Who’s Who

Stewart Arnold – Leader

Stewart Arnold is a founder member and, since September 1, 2016, the Leader of the Yorkshire Party.

Stewart has long been involved in devolution politics in the region, writing his first pamphlet on the subject in 2002 and later chaired the cross-party Campaign for Yorkshire.

He is a company director and a part-time lecturer in the Business School at the University of Hull. He lives in the East Riding.

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Chris Whitwood – Deputy Leader

Chris has been Deputy Leader of the Yorkshire Party since 2016. At 26, he is currently the youngest deputy leader of any political party in the UK.

As well as being responsible for design work, he also represents the Yorkshire Party within the European Free Alliance. Chris has always been passionate about youthwork, volunteering for charities such as St John Ambulance and UK Youth.

He trained as a product designer before becoming a primary school teacher. He now works for a company designing teaching resources.

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John Hall – Treasurer

I was born in Middlesbrough, North Yorkshire in 1947.  Having retired as a managing director of a company that I started in 1981, I moved with my family to the Harrogate area in 2014.

I have had a lifetime interest in politics and it was a great opportunity for me to join the Yorkshire Party when I discovered it had changed from a pressure group to a registered political party.

As a branch was needed in the Harrogate area, I volunteered to run it with Chris Pearson. We now hold regular meetings and are starting to attract some local interest in the party. In January this year, I joined the Executive Committee and took over the responsibility of Party Treasurer.

My decision to run for council in Starbeck was because the people are similar in many ways to those I grew up with in Middlesbrough. They seem more diverse and community-orientated than most other wards in the district.

I am now looking forward to the campaign and meeting some of the residents of Starbeck.  If elected, I would like to try to improve facilities for the youth of the community to help combat anti-social behaviour, which blights the area on occasion. I believe also when building low-cost housing these properties should blend seamlessly with the surrounding housing in the immediate area, for greater integration.

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Arnie Craven – Chair and Leader of the Elections Working Group

Arnie is a member of our Executive Committee. He has been involved in campaigns for regional devolution for more than 10 years.

Arnie is focussed on ensuring that the economic and social benefits that real devolution would bring to Yorkshire and the north of England are articulated by the Yorkshire Party – particularly around improved transport infrastructure and better educational outcomes.

Outside his work with the Yorkshire Party, Arnie is a keen (and long suffering!) Leeds United fan, and is perfecting his steak cooking techniques. 

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Jack Bannan – Director of Communications

Jack, aged 27, is from Leamington Spa, but has lived mostly in Yorkshire since moving to Leeds to study in 2009. His aim is to ensure the Party’s message is heard more widely and more clearly.

Jack lives in Sheffield and stood for the Party in the recent local elections in the city’s Walkley ward. He works in digital marketing for a global educational publising website.

The inequality that Yorkshire families face in their daily lives helps to motivate Jack in his work for the Yorkshire Party. “Working for an educational company, I’m passionate about preventing the children of Yorkshire from being left behind by the uneven distribution of educational funding across the country.”

[email protected]



Martin Roberts – Branch Development Officer

I am leader of the Membership Working Group.

I am a member of the Executive Committee, Wakefield District Branch Chair and have been a candidate in various elections for the Yorkshire Party.

I am 31 and live in Ackworth, grew up in east Leeds and work in Wakefield.

I was introduced to the Yorkshire Party in 2014 and voted for it in the European Elections, I then became more involved standing as a General Election candidate for the Hemsworth constituency in 2015 and again in 2017. I have stood as a Local Election candidate for the Ackworth, North Elmsall and Upton Ward in the Wakefield District and also as a candidate for the Ackworth Parish as well.

I believe in a devolved Yorkshire with greater autonomy within the United Kingdom and that government and democracy should be as local and in touch with communities as possible.

I have been a member of the Yorkshire Party since the beginning and maintain an active role within this organisation. I enjoy helping to develop more Yorkshire Party branches because it means that the Party is growing and reaching its objectives to become the main political Party in Yorkshire.

To see how far this Party has come in such a short time is unbelievable and it won”t be much longer before we are covering all of Yorkshire and standing up for all of our communities.

[email protected]



Chris Gauton – Director of Policy

Chris has been in the Yorkshire Party since 2016 and is responsible for policy and cross party /organisation co-operation. He has been involved in formulating and producing the transport and green policies for the Party. 

He has been involved in politics for most of his life at both ward and branch level including serving as a ward secretary. 

Chris has extensive experience of working in the Public, Private and Insurance sectors dealing with the fire service, transport, nuclear and oil and gas industries. 

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Jack Carrington – Executive Committee member

Jack has lived in Sheffield Central since 2011.  He briefly studied economics and maths at Sheffield University, before moving on to accountancy, and volunteering in the community. He is finance director for Make Votes Matter.and a trustee of Park Community Action in Sheffield.

In the 2017 General Election, Jack stood in the Sheffield Central constituency and explained his political philosophy: “Real substantial devolution is both the core of what I am standing for at this election, and how the message of voting for The Yorkshire Party will be interpreted by parties and decision makers after the election.

“Taking decisions closer to the people they affect means more targeted, more efficient, and more accountable policy-making – and as dry as that can sound, it’s what will bring jobs and growth to Yorkshire and the regions left behind by Westminster. Sheffield is my home, I want to see it able to prosper, and I am standing for election as part of what I can do to help make that happen.”

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Bryan Mitton – Executive Committee member

I was born 1959 in Skipton in the West Riding of Yorkshire, which was later changed to North Yorkshire. Perhaps this was not too different from the more recent reorganisation of the “administrative” boundaries, though it seems that these newer administrative boundaries became the “County Boundaries”! I believe the Palatine Boundaries of Yorkshire are still the same now as they have been for hundreds of years.

The majority of my working life has been based in agriculture, cattle to be more precise. However, a near fatal injury in my younger years led to a several-year break from this, to recover the best I could after being knocked off my motorbike. I later moved into farm contracting, where I learned how to what would simply be called “make things work”, something I find to be a fundamentally “Yorkshire” approach.

In my personal life I enjoyed being a local DJ and travelling extensively, which included the Americas, the Far East and some of Europe mixed in.

After getting married I had two sons both born in Yorkshire. This marriage ended in divorce, and my realisation of the struggles and difficulties of being a single parent.

I feel I made a great job of it, with one attending grammar school and emigrating to New Zealand, and the other making a success of university by achieving a 2:1 honours degree in Business Studies, something I see as a real testament to “making things work”, and always seeing a way forward no matter what difficulties may stand in the way.

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Concillor Mike Jordan, represents South Selby on North Yorkshire County Council and Camblesforth and Carlton ward on Selby District Council

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Councillor Claire Palmer, opposition leader on Hambleton District Council, North Yorkshire

Represents Northallerton South Ward

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Bob Buxton, Rawdon Parish Council, Leeds

Wayne Chadburn, Penistone Town Council, Barnsley

Matt Clover,  Barwick Parish Council, Leeds

Peter Hemmerman, Market Weighton Town Council near York.