Cllr George Derx, a Doncaster Councillor representing the Stainforth and Barnby Dun ward and former Civic Mayor of Doncaster, has resigned from the Labour Party and today (30 August) joined the Yorkshire Party.
Cllr Derx had previously served as a Labour Party Councillor at Borough and Town level, between 2017 and 2018 was Civic Mayor of Doncaster and between 2018 and 2019 was the Chair of the Doncaster Council Labour Group. He will now sit as a Yorkshire Party Councillor on Doncaster Council, and becomes the first Yorkshire Party Councillor in South Yorkshire - joining the Yorkshire Party Councillors covering North and East Yorkshire wards who were elected in 2019.
Cllr Derx explained his decision:
“Leaving a political party is never an easy decision to make, especially when you count many friends in the Labour Party, as I do. However in recent times I have become increasingly convinced that it is the Yorkshire Party which has the right policies for our region.
“I have looked on with admiration at the difference Yorkshire Party Councillors in East and North Yorkshire have made to their communities, and at the same time I’ve become increasingly convinced that the Yorkshire Party’s relentless focus on the real issues our region faces - be it under investment in education, the need for new, quality jobs or our failing transport networks - means the Yorkshire Party has the right solutions for Yorkshire.
“I look forward to working with my new Yorkshire Party colleagues across Yorkshire and fighting for a better deal for Yorkshire, and the whole north - something that being a member of the Yorkshire Party gives me the opportunity to do.”
Cllr Bob Buxton, the Leader of the Yorkshire Party, added:
“I am delighted to welcome Cllr Derx to the Yorkshire Party. I have spoken to many Labour Party members in recent months who are concerned that their party isn’t learning its lessons.
“Despite their catastrophic losses across Yorkshire in the General Election last year, people tell me that it doesn’t seem like Labour is listening to Yorkshire.
“I am confident Cllr Derx won’t be the last Labour member to join the Yorkshire Party in the coming weeks and months.”
Since its formation in 2014, the Yorkshire Party has led the campaign for One Yorkshire devolution through the form of a democratically elected, properly funded Yorkshire Assembly - something both the Labour Party and Conservative Party have refused to support.