Newsletter – June 2019

Leader Chris Whitwood invites members to ‘Shape Your Yorkshire Party’

As a growing party it is important that we continue to reflect in order to develop. We rely on proactive members taking the initiative and helping develop our party. The survey below [sent directly to members but not included here] is an opportunity to reflect on the recent local and European elections and will form part of a review to allow members to set the party’s focus for the next six months and years ahead. Thank you in advance for taking the time to fill in the survey and for your constructive feedback.

Chris Whitwood

Leader’s Reaction to the European Elections 

This election is a strong result for the Yorkshire Party. More than 50,000 people across Yorkshire put their faith in us because they know that whatever happens with Brexit, the Yorkshire Party will continue to be a clear and confident voice for Yorkshire.

While I know some of you may feel disappointed with the result and it would have been nice to have gained more votes, I think it is also important to put the result into perspective.

Simply being able to stand was an achievement in itself. We were able to organise the printing and delivery of nearly 1.5 million leaflets thanks to a mammoth effort from volunteers. Similarly, the results themselves show successes. We came significantly ahead of Change UK (a national party with hundreds of thousands of pounds of resources to play with). In a number of areas, we came ahead of the Conservatives and in others we polled better than Labour. For a volunteer party to poll ahead of parties of national government is no small achievement.

Yorkshire Party members decided that the party should take a neutral stance. This was a tough decision as throughout the media this vote was portrayed as a binary rerun of the 2016 referendum. However, I believe it was the right decision to ensure the unity of the party and make sure we remained focused on our core issues. Ultimately, everything we do is a team effort and as a member you are an essential part of that team.

Our country is divided. The Yorkshire Party is the only party that seeks to heal that divide and bring Yorkshire together because, whichever way you voted – leave or remain, left or right – Yorkshire’s schools are still chronically underfunded, our health service is overstretched and our transport system is dilapidated. That is why the Yorkshire Party fought this election – to address the issues that have a direct impact on the lives of people living and working in Yorkshire.

We must also take a moment to refocus on our core purpose. The Conservative Party Minister for the Northern Powerhouse, Jake Berry, has repeatedly denied Yorkshire meaningful devolution and the opportunity to work together. The tens of thousands of votes the Yorkshire Party secured in this election is testament to how wrong-headed and appalling Mr Berry’s judgment has been. I hope this result gives all politicians in Westminster pause for thought. 

This election saw the beginnings of a wholescale realignment of British politics. Support for the traditional Westminster parties has collapsed. We will reflect on our achievements and areas to improve and we will come back stronger to ensure that the Yorkshire Party will be at the forefront of building a stronger Yorkshire in a fairer United Kingdom.