The Pirate Party has announced it will be standing at least one candidate in Sheffield for the General Election in May. Andy Halsall was selected by local members on the 5th of March 2015.
This will be the first time in the Party's five and a half years of campaigning in the UK that it will be standing candidates in Sheffield. Previously the party has contested Parliamentary seats in various parts of the UK, including London, Manchester, Derby and Leicester, as well as the European Election in 2014 and Scottish Parliamentary Elections.
Andy Halsall, who recently stepped down as the party's campaigns officer to stand as a candidate, has previously worked to provide support to Pirate Party candidates across the UK whilst heading up the Party's campaigns nationally. He was also responsible for putting together the Party's European Election campaign in 2014, and organised the party's open policy processes.
In line with party policies, Andy lives in Upperthorpe in Sheffield within the constituency he is contesting.
Loz Kaye, Leader of the Pirate Party UK said:
"I'm really happy to have Andy standing up as a candidate for the Pirate Party. We stand people where they live and work - not parachute candidates in; if anyone can break the mould of grey identikit politicians it's him."
"With his background he is just the right candidate to stand up on issues like mass surveillance in the House of Commons, he's knowledgeable and credible. His voice is needed in Sheffield and the UK."
Andy Halsall, PPC Sheffield Central said.
"I've not come the obvious route into politics. I'm not a university graduate. I wasn't privately educated and I'm not wealthy. I have worked in a shop, been a soldier and lived around the UK. Since moving to Sheffield in 2003 I have brought up a family and come to love the city. I am proud to be able to stand here."
"Sheffield is a new target for the party, that means I'll be in a position to run a credible campaign and put a spotlight on important issues and how we can deal with them. I'll be running a positive campaign, because we can do better than the 'lesser of two evils' style of politics coming from the larger parties."
"I know that there have to be jobs that pay fairly in an economy that benefits us all, that we need homes we can afford and access to great education. I believe that healthcare must be free at the point of delivery and available to those who need it. I know that justice must be fair and accessible. Above all, I want to make sure that we reverse the damage that this coalition and previous governments have done to all of these vital parts of our society."
"I can show that my party and I are an alternative to the major parties. We are credible and are right on the issues from civil liberties and surveillance through to tuition fees and energy where the others are either silent or wrong."
(See a full statement from Andy Halsall here)