First Pirate Party candidate for Sheffield

Andy Halsall, first Sheffield candidate for the Pirate Party
Andy Halsall, first Sheffield candidate for the Pirate Party

A former soldier is to be the first candidate from the Pirate Party to stand for election in Sheffield.

Dad-of-four Andy Halsall, of Upperthorpe, is standing as the party’s candidate for Sheffield Central in the general election in May.

The party – which focuses on bringing about reform to patent and copyright laws,reducing surveillance and ensuring freedom of speech – has been going for five years.

Mr Halsall has stepped down as the party’s campaigns officer to stand in the election.

He said: “I think there definitely will be more candidates in Sheffield in the future.

“Every time we run candidates in an election, people say why aren’t you standing here? We’ve had four candidates in Manchester and next up is Sheffield.

“We have volunteers here and I’m positively surprised by the amount of people who have offered to help.”

Mr Halsall said people were becoming increasingly concerned about intrusion caused by surveillance in everyday life.

He said: “There isn’t a huge amount of pressure from the main political parties to challenge this level of surveillance or do anything about it.”

Loz Kaye, party leader, said: “We stand people where they live and work – not parachute candidates in.

“If anyone can break the mould of grey identikit politicians it is Andy.”