Voting starts in election to choose Party Leader

Voting has opened in the contest to be the new Leader of the Yorkshire Party.

Deputy Chairman Matt Clover, who is running the poll, has written to all members eligible to vote to explain the procedure and send their unique voting identification codes.

“The voting period will run until 23.59 on July 28. Any votes cast after that point will not be considered valid.

“Only paid-up members of the Yorkshire Party are eligible to vote in this contest.”

Separately the two candidates – Chris Whitwood and Jack Bannan have emailed election addresses to members.

Chris is the incumbent, having taken on the leadership, pending an election, after the resignation of then Leader Stewart Arnold; Jack is the Party’s Director of Communications.

Here are the candidates’ statements

Chris Whitwood

Chris Whitwood: we should demonstrate our principles of fairness and opportunity

“Together we have developed a vision, backed up by evidence and policy, of how we can transform our region.

“It’s not always glamorous, but I believe that if we keep working hard and working together the Yorkshire Party will continue to grow and succeed.

“I joined the Party because I believe we can be a force for positive change. Over the past five years we have shown that people like you and I can make a real difference but if we are going to continue succeeding we must show voters that we are serious about transforming Yorkshire.

“That requires professional leadership, clear messaging and a bold vision. I can offer all three of these but I need your vote. 

“If elected Leader, I will offer –
“Professional Leadership: ensure we have a professional approach to the media; develop the roles of our spokespeople; introduce a dedicated Candidate Support Team.

“Clear Messaging: launch at least four campaigns to champion our core policies – Yorkshire devolution, fair school funding, transport investment and a green Yorkshire; run annual Yorkshire Day activities; clearly state the principles our Party stands for.

“Bold Vision: lead the devolution debate to demand a Yorkshire Assembly; show how we would lead and govern, demonstrating our principles of fairness and opportunity; speak up for our communities with pride.”

Jack Bannan

Jack Bannan: we must be ambitious in elections

“I have many ambitions for the Party, but most start with growing and engaging our membership. An active membership (whether leafleting, participating in branches and campaigns, standing in elections, or simply voting on leaders and executive members) is, I believe, the keystone to success.

“We all believe in a stronger and more prosperous Yorkshire, within a fairer and more democratic UK, but it will take work to get there.

“I want to see us continuing to develop in-depth, well-evidenced policies for national as well as regional government (particularly on the ‘big questions’ – such as taxation, the detail of our devolution settlement, and radical reforms of Westminster itself).

“On campaigning, I want us to focus on those areas where we can reach and connect with the most Yorkshire voters, and where our policies will make the most difference in the context of a Yorkshire Assembly. I agree with Chris’s four proposed campaigns, but would add housing and homelessness as a priority and focus.

“On elections, I want us to be ambitious in terms of both candidate number and candidate quality, and so continue our string of record results and growing influence on the political landscape.

“And to make all this happen, I believe the Party’s crucial internal workings should ensure: a top-to-bottom focus on member recruitment and engagement; sound finance and fundraising (building on tremendous progress of the past couple of months); professional, clear, and open internal structures, to use the fullest time and talents of our supporters.”

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