New party promises to put ‘Yorkshire First’

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a new political party promising to champion the interests of Yorkshire is set to contest next month’s European elections.

Yorkshire First is campaigning for the region to have more control over its own affairs and describes itself as a party of the “pragmatic centre”.

It will present the European elections as Yorkshire’s chance to have its own referendum about its future in a similar vein to the upcoming Scottish independence vote.

Yorkshire First is the brainchild of business adviser Richard Carter, originally from Holmfirth but currently living in Oslo.

He said: “I’ve learned quite a lot by not being in Yorkshire. When you look at different countries and how they do things it begs questions about the region you come from.

“When you look at what is happening in Wales and Scotland, they are not a lot different from us in many many ways.

“We have a larger population than Scotland, an economy larger than Wales, but we don’t have the powers of either of them.

“This is the only occasion where Yorkshire votes as a region. We have only got one opportunity every five years to send a message and that’s got to be we need more say in things that affect the region.”

Mr Carter said that while he was likely to be one of Yorkshire First’s list of candidates for the European elections, he would not be taking top spot.

“I am working in Germany, living in Oslo, they are very aware of Yorkshire but people ask me who they would speak to about investing in Yorkshire and I tell them they would have to speak to someone in London.

“It’s a ridiculous state of affairs.”

Voting in the European elections will take place on May 22, the same day that local elections are held in 13 council areas in Yorkshire.

MEPs are elected on a regional basis with six seats up for grabs in Yorkshire.