Cornish Nationalist Party
The term "Cornish Nationalist Party" is sometimes used incorrectly for Mebyon Kernow
Cornish Nationalist Party
Party Kenethlegek Kernow
Leader James Whetter
Founded 1975-2005, 2009-present
Ideology Cornish independence,
Cornish nationalism
Political position Right-wing
Politics of the United Kingdom
Political parties

The Cornish Nationalist Party (CNP), Cornish: Party Kenethlegek Kernow, is an unregistered political party in the United Kingdom, led by Dr James Whetter and campaigning for independence for Cornwall.[1] It was formed by people who left Mebyon Kernow on 28 May 1975.[2] The party ceased to exist in 2005, although it claimed to have reformed in April 2009 following a conference in Bodmin.[3] However, it did not contest the local or European elections in 2009.

A separate party with a similar name (the Cornish National Party)[4] existed from 1969.[5]

The split was down to the same debate that was occurring in most of the political parties campaigning for autonomy from the United Kingdom at the time (for example the Scottish National Party and Plaid Cymru), whether to be a centre-left party appealing to the electorate on a social democratic line, or whether to appeal emotionally on a centre-right cultural line. Another subject of the split was whether to embrace devolution as a first step to full independence (or as the sole step if this was what the electorate wished) or for it to be "all or nothing".

The CNP essentially represented the party's right wing, who were not willing to accept that economic arguments were more likely to win votes than cultural.

The CNP worked to preserve the identity of Cornwall and improve its economy, and encouraged links with Cornish people overseas and with other regions which have distinct identities. It also gave support to Unified Cornish, the language of the Cornish revival in modern times, and commemorated Thomas Flamank, a leader of the Cornish Rebellion in 1497, at an annual ceremony at Bodmin on 27 June each year.

While the CNP were not a racist organisation there was a perceived image problem relating to the similarly-styled British National Party (BNP). Today, the Cornish Nationalist Party is seen as more of a pressure group as they do not put up candidates for local, general or European elections. As of 2006, they are not registered on the UK political parties register; Mebyon Kernow are the only registered political party based in Cornwall[citation needed].

Dr Whetter and the CNP still publish a quarterly journal, The Cornish Banner (An Baner Kernewek). This is done within the actions of the Roseland Institute.



It was announced in April 2009 that the Cornish Nationalist Party (now abbreviated CPN) had re-grouped to contest future elections.[6] It had been announced, however, that the new main aim of the party is support of the new Unitary Authority in Cornwall, something that is unpopular with many of the citizens.[citation needed]

See also


  1. ^ "Cornwall's full potential as an independent nation "
  2. ^ Mebyon Kernow and Cornish Nationalism by Dick Cole, Bernard Deacon, and Gary Tregidda
  3. ^
  4. ^ Mebyon Kernow and Cornish Nationalism by Dick Cole, Bernard Deacon, and Gary Tregidda
  5. ^ In 1969 a CNP was formed.
  6. ^

External links

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