Batley & Spen By-election

Last Updated 26/06/2021

We offer candidates of the Batley & Spen By-election a platform, by way of space on our website, to communicate with our Members in respect of how they would help the objectives of Yorkshire Devolution Movement being realised. As some of our Members are residents of the Batley & Spen constituency, this provides a particular opportunity for them to explain why our Members should vote for them rather than for any other candidate.

There are sixteen candidates in total (responses/acknowledgements received where indicated). They are:

• Jonathan Tilt – Freedom Alliance – Response
• Paul Bickerdike – Christian People’s Alliance – Response
• Mike Davies – Alliance For Green Socialism – Response
• Corey Robinson – Yorkshire Party – Response
• George Galloway – Workers Party of Britain – Acknowledgement
• Howling Laud Hope – OMRLP – Acknowledgement
• Therese Hirst – English Democrats – Acknowledgement
• Jayda Fransen – Independent
• Tom Gordon – Liberal Democrats
• Susan Laird – Heritage Party
• Kim Leadbeater – Labour
• Oliver Purser – Social Democratic Party
• Andrew Smith – Rejoin EU
• Ryan Stephenson – Conservatives
• Jack Thomson – UKIP
• Anne Marie Waters – The For Britain Movement

We shall add links to further candidate responses/acknowledgements as they are received.

Response from Jonathan Tilt, the Freedom Alliance candidate:

As the Freedom Alliance candidate in the Batley and Spen by election my campaign focus is the promotion of personal liberty and responsibility and the restriction of governmental control of individuals.

I believe the corona epidemic has demonstrated the dangers of excessive and incompetent central government control over the population.

Freedom Alliance supports the growing moves to end representative democracy and replace it with direct democracy at the most local level possible. Individuals should have freedom of action within the existing criminal law framework any changes to criminal law should be subject to approval through a referendum. All decisions taken by society should be voted on by society. All taxation should be voluntary, Hong Kong and the hospice movement have demonstrated how effectively this can work.

Government would not have a monopoly over the issue of currency.

Achieving this will take time, probably decades. Devolution of power from London to the English counties will be an important first step. Freedom Alliance will, in the interim, campaign for the devolution of all powers in respect of

  • Education
  • Policing
  • Transport
  • Environmental and Farming Regulations
  • Health and Social Care

to the English Counties including those in Yorkshire. Regulations in each of these areas would only be made after approval through a referendum managed via blockchain voting technology.

Devolution of power and control from Westminster is fundamentally important. Devolution to the English counties is simply a stepping stone en route to full independence from government for communities and individuals. Government has become far too large and remote we need to properly take back control.

Jonathan Tilt 15th June 2021.

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Response from Paul Bickerdike, the candidate for the Christian People’s Alliance:

I understand that there is a movement throughout the UK for devolution to be rolled out to the lowest levels possible so that communities are better able to make decisions that affect their daily lives in a more precise and targeted way. 
I do have some sympathy with this idea but I am afraid that in this matter I have little knowledge of the wider benefits and ramifications of devolution for Yorkshire.

My priorities at this election are to assist Batley & Spen in the areas that I outline in my campaign leaflet and the wider manifesto aims of the Christian Peoples Alliance.

I do however wish both you and the wider Yorkshire Devolution Movement all the best in your endeavors to bring your agenda to the public and assure you that if I were to succeed and win this election I would be more than happy to speak further with you on this subject.

Paul Bickerdike 16th June 2021

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Response from the Alliance For Green Socialism, for Mike Davies:

Mike Davies has lived in West Yorkshire for 40 years & understands that fighting climate change must go hand-in-hand with achieving other social aims like job creation, regional democracy & reducing inequality. The AGS campaigns regionally and nationally for a radical transformation of society, facing the climate emergency but also improving transport & schools, and defending the NHS, in a fightback for social, economic & environmental justice that starts in Batley & Spen on 1st July.

24th June 2021

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Response from Corey Robinson, the Yorkshire Party candidate:

I am standing in this by-election to make the case to the people of Batley and Spen that the current political system and main parties are not delivering for us – but that there is an alternative. The Yorkshire Party came third in the recent West Yorkshire Mayoral elections, setting us up as the alternative party to Labour and the Conservatives in Yorkshire.

Batley and Spen has been left behind; forgotten by the London-based parties – until there is an election. Our transport system is disjointed, our roads are crumbling, and our public services are faltering from years of austerity. Every election we are promised investment, and every election we are let down. When different parties run the national versus local governments, each points the finger of blame at the other for a system that underdelivers, rather than trying to changeit. This blame game is aided by a lack of transparency and accountability in the current political system.

With the little regional funding we do get, too often the wrong spending decisions are made. These decisions are made for our communities by national and local governments who are detached, and who frequently don’t listen to local communities. People in Yorkshire must set their own priorities and determine how their money is best spent.

We should not have to go cap in hand to Westminster to get the funding we deserve; it should already be in place. Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland do not have to put up with this: their budgets are set by a formula each year and are guaranteed – regardless of who is elected. This allows their governments to plan for the longer term and invest properly in local communities. This is what Yorkshire needs – and this is what the Yorkshire Party hopes to achieve through Devolution.

We need a Yorkshire Parliament with meaningful powers to proactively deliver the economic, social, and democratic change we so desperately need. Only a Yorkshire Parliament can empower residents and represent our diversity. Decisions should be made at the most local level possible, to ensure local views and concerns are heard and the right decisions for the community are made.

Over 98% of MPs in England are Conservative or Labour; if they were to win here, they will not deliver the meaningful change this community needs.  Vote for a brighter future where we are not left behind and where we can have a stronger Batley and Spen, and a stronger Yorkshire in a fairer United Kingdom.

Corey Robinson 26th June 2021

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Acknowledgement from George Galloway, the candidate of the Workers Party of Britain:

Thank you for contacting me. I receive large amounts of correspondence every day. If a response is required, I endeavour to reply within seven days.

George Galloway 14th June 2021

Acknowledgement from the Official Monster Raving Loony Party, for Howling Laud Hope:

Duly passed on to our ‘political’ department . . . a response may take a while.

17th June 2021

Acknowledgement from Therese Hirst, the English Democrat candidate:

Thank you so much for this kind invitation. It is greatly appreciated.

I’ll put something concrete together for you over the weekend.

Therese Hirst 18th June 2021

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