English Democrats Party


English Democrats Party

Infobox_British_Political_Party
party_name = English Democrats
party_articletitle = English Democrats Party
party_
leader = Robin Tilbrook - National Chairman
chairman = "none"
foundation = 2002
ideology = English nationalism
Euroscepticism
position = Right wing [ [http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/1564630/The-Right's-100-Most-Influential-100-76.html The Right's 100 Most Influential: 100-76 - Telegraph ] ] [ [http://www.eastlondonadvertiser.co.uk/raceformayor/mayorELA/story.aspx?brand=ELAOnline&category=voteforme&tBrand=elaonline&tCategory=voteforme&itemid=WeED25%20Apr%202008%2013%3A45%3A29%3A573 East London Advertiser - O'Connor accuses English Democrats of BNP link after quitting race for Mayor ] ] [ [http://www.inlogov.bham.ac.uk/seminars/minor_parties/pdfs/Deacon.pdf The Additional Member System in the Welsh Assembly elections has never allowed the influx of third parties into the Welsh Assembly that has occurred on occasions in Scotland ] ]
international = "None"
european = "None"
europarl = "None"
colours = White & red
headquarters = Norwich, Norfolk, England
website = [http://www.englishdemocrats.org.uk// www.englishdemocrats.org.uk]
The English Democrats Party (EngDem) is an English Nationalist political party, committed to the formation of a devolved English Parliament with at least the same powers as those granted to the Scottish Parliament.

Formation

In 1997, and in response to calls for the devolution of power to Scotland and Wales, Robin Tilbrook formed the "English National Party", with the aim of reforming the defunct English National Party which had been founded in the 1960s, but had ceased operating as a party by 1981. The English National Party formed by Tilbrook included members of the Campaign for an English Parliament, a pressure group that lobbies for a devolved English parliament.

The party was relaunched as the "English Democrats Party" in September 2002, after merging with several other smaller political parties. In October 2004, the party merged with the Reform UK Party, which was a small splinter group from the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP). The New England Party merged with the English Democrats in February 2007.

The English Democrats are co-founders of the English Constitutional Convention.cite web
title = Devolution for England - The way forward
publisher = English Constitution Convention
url = http://www.englishconstitutionalconvention.com/
accessdate = 2007-08-08
]

In December 2004, it was rumoured that Robert Kilroy-Silk, the former United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP) Member of the European Parliament (MEP) had entered into negotiation to join the English Democrats,cite news
last = Hyde
first = Marina
title = Diary
publisher = The Guardian
date = 2004-12-14
url = http://www.guardian.co.uk/diary/story/0,,1372973,00.html
accessdate = 2007-08-08
] however Kilroy-Silk went on to form Veritas.

Organisation

The English Democrats have an England-wide network of area, county and some Borough officers. In April 2006, it announced full national representative coverage of the nine English regions. In addition to the twenty-person National Council including nine area chairmen, there are 14 National Sub-Committees to expedite progress in the party development.

The national chairman of the party is Robin Tilbrook, a solicitor, who attended Wellington College, Berkshire and is a former member of the Conservative Party. The party claimed a total membership of 1,011 at the end of 2004, and 1,202 at the end of 2005.cite web
title = English Democrats Party Statement of Accounts
publisher = Electoral Commission
date = 2005-12-31
url = http://www.electoralcommission.org.uk/files/dms/EnglishDemocrats_23009-17188__E__N__S__W__.PDF
accessdate = 2007-08-08 |format=PDF
]

Election performances

2004

The English Democrats stood candidates for election in the 2004 European Parliament election in five of the nine regions of England. Their 2004 election canvassing leaflet featured the slogan, "Not left, not right, just English". Its candidates won 130,056 votes in total.

A month later, the party stood at the 2004 Birmingham Hodge Hill by-election. The EDP candidate received 277 votes, or 1.4% of the votes cast. [cite news
title = Lib Dems snatch Labour seat
publisher = BBC News
date = 2004-07-16
url = http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/politics/3898823.stm
accessdate = 2008-05-15
]

On September 30 a by-election was held at Hartlepool. The EDP candidate polled 41 votes or 0.1% of votes cast. [cite news
title = Labour narrowly wins Hartlepool
publisher = BBC News
date = 2004-10-01
url = http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/3705866.stm
accessdate = 2008-05-15
]

2005

The party's slogan for the 2005 general election was "English Democrats - Putting England First!" In total, the English Democrats fielded 25 candidates for the May 2005 general election,cite web
last = Kimber
first = Richard
title = UK General Election candidates 2005: Number of candidates by party
publisher = Political Science Resources, Keele University
date = 2007-02-02
url = http://www.psr.keele.ac.uk/area/uk/ge05/cand/EDP.htm
accessdate = 2008-01-23
] including Staffordshire South where the election was delayed until June due to the death of a candidate.

Garry Bushell the former "Sun" journalist and currently the "Daily Star Sunday" TV critic, became the most high profile candidate for the English Democrats, standing in the Greenwich and Woolwich constituency in London.cite web
last = Kimber
first = Richard
title = UK General Election candidates 2005 - English Democrats
publisher = Political Science Resources, Keele University
date = 2007-02-02
url = http://www.psr.keele.ac.uk/area/uk/ge05/cand/EDP.htm
accessdate = 2007-08-08
] Bushell's 1,216 votes (a 3.4% share for that constituency) beat the UKIP candidate, Stan Gain, who secured 2.0% (709 votes).cite web
title = Greenwich and Woolwich
publisher = The Guardian
date = 2005
url = http://politics.guardian.co.uk/hoc/constituency/0,,-984,00/html
accessdate = 2007-08-08
] , represented the party's best showing for the election.

In June 2005, Bushell also stood in Staffordshire South, where he received 643 votes (2.5%) coming fifth out of eight candidates.cite news
title = Result: Staffordshire South
publisher = BBC News
date = 2005-06-24
url = http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/shared/vote2005/html/535.stm
accessdate = 2007-08-08
]

Crowborough Town Council by-election

In November 2005 the party achieved its first electoral success when Paul Adams was elected to Crowborough Town Council, polling 120 votes, or 56.8% of the poll, on a turnout of 10%. cite web
last = Blanshard
first = Heather
title = St.Johns Ward - Declaration of result of poll
publisher = Crowborough Town Council
date = 2005-11-25
url = http://www.wealden.gov.uk/Council/Electoral_services/Results/documents/CrowStJohns241105.PDF
accessdate = 2007-08-08 |format=PDF
]

2007

In the 2007 local elections, seventy-eight candidates stood for election in boroughs and districts across fifteen English counties, including twenty in Dartford and ten in Portsmouth. All were unsuccessful, however the English Democrats achieved nine second places and an average vote of 13%, which was two percent higher then the previous year. The highest percentage vote was achieved by Michael Tibby who received the equivalent of 35.8%, as a candidate in a single candidate ward, in the Dartford Littlebrook ward. He was 62 votes short of being elected.

Welsh Assembly elections

In line with the English Democrats stance on the status of Monmouthshire, thirteen English Democrat candidates contested the Welsh Assembly elections in the South East Wales region, and the constituencies of Monmouth (fifth with 2.7%), Newport East (sixth 2.2%) and Newport West (fifth 2.7%).cite news
title = Welsh assembly election 2007
publisher = BBC News
url = http://news.bbc.co.uk/nol/shared/bsp/hi/vote2007/maps/wales_constituencies/html/wales_constituencies_map.stm
accessdate = 2007-08-08
] The party received 0.9% of the vote on the regional list.

2008

London mayoral election

In July 2007 Garry Bushell was nominated as Mayoral candidate for the English Democrats for the 2008 London mayoral and Assembly elections - with the campaign slogan - "Serious About London" cite web
title = Gary Bushell Serious about London
publisher = English Democrats Party
url = http://www.garryformayor.com/index.php
accessdate = 2007-08-08
] In January 2008 Bushell stepped down as the Mayoral candidate due to work commitments and Fathers 4 Justice founder Matt O'Connor was selected by the English Democrats in his place with his campaign expected to start on 14 February. His campaign web site [http://www.voteenglish.org voteenglish.org] was launched on 31 January 2008.cite news
title = Fathers 4 Justice founder to enter Mayoral race
publisher = London Evening Standard
date = 2008-01-09
url = http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/standard/article/-23431525-details/Fathers%204%20Justice%20Founder%20to%20enter%20Mayoral%20race/article.do?expand=true
accessdate =2008-01-20
] cite news
title = London Elects: The Candidates
publisher = londonelects.org.uk
url = http://www.londonelects.org.uk/candidates/the_candidates.aspx
accessdate =2008-03-31
] The poster campaign subsequently attracted an investigation by the Metropolitan Police under the Race Relations (Amendment) Act 2000.Fact|date=April 2008

The first Party Political Broadcast for the English Democrats party was broadcast on Friday 11 April 2008 at 6:30pm on ITV 1 (London). It featured Matt O'Connor campaigning for the London Mayoral elections.

One week before the Mayoral election, on 25 April, Matt O'Connor announced to Vanessa Feltz and the BBC that he was dropping out of the Mayoral race. He cited his reasons as being due to a lack of support within the EDP on St George's Day as well as lack of press coverage.cite news
title = Matt O'Connor quits Mayoral contest
publisher = BBC News
date = 2008-04-25
url = http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/7366662.stm
accessdate = 2008-04-25
] The English Democrats released a press statement on their website in response to his resignation voicing disappointment at his decision to quit the contest.cite news
title = Matt O'Connor's shock resignation press release
publisher = English Democrats
date = 2008-04-25
url = http://www.englishdemocrats.org.uk/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=142&Itemid=1
accessdate = 2008-04-25
] O'Connor received 10,695 first preference votes (representing 0.44% of the votes cast) in the mayoral contest, ranking ninth out of 10 candidates, he received 73,538 2nd preference votes 3.67%, ranking 8th [cite news
title = London mayoral election 2008
publisher = BBC
date = 2008-05-06
url = http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/shared/bsp/hi/elections/london/08/html/mayor.stm
accessdate = 2008-05-15
]

2008 English local elections

The party fielded candidates in 12 district council elections. None were elected. The party's best results were where it came second to the Conservatives: in the Finningley ward of Doncaster and in three wards in Rochford. [cite web |url=http://www.englishdemocrats.org.uk//index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=150&Itemid=2 |title=English Democrats Election Results |accessdate=2008-05-15 |author=English Democrats |date=2008-05-02 |work= |publisher=]

2008 Haltemprice and Howden by-election

The English Democrats fielded a candidate, Joanne Robinson, in the by-election forced by the resignation of former shadow home secretary David Davis from the House of Commons. Because of the issues raised by David Davis in the by-election, many major parties other than the Conservatives, such as Labour, Liberal Democrats, United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP) and British National Party (BNP) chose not to stand. When the full list of 26 candidates was confirmed, it was believed that the fight for second place would be between the Green Party and the English Democrats, both of whom would be fighting for their best by-election result. Joanne Robinson ended up coming in third, with 1,714 votes (7.2%), only 44 votes fewer than the Green candidate received in second place. Of the 26 candidates she was one of only three to win back her deposit. This result is both the highest place and percentage of the votes won by any English Democrat candidate in a parliamentary election or parliamentary by-election. [cite web |url=http://politics.guardian.co.uk/hoc/constituency/0,,-991,00.html |title=Haltemprice and Howden |accessdate=2008-07-11 |author= |date=2008-05-02 |work=Politics : Ask Aristotle |publisher=The Guardian]

Councillors

As of May 2008 the English Democrats have six parish or town councillors and one metropolitan borough councillor. The EDP has never had a councillor elected at the district council level. However, a handful of councillors have defected from other parties.

The 2005 victory of Paul Adams at the Crowbrough Town Council by-election remains the party's only success in a contested election. He retained his seat in an uncontested election in May 2007. The party gained five more town or parish council seats (in uncontested elections) at the same time.

Policies

The English Democrats publish a manifesto each year with alterations voted for by their membership at an Autumn Annual General Meeting and occasional Spring EGM .

English Parliament

The party contends that the Scottish Parliament and the National Assembly for Wales provide a voice to those two constituent nations of the United Kingdom (UK) that England lacks. The party proposes to convene the first exclusively English Parliament since the initial Laws in Wales Act 1535 through one of three methods:

# By converting the current House of Commons into a Devolved English parliament within the asymmetrical devolution framework currently existing in the United Kingdom,
# By creating a new legislature with equal status to the Scottish Parliament and a more powerful Welsh Parliament within a re-constituted federal or confederal United Kingdom,
# As an independent, sovereign legislature for the re-founded state of England, upon dissolution of the Union - most likely to be created by independence for Scotland and Wales.

The party has rejected suggestions that non-English MPs in the House of Commons should be barred from voting on England-specific matters, on the basis that this would lead to their being, in effect, two parliaments in the same building and that this would be problematic.cite news
title = No English parliament - Falconer
publisher = BBC News
date = 2006-03-10
url = http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/4792120.stm
accessdate = 2007-08-08
]

The party is against the establishment of regional assemblies in the Regions of England.

European Union

The party favours deciding the UK's future relationship with the European Union by a nationwide, multiple choice, referendum, which would include the option to withdraw from it entirely. The English Democrats are committed to campaign on the "Withdrawal" side of any referendum.English Democrats policy is to maintain free trade arrangements by rejoining the European Free Trade Association (EFTA).

Traditional counties

The party is supportive of historic counties and has called for a referendum on whether Monmouthshire should be part of England as opposed to Wales:

"The English Democrats Party consider that the position of Monmouthshire in Wales is anomalous, as historically it had mostly been part of England until recent boundary re-organisation. Accordingly, we would wish to see a county referendum in Monmouthshire as to whether the people of Monmouthshire would wish to be treated as being part of Wales or part of England." cite web
title = Manifesto of the English Democrats
publisher = BBC News
url = http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/shared/bsp/hi/pdfs/EDP_uk_manifesto.pdf
format = PDF
accessdate = 2008-03-08
]

House of Lords

In April 2006, the English Democrats became members of the Elect the Lords Campaign, whether the English Parliament is within a Federal UK or simply as a Devolved Parliament within the current UK structure.

Immigration

The party's manifesto states that "we need to change immigration policy so that it better reflects the needs and wishes of the English people". A points system for entry to the UK, based on the Canadian and Australian models, is advocated. The party's manifesto also suggests that the country should withdraw from international conventions on asylum and immigration.

Nationalist connections

The English Democrats shared a platform in January 2007 with the Scottish National Party (SNP) on the BBC "Newsnight" programme in a "Act of Disunion" debate and on 1 May, 2007 on the Internet television station 18 Doughty Street on the 300th anniversary of the signing of the Acts of Union in 1707.cite web
last = Dale
first = Iain
title = Voxpolitics
publisher = 18 Doughty Street
date = 2007-05-01
url = http://doughty.gdbtv.com/player.php?h=74b8e3c51946961e44e24db7c7cf1d83
format = Internet television
accessdate = 2008-03-08
]

The London Mayoral candidate Matt O'Connor withdrew shortly before the 2008 election, stating in the East London Advertiser that the English Democrats had agreed with the England First Party- an avowedly racist breakaway from the Nationalist British National Party not to stand against one another.

Opinion polls - English Parliament

* In an ICM poll for The Sunday Telegraph on 26 November 2006 68% of the (potential) English voters, who were polled, were in favour of an English Parliament.cite news
last = Hennessey
first = Patrick
coauthors = Kite, Melissa
title = Britain wants UK break up, poll shows
publisher = The Sunday Telegraph
date = 2006-11-27
url = http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2006/11/26/nunion26.xml
accessdate = 2007-08-08
]

* In a joint BBC and Opinion Research Business (ORB) poll in January 2007 for the BBC's Newsnight programme, 61% of those in England thought that an English Parliament should be established.cite press release
title = Newsnight poll suggests support for English parliament – but no strong desire for independence among nations
publisher = BBC News
date = 2007-01-16
url = http://www.bbc.co.uk/pressoffice/pressreleases/stories/2007/01_january/16/union.shtml
accessdate = 2007-08-08
]

See also

* West Lothian Question
* Devolved English Parliament
* Parliament of England

References

*cite news |first=Andrew |last=Sparrow |authorlink= |coauthors= |title=New party seeks English parliament |url=http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/1407497/New-party-seeks-English-parliament.html |work=Daily Telegraph |publisher= |date= 19 September 2002 |accessdate=2008-07-21

External links

* [http://www.englishdemocrats.org.uk/ English Democrats Official website]


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