UK Politics

English Democrats seek independence for England

Robin Tilbrook
Image caption English Democrat chairman Robin Tilbrook

Democracy in England is being undermined by a "block vote of Labour MPs sent to Westminster by the Scots", the English Democrats have said.

At their spring conference in Dartford, party chairman Robin Tilbrook suggested England should vote for independence.

The country's desire for more conservative government was being thwarted, he said.

In April Mr Tilbrook said that up to one in 10 party members had converted from the British National Party.

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 subsequently quit the party over the BNP influx.

The party campaigns for EU exit and the establishment of an English parliament.

'No commitment' to England

Mr Tilbrook criticised the previous Labour government's devolution policy, which he said had "seriously undermined the English sense of identity".

"Elections to the Scottish Parliament showed that the Scots had shifted their allegiance from Labour to the SNP, but they still want the English to be governed by the Labour Party," he said.

"They vote to place Labour politicians, who they don't particularly want at home, in Westminster.

"The English, who have voted Conservative more often than Labour in all post-war elections have to accept a block vote of Labour members of parliament sent to Westminster by the Scots.

"Should we not vote for our independence given that we risk being governed from a country that already regulates its own affairs and has no clear commitment to ours?"

Ahead of the conference Mr Tilbrook told the BBC that the party was composed of social democrats trying to be the "voice for English nationalism".

There was a "good chance" that the party would pick up seats at the European Parliament in May's elections, he said.

He also warned: "We are moving towards what's probably the break-up of the UK.

"This year we've got the Scottish referendum on independence and one of the things that has delighted us is we've had the president of the EU Commission tell us that if Scotland decides to go then that means they're out of the EU.

"So if England decides to go, equally we're out of the EU."

The party was optimistic about the forthcoming elections to the European Parliament, he continued.

"People are feeling much more strongly about being English. If we double our vote there's a good chance we're going to start winning MEP seats."

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