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Christian Peoples Alliance
AbbreviationCPA
LeaderSidney Cordle
Founded1999; 25 years ago (1999)
Headquarters13 Westmill Road, Hitchin, Hertfordshire, SG5 2SB
Ideology
Political positionRight-wing[2]
ReligionChristianity
European affiliationEuropean Christian Political Movement
Colours  Violet
Website
www.cpaparty.net

The Christian Peoples Alliance (CPA) is a minor Christian right political party in the United Kingdom. The party was founded in its present form in 1999, having grown out of a cross-party advocacy group called the Movement for Christian Democracy.[citation needed] The first leader of the party was Ram Gidoomal; Alan Craig took over from him in 2004 and resigned in 2012. He was replaced by Sidney Cordle, the party's current leader.

History

Movement for Christian Democracy

The beginnings of the party can be traced to the Movement for Christian Democracy (MCD),[3] a group founded in 1990 with the aim to combat rising secularism within the United Kingdom. The three founding members were David Alton, Derek Enright and Ken Hargreaves, who were Members of Parliament representing the Liberal, Labour and Conservative parties respectively. Though political parties with explicitly Christian aims and values had been previously established within the United Kingdom, such as the Protestant Unionist Party (PUP) in Northern Ireland, the MCD, unlike the PUP, claimed to represent both Protestants and Catholics on a nationwide, rather than regional, basis.[3]

The MCD existed as a cross-party advocacy group and never became a political party.[4] However, many of its members sought to form the CPA; the movement's chairman, Alan Storkey, and its vice-chairman, David Campanale, formed the CPA in 1999 following a consultation of MCD members. In the 1997 general election Storkey stood as a Christian Democrat in Enfield Southgate.[5]

Formation of the Christian Peoples Alliance

Following the devolution of the Scottish Parliament and the Welsh Assembly, elements of proportional representation at a local government level[vague] saw the party gain confidence.[vague] In 2000, Ram Gidoomal, a convert from Hinduism to Christianity, became the party's leader.[6]

Gidoomal stood for election in the 2000 London mayoral election, gaining 98,549 votes and finishing fifth, ahead of the Green Party in first preference votes.[6] The party campaigned on job opportunities for Londoners, amongst other policies.[7] In November that year, a candidate supported by the Christian Peoples Alliance stood at the Preston by-election, finishing seventh.[8]

Following this, the party continued campaigning in London, mostly in working class areas, such as Canning Town in Newham. In 2002, Alan Craig became the first Christian Democrat to be elected in Britain, as a member of the local Newham council.

Craig leadership

Alan Craig standing for London mayor in 2008.

After the 2004 London mayoral election, Gidoomal stepped down as party leader to be succeeded by Craig. The party contested the 2005 general election with little electoral success, though a "blind candidating" contest run by the BBC's Newsnight programme saw members of the public, unaware of the party of each contestant speaking, place the party's manifesto and policies second.[9]

In 2006, The party won two more council seats in Canning Town. Later that year, Cardinal Keith O'Brien and Bishop Philip Tartaglia attended the party conference in Glasgow prior to the Scottish Parliament elections. Bishop Tartaglia gave a speech opening the conference in which he praised a number of party policies.[10] In the following year, the party had two members elected at parish council level for Aston cum Aughton in the Metropolitan Borough of Rotherham.[11]

In January 2008, Craig defended Anglican Bishop Michael Nazir-Ali, following his comments in the Telegraph that "Islamic extremism was creating 'no-go areas' for people of a different faith." Craig described the bishop as "courageous" for raising the matter.[12]

As part of a party pact with the Christian Party, Craig stood for the London mayoral election in 2008 as "The Christian Choice", gaining almost 3% of the vote.[13] This was followed with 249,493 votes at the European Parliament election 2009, 1.6% of the total.

The party's 'Mayflower Declaration' laid out the party's values and policies, voicing its opposition to the prospect of the Iraq War, deeming it "illegal, unwise and immoral" — a position by which it has stood.[14]

In 2011, Craig was criticised for comparing gay rights activists to Nazis in the Church of England Newspaper.[15]

Craig resigned as leader in October 2012; he later joined the UK Independence Party (UKIP).[16]

Abbey Hills Mosque

The CPA campaigned against the building of the Abbey Mills Mosque in West Ham, planned to have been built by a sect of Islam which the CPA claimed was a "radical sect". The party's broadcast in relation to the planning was censored on both the BBC and on ITV, leading to the CPA taking unsuccessful legal action.[17] A 23-year-old man from Stevenage posted a death threat on YouTube in response to the group's opposition to the mosque's construction.[18] The party claimed the planned mosque was an "unwanted landmark", stating its belief that the construction would "undermine community cohesion".[19] A petition on the official Downing Street website to prevent the mosque's construction gained more than 255,000 signatures, claiming that the mosque would "cause terrible violence".[20]

Targeting of Stella Creasy

In November 2019, during the general election campaign, it was reported that CPA would focus on opposing Stella Creasy in her Walthamstow constituency. Creasy had that summer led successful attempts to decriminalise terminations in Northern Ireland.[21]

The CPA campaign followed another in October that year by the Center for Bio-Ethical Reform, an anti-abortion group. The CBR campaign led to police passing a file to the Crown Prosecution Service to consider whether it constituted harassment.[22]

The CPA came last with less than 1% of the vote.

Organisation

Annual accounts submitted to the Electoral Commission show an income of £11,000 for 2013.[23]

Leadership

Year Name Period Time in office Deputy leader/s
2004 Alan Craig 2004 – 2012 8 years
2012 Sidney Cordle 1 September 2012 – present incumbent Malcolm Martin (5 November 2016-

International affiliation

Since 2007, the party has been affiliated to the European Christian Political Movement, an association of Christian Democrat parties, think tanks and politicians across Europe.[24]

Ideology

In 2000 and 2004 in London, it put inner-city regeneration and fighting discrimination, as its top policy priorities.[25]

The CPA has opposed the reclassification of cannabis.[26]

When Craig became leader he introduced policies in favour of linking Christianity to the European Union Constitution, building more church schools and supporting 5th century Christian morality. He led campaigns backing the UNISON steward at Newham Council who faced disciplinary action; against plans to build London's large casino in Newham,[27] against the Excel Arms Fair;[28] against what he claims are Labour's plans to move local families out of Canning Town in support of yuppie housing. Craig has also campaigned against proposals to demolish parts of Queen Street Market in favour of "non-invasive refurbishment"[29] environment.[30]

Same-sex marriage

The party was involved in the campaign against the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act 2013 with its leader Sid Cordle speaking at a rally in Trafalgar Square. While the debates were taking place he spoke at a rally outside Westminster.

In May 2014, during the EU elections, under questioning from Andrew Neil on the BBC Daily Politics programme Cordle said that it was possible that recent storms in the UK could have been caused by God, saying, "I think all Christians believe that God does, and can do, things with nature. A lot of Christians believe God is angry over 'gay marriage' and God can show that anger if he wants to."[31]

In May 2017, on the Daily Politics programme, Cordle was accused of "embarrassing" himself and was described as a "bigot" by the journalist Owen Jones after claiming that marriage's sole purpose was the procreation of children. The presenter, Jo Coburn, was forced to ask Cordle to allow Jones to speak on several occasions, but Cordle accused Jones of being "insulting" and claimed that Coburn's reluctance to allow him to respond to Jones was "fake news".[32]

Economic and European policy

The Christian Peoples Alliance rejects the class struggle doctrine and supports a mixed market economy, with an emphasis on the community, social solidarity, support for social welfare provision and some regulation of market forces. The central theme is social justice, responsible charity and an emphasis on "people before profit". Within the Mayflower Declaration, the party sets out its goals and desires as providing resources to discourage economic dependency and promote gainful employment. It also supports a holistic approach to care, which moves beyond mere financial assistance, as well as help for those in danger of being pushed to the margins of society, like the homeless and disabled.[33]

The Mayflower Declaration was updated and reprinted in early 2013 just after Cordle became leader. It now has a new introduction and at the back the policy on Europe was changed from support for the EU to "while we are members of the European Union to work with fellow Christians to seek to bring about moral and democratic reform". It subsequently went further and in its 2014 European manifesto said it wanted a referendum on the EU and that if a referendum was held it would support leaving the EU.

Election results

The party has had candidates elected at local government elections. In Newham London Borough Council, Alan Craig was a councillor (2002-2010), as were Simeon Ademolake (2006–2010) and Denise Stafford (2006–2010). Paul Martin and David Gee were elected to Aston-cum-Aughton Parish Council (2007–2009).

The party has contested a number of seats for the UK Parliament.

House of Commons

General election year Candidates # of total votes % of overall vote # of seats won Rank
2005[34] 9 3,291Increase 0.0%Increase 0 Steady 29
2010[35] 17 6,276 Increase 0.0% Increase 0 Steady 25
2015[36] 17 3,260Decrease 0.0% Decrease 0 Steady 26
2017[37] 31 5,869 Increase 0.0% Increase 0 Steady 15
2019[38] 27 6,486 Increase 0.0% Increase 0 Steady 18
2024[citation needed] 22 5,604 Decrease 0.0% Decrease 0 Steady

Thirty-one candidates stood for the CPA in the 2017 general election.[39] The party contested nine by-elections after 2017. The party stood 27 candidates in the 2019 general election and 22 candidates in the 2024 general election.[40]

Date of election Constituency Candidate Votes % Position
23 February 2017 Stoke-on-Trent Central Godfrey Davies 109[41] 0.5 9/10
14 June 2018 Lewisham East Maureen Martin 168[42] 0.8 8/14
6 June 2019 Peterborough Tom Rodgers 162[43] 0.5 7/15
1 July 2021 Batley and Spen Paul Bickerdike 102 0.3 10/16
3 March 2022 Birmingham Erdington Mel Mbondiah 79[44] 0.5 8/12
23 June 2022 Wakefield Paul Bickerdike 144[45] 0.5 11/15
20 July 2023 Somerton and Frome Lorna Corke 256[46] 0.7 8/8
20 July 2023 Uxbridge and South Ruislip Enomfon Ntefon 78[47] 0.3 13/17
19 October 2023 Mid Bedfordshire Sid Cordle 101[citation needed] 0.2 9/13

London Assembly

election year # of constituency votes % of constituency vote # of list votes % of list vote # of seats won Rank
2000 - - 55,192Increase 3.3%Increase
0 / 25
5
2004 43,322Increase 2.4%Increase 54,914 Decrease 2.9% Decrease
0 / 25
8
2008 65,357Increase 2.7%Increase 70,294Increase 2.9% Steady
0 / 25
6
2012 - - 38,758Decrease 1.8% Decrease
0 / 25
7
2016 - - 27,172 Decrease 1.0% Decrease
0 / 25
9
2021 - - 28,878 Increase 1.1% Increase
0 / 25
8

† In 2008 the CPA fielded Joint-ticket candidates with the Christian Party, standing as "Christian Choice"

The party has consistently contested elections to the London Assembly but failed to gain any seats.

See also

Notes

References

  1. ^ Corrigan, Phil (17 January 2017). "Christian party selects candidate for Stoke-on-Trent Central by-election". Stoke Sentinel. Archived from the original on 18 January 2017. Retrieved 22 January 2017.
  2. ^ "Candidates in Focus", Private Eye, issue 1510, page 12, 29 November 2019. Retrieved 29 November 2019.
  3. ^ a b Freston, Protestant Political Parties, 52
  4. ^ Watts, Pressure Groups, 11.
  5. ^ "Results & Constituencies". BBC News.
  6. ^ a b "Year of the Ram?". The Guardian. London. 10 June 2004. Retrieved 24 March 2010.
  7. ^ Bolton, The Entrepreneur in Focus, 188.
  8. ^ Byelections in the 1997 parliament Election Database
  9. ^ Anna Lisa (22 April 2005). "Christian Party Manifesto comes 2nd in Pre-General Election Newsnight Contest". Christian Today. Archived from the original on 15 June 2009. Retrieved 26 February 2021.
  10. ^ "Cardinal Throws Weight Behind Scottish Christian Democratic Party for Holyrood 2007 Elections". The Catholic Union of Great Britain. Archived from the original on 18 August 2011. Retrieved 1 February 2009.
  11. ^ "More local councillors elected for Christian Peoples Alliance". European Christian Political Youth Network. Archived from the original on 31 July 2012. Retrieved 1 February 2009.
  12. ^ "Christian Peoples Alliance defends bishop over Islam comments". Christian Today. Archived from the original on 8 January 2008. Retrieved 1 February 2009.
    - Andrew Brown (1 July 2011). "Sharia and the scare stories". The Guardian. Retrieved 21 May 2014.
  13. ^ Owen, Paul (30 April 2008). "London assembly: who is standing?". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 24 March 2010.
  14. ^ "Three years after war, 'Iraq is worse'". Church Times. 15 March 2009.
  15. ^ "Anglican newspaper defends 'Gaystapo' article" The Guardian 8 November 2011
  16. ^ Asa Bennett, "Ukip Defend Controversial Ex-Christian Party Leader Alan Craig Joining Party", Huffington Post UK, 7 October 2014
  17. ^ "Christian party loses BBC fight". BBC News. London. 30 April 2008. Retrieved 2 January 2010.
  18. ^ "Death threats on YouTube for mosque opponent". Evening Standard. Archived from the original on 19 June 2009. Retrieved 1 February 2009.
  19. ^ Sugden, Joanna (29 May 2007). "Setback for Muslim sect's 'mega-mosque' in London". The Times. Archived from the original on July 24, 2008. Retrieved 1 April 2010.
  20. ^ "No 10 site in mosque petition row". BBC News. London. 17 July 2007. Retrieved 2 January 2010.
  21. ^ Peter Walker and Rory Carroll, "MPs vote to extend abortion and same-sex marriage rights to Northern Ireland", The Guardian, 9 July 2019. Retrieved 20 February 2024.
  22. ^ Mark Townsend and Edna Mohamed, "Fresh police move on abortion group targeting Stella Creasy", The Guardian, 16 November 2019. Retrieved 17 November 2019.
  23. ^ "Statement of accounts (2013 - Christian Peoples Alliance". The Electoral Commission.
  24. ^ "Our members and associates". European Christian Political Movement. Retrieved 22 May 2017.
  25. ^ Passion for London manifesto [dead link]
  26. ^ "Key Policies", Christian Peoples Alliance [permanent dead link]. Retrieved 17 April 2007.
  27. ^ "Say no to casino!". BBC News. 27 December 2007. Retrieved 3 May 2013.
  28. ^ "Local groups slam council veto on arms fair enquiry". Campaign Against Arms Trade. Archived from the original on 6 August 2012. Retrieved 3 May 2013.
  29. ^ "Queen's Market - St Modwen not wanted!". Friends of Queens Market. Retrieved 3 May 2013.
  30. ^ "Letters: Friends of Queens market set out their stall". The Guardian. London. 18 February 2006. Retrieved 3 May 2013.
  31. ^ "Gay Marriage Made God Angry And He Is Probably Making It Rain Insists Christian People’s Alliance Leader", Huffington Post UK, 16 May 2014
    - "God angry at gay marriage - Christian People's Alliance", BBC News, 16 May 2014
  32. ^ "What does Christian Peoples Alliance stand for?". Daily Politics. BBC. 9 May 2017.
  33. ^ "Mayflower Declaration". Cpax.org.uk. Archived from the original on 27 February 2009.
  34. ^ "2005 General election results". UK Political Info. Archived from the original on 7 September 2013. Retrieved 18 October 2015.
  35. ^ "Election 2010 Results". BBC News. Retrieved 22 January 2014.
  36. ^ "UK 2015 general election results in full", The Guardian,
  37. ^ "Results of the 2017 General Election". BBC News. Retrieved 15 July 2019.
  38. ^ "Results of the 2019 General Election". BBC News. Retrieved 20 July 2023.
  39. ^ "Christian Peoples Alliance candidates in the 2017 General Election". Retrieved 12 May 2017.
  40. ^ "2024 UK general election candidate summary". Democracy Club. Retrieved 13 June 2024.
  41. ^ "Ukip falters against Labour in Stoke-on-Trent Central byelection", The Guardian, 24 February 2017. Retrieved 24 February 2017.
  42. ^ "Lewisham East constituency by-election on 14 June 2018". Lewisham London Borough Council. Archived from the original on 15 June 2018. Retrieved 15 June 2018.
  43. ^ Leishman, Fiona (7 June 2019). "Peterborough by-election 2019 result: City elects Labour candidate Lisa Forbes". Cambridge News. Retrieved 7 June 2019.
  44. ^ "Birmingham Erdington Parliamentary by-election". Birmingham City Council. 3 March 2022. Retrieved 5 March 2022.
  45. ^ "Election result for Wakefield (Constituency)". UK Parliament. 23 June 2022. Retrieved 20 July 2023.
  46. ^ "Somerton and Frome by-election". www.somerset.gov.uk. Retrieved 21 July 2023.
  47. ^ "Uxbridge and South Ruislip by-election 2023 results". Hillingdon Council. Retrieved 24 July 2023.

Bibliography