Former Yorkshire Party Leader Comments on Resignation

Yesterday the Yorkshire Post carried an article in which Stewart Arnold, the former leader, commented on his recent resignation. He said that the subject of Brexit had dominated politics since the referendum in 2016 and squeezed the life blood out of political debate.

He went on to say: “In such circumstances there are those who feel that we have to play the game; that we have to give up our distinctive message as a political party and get sucked into the Brexit battle. The party’s main aim has been first rate devolution, nothing less. That’s what’s united us. Its enabled the party to gain members and support from across the political spectrum.”

“It has been a privilege to both be a part of that from the beginning and to have led the party since 2016. As others want to take the party in a different direction, then I feel it is time for me to move on.”

Chris Whitwood, the former deputy leader of the party, has now been appointed leader. He reaffirmed the party’s total commitment to devolution for the whole of Yorkshire. His appointment was endorsed by the first leader and now Yorkshire Party President, Richard Carter, in a letter to members.

Commenting for Transforming Yorkshire Richard Honnoraty said: “I can understand people’s fixation on Brexit as it has had so much publicity but, for me, the total failure of the Westminster government’s handling of the Brexit process and the apparent meltdown of the Westminster political process in relation to that project and many other things besides, indicates that problems with Westminster may dwarf problems with the EU.”

“There is no doubt that the EU is a shambles and is in urgent need of reform. Having said that, Westminster appears to be in an even worse mess. If people think that by leaving the EU things are suddenly going to be that much better, then they are in for an awful shock.”

“The case for devolution to Yorkshire has never been stronger because Yorkshire needs a voice and protection from an inept Westminster establishment. Without it our interests will be drowned out by political dogma and the interests of other regions which may have better representation or can shout louder.”

“In my opinion, the fervour of Brexit is misguided. Political and administrative reforms are required at the EU level, at national level, at regional level and at local level. There has to be consensus around what these reforms should be and how they should be implemented but without reforms to tackle these basic problems, the problems will remain. Brexit will do nothing to solve these issues. It is not for me to list these problems here as the issues are many and varied but they are basic, concerning democracy, accountability, representation, rights and responsibilities.”


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