THE YORKSHIRE Party is celebrating its highest ever vote after its candidate came third in the election for West Yorkshire Mayor.

Candidate and party leader Bob Buxton, scored 58,851 first choice votes to finish in third place with 10 per cent, ahead of the Greens and with almost twice the vote share of the Liberal Democrats. He is estimated to have over twice as many second-preference votes.

Dr Buxton said: “How has a party which is just seven years old come third in a massive election, ahead of the Greens and Lib Dems? Because the people of Yorkshire want proper devolution. I congratulate Tracy and recognise her democratic mandate, but even as Mayor she will have to go cap-in-hand to Westminster to get the funding for a mass transit system. That just isn’t good enough. In a true democracy, people vote and those elected have the powers and funding to fulfil their mandate. We need Scottish style devolution and control over our share fair of public spending.”

Dr Buxton, from Rawdon, added: “This is a watershed moment for the Yorkshire Party. We have long worked towards being the third party of Yorkshire, the first alternative to the big two. People want a better alternative, a party for greener homes on rejuvenated derelict sites, for the quality of public transport London already has and for new job opportunities through better education - and now they’re coming to the Yorkshire Party, with membership increasing daily.”

Dr Buxton concluded: “We’ve got lots more work to do and democracy never sleeps. On Monday, we’ll begin selecting our candidate for the Batley and Spen by-election.”