Great Yarmouth party gives up due to 'lack of interest'
PUBLISHED: 13:20 20 February 2019 | UPDATED: 13:48 20 February 2019
A self-styled "non-political" party has called it a day after failing to spark enough interest among people in a Norfolk town.
The Tribune Party, with headquarters in Great Yarmouth, announced on Monday (February 19) it had ceased operating “primarily because of a lack of candidates, volunteers and interest among local residents”.
In a statement the party’s vice-chairman, Matt Swann, said: “We tried our level best to offer an alternative to the established parties in Great Yarmouth but have discovered that there is actually no real appetite for change in this borough, in spite of all the verbal support we were always given.”
The party had taken to social media last week with a plea for candidates and volunteers, saying it was “in desperate need of new faces”.
But those faces failed to appear.
Speaking to this newspaper, Mr Swann said the news was “disappointing but not completely unexpected”.
“While people were very supportive verbally it doesn’t translate into people wanting to do anything about it, which is really sad, so we’ve come to the reluctant decision we can’t go on,” he said.
The vice-chairman said the party had also been “short of funds” and its numbers were insufficient for the amount of work necessary to run an election campaign.
The Tribune Party was officially launched almost two years ago by two former Ukip members, styling itself as “non-political”.
It had branded itself as an alternative to the main political parties, with its manifesto stating there was no room for party politics at the local level.
In the local elections in 2018 the party fielded eight candidates - and although averaging around 10pc of the vote none of them were elected.
Mr Swann said that since then the party had suffered a number of setbacks, with some members leaving and its 64-year-old chairman, Michael Monk, dying suddenly in December.
Mr Monk had been the “energy of the party”, Mr Swann said. “He conceived the idea. He worked his socks off and tried to make it work.”
In the end the party had six remaining members.
Five of them have had enough of politics, Mr Swann said.
He added: “All we ever wanted to do was make the place a bit better”.