UK Politics

English Democrats demand 'revolt' at elections launch

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Media captionEnglish Democrats chairman Robin Tilbrook says the people of England are "waking up to the idea of being English".

The English Democrats have launched their campaign for the forthcoming local and European elections.

Leader Robin Tilbrook said his party would "look after English interests".

Launching the campaign at Fobbing in Essex, an important site in the 14th Century peasants' revolt, Mr Tilbrook said: "Let the English revolt begin."

The party argues that it is unfair to charge English people for prescription charges and tuition fees when these are free for residents elsewhere in the UK.

The party campaigns for EU exit and the establishment of an English parliament. It is fielding a full slate of candidates in all electoral regions for the European parliamentary elections, which take place in the UK on 22 May.

'Soundbites'

Mr Tilbrook said: "English people are waking up to the fact that people in Scotland feel themselves to be Scottish, people in Wales feel themselves to be Welsh - we can't be British all on our own.

"We need a party that looks after England, and that's the whole purpose of the English Democrats, to look after English interests."

He said that more than 32 million people said they were English in the 2011 census, "and not in any sense British".

He added: "England needs to be properly represented in the political process. Part of the reason why we don't have the fair treatment by the British establishment is that the English haven't been fighting their corner.

"That's why we have a situation where there are prescription charges in Scotland and Wales, but we pay for them, why residential care for the elderly we have to pay for, why our students are being required to pay £9,000 a year while Scottish students go for free."

Mr Tilbrook also criticised Eurosceptic rivals UKIP, who he accused of "concentrating on soundbites".

"It's hard to say what they're about apart from being anti-EU," he said.

"The English Democrats have a positive message of wanting to look after England and English nationalism."

Mr Tilbrook founded the English National Party in 1998 and the party - which was renamed in 2002 - achieved its first major success in 2009 when Peter Davies won the Doncaster mayoral election.

But Mr Davies quit the party last year claiming there had been a big influx of members joining them from the BNP.

In the 2009 European parliamentary elections, the English Democrats won 279,801 votes.

Although this was more than double the 130,056 in 2004, it was still not enough to earn them an MEP.

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