Stewart Arnold has attacked the present UK political model as harming Yorkshire and the regions, and spoken of the need for democratic renewal.
“We’re incredibly over-centralised, and it’s not good for the areas outside of London that we’re so far behind,” he told The Yorkshire Post.
In a detailed interview with journalist Rob Parsons, the Leader of the Yorkshire Party looks back on the progress towards devolutions since the Yorkshire Party was formed, initially as Yorkshire First in 2014.
“In 2014 the debate was about devolution to Yorkshire, yes or no, and we are now at the stage of ‘yes, devolution is coming, in a form, how does it come, what do we want from it, what sort of powers and responsibilities’.
– “That is how the debate has moved on, so we are already starting to talk about One Yorkshire hopefully coming about, but you have The Yorkshire Post, the Yorkshire Party, the Archbishop of York, the trade unions, the CBI, 18 out of 20 council leaders want devolution and they want One Yorkshire, so that to us is key, to see how far that debate has moved on.”
He wants an elected assembly to govern the region, as opposed to a mayor with a cabinet of council leaders. It would give democratic accountability, he says.
“This devolution process is not about economic renewal, and social renewal, but also about democratic renewal, there is that opportunity. If we just go back to the old ways of doing things, a strong man or woman for Yorkshire, is this really the new politics?”