Yorkshire party elects co-leaders

The Yorkshire Party has celebrated Yorkshire Day by announcing the election of co-leaders Simon Biltcliffe and Bob Buxton.

Dr Buxton, who had been the sole leader since 2020, explained his reasons for inviting Dr Biltcliffe to stand on a joint ticket: “Simon has actually done what most politicians merely promise, by founding a forward-thinking, highly successful eco-friendly business – one that has donated more than £700,000 of its profits to good causes, such as rewilding 166 acres. The Yorkshire Party is growing and will succeed with Simon’s brand of progressive thinking at its heart.”

“I thank Party members and pledge to keep working on our core objective: real devolution for Yorkshire, through a Regional Parliament. This would allow the people of Yorkshire to govern our county regardless of events in London. We could focus on the cost-of-living crisis, the housing crisis and crumbling transport infrastructure.”

“The dysfunctional Westminster Government hasn’t resolved transport strikes or the huge backlog in the NHS, while environmental pledges have been forgotten. Yorkshire deserves better, including its fair share of public spending.

Dr Biltcliffe added: “We will reinforce our case for a Regional Parliament with rigorous arguments; Scotland’s economy was equal to Yorkshire’s before devolution but is 15% larger now. Local powers, fair funding and the economic growth they bring improve people’s everyday lives, through better transport, green initiatives, education and job creation.”

“Bob and I have complementary skills and experiences. He teaches engineering apprentices and has written a foundation degree course on renewable energy, while I formed and run an eco-friendly business. We can use these skills to grow the party, win more elections and rejuvenate Yorkshire.”

Newly elected Yorkshire Party Chair, Andy Walker, serves on both the East Riding County and Bridlington Town Councils, along with Deputy Leader Tim Norman. Cllr Walker said: “As Chair, I want to help more Yorkshire Party candidates get elected to serve their communities. Tim and I persuaded the East Riding to declare a climate emergency and make real changes, such as not buying single-use plastics. We’ve also prioritised local needs when setting budgets and promoted local democracy.”

“We’re looking forward to working with Bob and Simon to bring real powers and fair funding to the whole of Yorkshire.