Who’s Who

Chris Whitwood – Leader and Education Spokesperson 

Chris became Deputy Leader of the Yorkshire Party in 2016 and became Leader in March 2019. He is the youngest 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 youth work, 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.

[email protected]



Laura Walker – Deputy Leader and Economics Spokesperson

Laura has lived in Yorkshire since 2004, currently in Altofts near Wakefield. She joined the Yorkshire Party during the 2017 General Election as she felt that the Westminster parties had let down the North in general and Yorkshire in particular. She quickly became a committed activist for the Party.

The former industrial buyer decided on a career change and has been working with charities supporting older people since 2016 after volunteering with older people since childhood. She now works for the charity Independent Age, tackling loneliness and promoting older people’s causes throughout South Yorkshire.

She is also a member of the organising committee for the Residents Against Rudd Quarry action group, campaigning for communities to be treated fairly in the planning process.

Laura’s political passions are on providing equality of opportunity, and as a late convert to the idea of devolution believes that Yorkshire Devolution is the best way to deliver real progress though infrastructure and targeted funding of areas for growth.

Laura may be a familiar face to viewers of afternoon quiz programmes, having appeared on (and winning!) several over the years including The Chase and The Boss, but when off-duty can otherwise be found walking her Lakeland Terrier, George, over the footpath she’s campaigning to save.

[email protected]



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.

[email protected]



Arnie Craven – Chairman

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. 

[email protected]



Matt Clover – Deputy Chairman and Culture Spokesperson

Matt was born and bred in Yorkshire, has lived and worked in many different parts of this great county, giving him a wide and varied viewpoint of all that goes on here. Some years ago he settled in the hamlet of Potterton, north-east of Leeds. 

In the late nineties, he worked full time to pay his way through university and afterwards forged a career in the hospitality industry, which has seen him achieve both great success and some small knocks along the way. He enjoys the ever-demanding hustle and bustle of the industry, working alongside his wonderful wife, Lisa.

Matt donates regularly to various charities and completed the Great North Run in aid of MIND, the mental health charity, a feat that he hopes to repeat once he’s lost a bit of weight.

His interest in politics goes back to his early teens. All sides were represented whenever his family would get together, and he found the debates no less than fascinating. His own political views are very much down the middle. He feels that there are facets of all parties that are admirable but at the same time there is the knowledge that, whoever is in power, party politics and elitism come before the good of the people.

The fact that party politics comes a very distant second is what attracted him to the Yorkshire Party.

Matt sits on Barwick-in-Elmet and Scholes Parish Council, Leeds.



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 publishing 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.



Mark Barton  – Executive Committee member



John Boocock – Executive Committee member and spokesperson on One Yorkshire devolution



Bob Buxton – Executive Committee member and Transport Spokesperson

He joined the Yorkshire Party in 2014 and have stood in two General Elections, three local elections and won a seat on Rawdon Parish Council.



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.



Mick Bower, Social Affairs

Jack Carrington, Electoral Reform

Lee Derrick, Sports and Well-being

Daniel Gascoigne, International Affairs

Mike Jordan, Local Government

Bikatshi Katenga, Children and Families

Tim Norman, Business

Andy Walker, Environment







Councillor Mike Jordan represents South Selby on North Yorkshire County Council and Camblesforth and Carlton on Selby District Council

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Councillor Mike Jordan


Councillor Paul Welburn represents Camblesforth and Carlton


Councillor Ellie Jordan represents Byram and Brotherton


Councillor Dave Brook  represents in Sherburn-in-Elmet

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

Represents Northallerton South Ward

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Councillor Tim Norman represent Bridlington South Ward

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Councillor Andy Walker represent Bridlington South Ward

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Bob Buxton and Roland Gilmore, Rawdon Parish Council, Leeds

Wayne Chadburn, Penistone Town Council, Barnsley

Matt Clover,  Barwick-in-Elmet and Scholes Parish Council, Leeds

Peter Hemmerman, Market Weighton Town Council near York

Tim Norman and Andy Walker, Bridlington Town Council

Martin Roberts. Ackworth Parish Council, Wakefield

Paul Welburn, Carlton Parish Council, Leeds

Lee Derrick, Whitby Town Council

James Vasey, Clayton Parish Council, Bradford


The Yorkshire Party would like to thank photographer Robbie MacDonald who has supplied the majority of the images on this page