Yorkshire Party hits back at hustings exclusion

The Sheffield Central candidate for the Yorkshire Party has branded his exclusion from local hustings as “airbrushing of the party’s existence”.

Jack Carrington, 28, was denied a chair at at St Mark’s Church in Broomhill on Friday 29 November.

Five out of the eight possible candidates were invited, with the Brexit Party’s Paul Ward never showing.

Mr Carrington had wrote to St Mark’s for an invitation, after hearing about the event on the Wednesday at a separate hustings.

David Price, the event organiser and member of the church rejected Mr Carrington’s request.

He said: “The Yorkshire Party is making progress elsewhere in Yorkshire, but with the greatest respect we have concluded that it does not as yet have the numbers in Sheffield Central constituency necessary to justify its inclusion.”

Mr Carrington believes this is unjust, citing the party’s previous success in council and European elections, rather than just the last general election.

He said: “We have significant electoral results and we’re growing at each iteration.

“To pick just one result from 2017 when there are most recent and I think possibly more relevant results for this context, is a real shame and it does bring up the question of what were the real criteria in the minds of the organisers.”

A Yorkshire Party spokesman also commented on Mr Carrington’s exclusion: “It’s a front to democracy. It’s outrageous and reflects extraordinarily poor on the church and diocese of Sheffield.”

The representative also criticized the church’s reference to 2017 results, citing how they cannot solely have been used since the Brexit Party had not yet been formed.

When asked to comment, Labour candidate Paul Blomfield saw no issue: “Every hustings organiser has to make their own decision, taking account of the number of candidates in that constituency and the time available. Most only invite the major parties, but it is their decision.”

Green candidate Alison Teal however, would have included all possible voting options: “I think that if I organised a husting I would invite all of the candidates so that the public have the opportunity to question all of the candidates.”

The hustings that took place only a few days later in the student’s union only featured three candidates. A 200-word statement from Jack Carrington was read out early on.  

The Yorkshire Party was formed in 2014 and has 28 candidates in over 50% of Yorkshire constituencies. According to Mr Carrington, the party is therefore available as an option for more voters than the likes of Plaid Cymru.

The Sheffield Central candidate referred to other “egregious” instances of hustings exclusion, such as Scarborough and Whitby candidate Lee Derrick, who is one of only four candidates in that constituency.