The First Year
Following the Pirate Bay trial, a large surge in Pirate Party interest occurred around the world, and in the UK a website and forum for a party in the country was formed in the weeks following the trial, and after the success of the Swedish Pirate Party in the summer 2009 European Election there was a sudden growth of Pirate Party organisations across Europe and elsewhere, notably in Germany and France, and forum membership soared. The official formation of the Pirate Party in the UK followed shortly after the European Elections, and the Pirate Party UK was officially registered on 30 July 2009.
In August, it was claimed that Pirate Party UK was undergoing rapid growth similar to one the Swedish Pirate Party had enjoyed in early 2009. It was reported that they had been flooded by enquiries and at its peak around 100 people an hour were signing up to become party members. Donations had been coming in so fast that PayPal was concerned they were a fraudulent site.
In December, 2009, the party voted to accept Peter Liddell as the new Party Treasurer, and John Barron was voted Nominating Officer, as well as ratifying several other positions within the party in November.
On 23 January, 2010, the party opened voting to its members for the internal party elections for NEC members. It was announced on 1 February 2010 that the party members had voted to retain the current executive members.
Following a membership vote, on March 22, 2010, Pirate Party UK announced its first manifesto, for the 2010 UK Election. The manifesto held policies relating to the three core policies of Copyright & Patent Reform, Privacy, and Freedom of Speech. In it, inter alia, the party advocated the reduction of copyright terms, the legalisation of format shifting, and non-commercial file-sharing; government funding to replace drug patents; review of CCTV usage; and reform of libel law, following the recommendations of the Libel Reform Campaign.
On March 30, 2010, the party declared its intent to stand 10 candidates across England and Scotland, however to do so, further party funding is required. On April 27, 2010, the party announced that it had 9 official candidates on the ballot papers, as Mark Sims had missed the deadline due to the air travel disruption after the 2010 Eyjafjallajökull eruption.
In the 2010 General Election the party’s 9 candidates took a total of 1340 votes, retaining no deposits. Tim Dobson achieved the best result, with 236 votes and 0.6% of the constituency vote.
Following the election, the party elected Peter Brett as Campaigns Officer, and introduced the election of Regional Administrative Officers.
In July 2010 the party elected its first Board of Governors, responsible for proposing amendments to the party’s constitution.
The Second Year
The party, now entering its second year of existence, is preparing for the upcoming Regional and Local Elections in 2011.
On 23rd August 2010, Party Leader Andrew Robinson announced that he would be stepping down from the role, initiating the nomination and election process for a new leader, and on 26th September 2010 Governor, and Election Agent for Tim Dobson, Loz Kaye was elected as the new leader of Pirate Party UK with 73.9% of the first preference vote.