European Parliament Election 2014: A guide to some of the alternative parties wanting your vote
From the Pirate Party to the Animal Welfare Party and beyond
Wednesday 21 May 2014
Want to vote for someone a bit different in the European Elections but not sure who?
Here's a guide to some of the alternative parties that probably won't have stuffed a leaflet through your letterbox.
The little known Harmony Party are standing candidates in four regions – the West Midlands, East Midlands, London, and South East.
Running with the slogan “zero-immigration, anti-EU, pro-jobs”, the party has a mixed bag of policies.
Its Twitter account describes it as a “new political party ready and willing to remedy the inequalities of the current system of governance in the UK”.
A list of policies included “British jobs for British workers”, the re-nationalisation of water, gas, electricity and railways, fair import tariffs and “a house for all”.
Member Steve Ward, who is standing in the East Midlands, said the party was officially registered in 2014 but had been “going” since 2008.
It was founded by leader and South East region candidate Terry Leach and all four members standing in the European elections are unemployed, he said.
Voting at the European Parliament in Strasbourg.
4 Freedoms Party
As a branch of the European People’s Party (EPP), 4 Freedoms are pledging to give London a “strong voice” in the European Parliament.
The centre-right EPP is the largest party in the European Parliament and combines member parties including several major groups like Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union.
All of its eight candidates are running in London and its policies focus on the capital.
Pledges include helping business abroad, a single “digital market” for the EU, improved education and “safeguarding freedom, justice and the environment”.
Dirk Hazell, leader of the UK EEP, appearing on Daily Politics.
Animal Welfare Party
The Animal Welfare Party is only fielding candidates in the London region but has a far wider vision.
Members want to formally recognise animals a “sentient beings” by changing their legal status in international law.
Other principles include promoting animal rights, healthy living and protecting the environment.
The party wants to ban animal testing, establish an “NHS for pets” and stop the use of animals in the entertainment industry.
Vanessa Hudson, leader of Britain’s Animal Welfare Party
National Liberal Party
Another London-only party, the liberals are dubbing 22 May “self-determination day”.
The party pledges to promote “personal liberty, greater democracy and national independence” from the EU and globalisation generally.
Members want to promote direct democracy, where the electorate votes without the need for representatives, and the decentralisation of power to the “lowest practical level”.
Urging readers to vote for the party, its website says: “You have nothing to lose and everything to gain.”
Jagdeesh Singh is standing for the NLP in London
National Health Action Party
Largely doing what it says on the tin, members want to protect the NHS by exempting it from a treaty that they argue would increase privatistation.
On its website, the party lists stopping the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Treaty as its top priority, calling it “the greatest threat to the NHS nobody has heard of”.
Other policies include medicine regulation, safer food controls, no austerity, more social housing and heavier taxes on top earners.
Eight candidates are standing for the party in the London region only.
Dr Chidi Ejimofo, who worked at Lewisham Hospital, is standing for the National Health Action Party
An Independence From Europe
Cunningly topping Ukip on the alphabetically-ordered ballot papers, An Independence from Europe shares many of its policies.
The founder, Mike Nattrass, founded the party in 2013 after being deselected as a Ukip MEP.
He had been elected to the European Parliament in 2004 representing the West Midlands but was not put on the list for these elections, sparking a furious row with his former party over its “totalitarian” leadership.
His party is pledging to take the UK out of the EU without the need for a referendum, scrap VAT and build stronger links with the Commonwealth.
It is fielding candidates in every region of England but not in Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland.
No, not that kind of pirate.
The Pirate Party derives its entertaining name not from the swashbuckling vagabonds of old but from its stance on copyright and patent laws.
Its main principles include protecting the freedom of expression, legal equality, personal freedoms, the right to privacy and increasing government transparency.
Its website says: “Like so many people, we're fed up with mainstream politics. We're ready to be the alternative. We stand for a society fit for the 21st century, a Britain where everyone can get their fair share.”
The party is only fielding candidates in the North West region.
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