|Deputy Leader||Chris Whitwood|
|Ideology||Yorkshire regionalism Social democracy|
|European affiliation||European Free Alliance|
|Colours||Sky blue, white|
|Local government in Yorkshire||
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The Yorkshire Party 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, it campaigns for the establishment of a devolved Yorkshire Assembly within the UK, similar to the Scottish Parliament or National Assembly for Wales.
It describes itself as a party of the "pragmatic centre", with "progressive views on economic, social and environmental issues". Its constitution rejects the whip system, and its candidates agree to abide by Martin Bell's code of conduct for politicians.
Founded as Yorkshire First, the party faced its first electoral test when it stood three candidates in Yorkshire and the Humber in the 2014 European elections. The party's launch was welcomed by a spokesperson for Mebyon Kernow. During the campaign, the party complained about BBC and Ofcom rules which precluded it from having an election broadcast. It came 8th of 10 parties with 19,017 votes (1.47%), which the party's lead candidate, Stewart Arnold, described as "a hugely significant result".
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". He stood as the party's parliamentary candidate in Colne Valley in the 2015 general election.
The party's 2014 conference took place in Leeds on 22 November 2014, with Ed Straw (Jack Straw's brother) as a guest speaker. 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.
Bob Buxton, a physics teacher at Leeds City College who is opposed to university tuition fees, was announced as the party's parliamentary candidate in Leeds North West. He believes devolution will improve housing and transport development, including railways. Former GP Dr Rod Sutcliffe stood as the candidate in Calder Valley, lecturer Darren Hill in Shipley and former Liberal Democrat MEP Diana Wallis in Haltemprice and Howden.
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. The party's 2015 election slogan was "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. The party stood in 14 different constituencies on 7 May 2015.
In July 2016, Yorkshire First was renamed the more "positive and inclusive" name of Yorkshire Party.
In the 2017 general election the Yorkshire Party fielded 21 candidates across the region. As a result the party was invited to participate in the BBC Look North Yorkshire Election 2017 debate, the only regional political party to do so. The party polled 20,958 votes becoming the 6th most voted for party in England.
In 2018, Mick Bower, who had stood in Rotherham in the previous year's general election, was selected as the party's candidate for Sheffield City Region mayor.
In the 2015 general election the party contested 14 constituencies, winning 6,811 votes.
The party increased its number of candidates in the 2017 snap election to 21, winning 20,958 votes, a huge increase from the previous election.
The Yorkshire party has also contested a number of council seats and mayoral positions in the local elections.
Due to defections, the party currently holds three seats on County and District councils in Yorkshire. They have four seats on parish councils. The party have been unable to attain other elected representation.
- North East Party a regional party in the North East of England.
- Northern Party a former regional party based in Lancashire
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- "Yorkshire First joins European Free Alliance". Retrieved 24 May 2016.
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