "Death threats on YouTube for mosque opponent". Evening Standard. Archived from the original on 19 June 2009. Retrieved 1 February 2009. 
  15. ^ Sugden, Joanna (29 May 2007). "Setback for Muslim sect's 'mega-mosque' in London". TimesOnline.co.uk. Retrieved 1 April 2010. 
  16. ^ "No 10 site in mosque petition row". BBC.co.uk. London. 17 July 2007. Retrieved 2 January 2010. 
  17. ^ Owen, Paul (30 April 2008). "London assembly: who is standing?". Guardian.co.uk. London. Retrieved 24 March 2010. 
  18. ^ Asa Bennett, "Ukip Defend Controversial Ex-Christian Party Leader Alan Craig Joining Party", Huffington Post UK, 7 October 2014
  19. ^ Statement of accounts (2013 - Christian Peoples Alliance - Great Britain - Central Party) at The Electoral Commission website
  20. ^ "Our members and associates". ECPM. Retrieved 22 May 2017. 
  21. ^ "Ram Gidoomal's London mission". BBC News. 23 March 2000. Retrieved 3 May 2013. 
  22. ^ Passion for London manifesto[dead link]
  23. ^ http://christian-1.cust.host-it.co.uk/fed/resources/TRANSPOR_TDO.pdf[permanent dead link], http://www.bepj.org.uk/wordpress/wp-content/2007/03/motorway-based-coach-system.pdf
  24. ^ "Minister hints at tax reforms for marriage", Daily Telegraph
  25. ^ Key Policies, Christian Peoples Alliance, see http://christian-1.cust.host-it.co.uk/sco/index[permanent dead link]. php?page=policies as at 17 April 2007
  26. ^ "Say no to casino!". BBC. 27 December 2007. Retrieved 3 May 2013. 
  27. ^ "CAAT Press Releases". Caat.org.uk. Archived from the original on 6 August 2012. Retrieved 3 May 2013. 
  28. ^ "Queen's Market - St Modwen not wanted!". Friendsofqueensmarket.org.uk. Retrieved 3 May 2013. 
  29. ^ "Letters: Friends of Queens market set out their stall". The Guardian. London. 18 February 2006. Retrieved 3 May 2013. 
  30. ^ "Gay Marriage Made God Angry And He Is Probably Making It Rain Insists Christian People’s Alliance Leader", Huffington Post UK, 16 May 2014
    - "God angry at gay marriage - Christian People's Alliance", BBC News, 16 May 2014
  31. ^ "What does Christian Peoples Alliance stand for?, 09/05/2017, Daily Politics - BBC Two". BBC. 
  32. ^ a b "Mayflower Declaration". Cpax.org.uk. Archived from the original on 27 February 2009. 
  33. ^ "2005 General election results". UK Political Info. Retrieved 18 October 2015. 
  34. ^ "Election 2010 Results". BBC News. Retrieved 22 January 2014. 
  35. ^ "UK 2015 general election results in full", The Guardian,
  36. ^ https://www.bbc.com/news/election/2017/results
  37. ^ "Christian Peoples Alliance candidates in the 2017 General Election". Retrieved 12 May 2017. 
  38. ^ "Ukip falters against Labour in Stoke-on-Trent Central byelection", The Guardian, 24 February 2017. Retrieved 24 February 2017.
  39. ^ "Lewisham East constituency by-election on 14 June 2018". Lewisham London Borough Council. 

Bibliography[edit]

External links[edit]