Animal Welfare Party

Animal Welfare Party (AWP) is a minor political party in the United Kingdom campaigning on an animal welfare, environment and health platform.[2]

Animal Welfare Party
LeaderVanessa Hudson[1]
Nominating OfficerJon Homan[1]
TreasurerLouise Cobham[1]
Veterinary advisorAndre Menache[1]
Founded2 December 2006 (2006-12-02)
Headquarters71–75 Shelton Street
IdeologyAnimal welfare


The party was founded in December 2006 by Jasmijn de Boo, a Dutch national, of Kennington, London, and Shaun Rutherford of Milford Haven, Wales, as Animals Count![3] The party was registered with the Electoral Commission on 22 January 2007.[4]

In October 2010, Vanessa Hudson was elected as party leader. In 2013, the party changed its name from Animals Count! to the Animal Welfare Party.[5]

In June 2013, Hudson joined leaders from other animal protection parties from across Europe in a meeting in The Hague organised by the Animal Politics Foundation of the Netherlands.[6] At this meeting the animal protection parties of the Netherlands, Spain, Portugal, Germany, Denmark, Italy, Turkey and the UK discussed ways in which they could work together more effectively. Later that month, Hudson announced that the Animal Welfare Party would stand in the London region in the 2014 European Parliament elections. It was one of seven European animal protection parties contesting the 2014 European elections with the aim of returning dedicated representatives for animals to the EU Parliament.[7] This European group of parties became known informally as the EuroAnimal7 and includes PvdD of The Netherlands, PACMA of Spain, PAN of Portugal, Partei Mensch Umwelt Tierschutz of Germany, Djurens Parti of Sweden and Animal Party Cyprus.

In September 2017, the party gained its first elected representative after Alsager Town Councillor Jane Smith defected from the Green Party to the AWP.[8] Smith was re-elected in May 2019.

Electoral history

It initially intended to stand in the Welsh Assembly election in 2007.[9] In the 2008 London Assembly election, de Boo stood in Lambeth and Southwark,[10] receiving 1,828 votes (1.12%).[11] The party sponsored an electoral list of three candidates for the 2009 European Parliament election in the East of England,[12] receiving 13,201 votes (0.8%).[13]

In the 2010 United Kingdom general election, the party contested one seat, which it did not win. The party sponsored an electoral list of eight candidates for the 2014 European Parliament election in the London region, receiving 21,092 votes (1.0%). Four AWP candidates contested the 2015 general election, all losing their deposits. They stood in the 2016 London Assembly election, receiving 1% of the vote. They stood four candidates in the 2017 general election and six in the 2019 general election: none were elected. They stood again in the 2021 London Assembly election, receiving nearer to 2% of the vote.

Elections contested

General election, 6 May 2010

Note: Standing as "Animals Count"

ConstituencyCandidateVotes %
Islington South and FinsburyRichard Deboo1490.3[14]

General election, 7 May 2015

ConstituencyCandidateVotes %
Hackney North and Stoke NewingtonJon Homan2250.5[15]
Holborn and St PancrasVanessa Hudson1730.3[16]
KensingtonAndrew Knight1580.5[17]
PutneyGuy Dessoy1840.4[18]

Scottish Parliament election, 5 May 2016

RegionVotes %

General election, 8 June 2017

ConstituencyCandidateVotes %
Hackney North and Stoke NewingtonJon Homan2220.4
Hackney South and ShoreditchVanessa Hudson2260.4
Lewisham DeptfordLaura McAnea2250.4
MaidenheadAndrew Knight2820.5

General election, 12 December 2019

ConstituencyCandidateVotes %
Bethnal Green and BowVanessa Hudson439 0.7
Chelsea and FulhamSam Morland500 1.1
CongletonJane Smith658 1.1
KingswoodAngelika Cowell489 1.0
New Forest EastAndrew Knight675 1.3
Ruislip, Northwood and PinnerFemy Amin325 0.6

Scottish Parliament election, 6 May 2021

RegionVotes %

2009 European elections

Note: Standing as "Animals Count"

Regional listsCandidatesVotes %MEPs
East of England13,2010.80[19]

2014 European elections

Regional listsCandidatesVotes %MEPs

2019 European elections

Regional listsCandidatesVotes %MEPs
LondonVanessa Hudson
Jane Smith
Sam Morland
Ranjan Joshi
Mina Da Rui
Jonathan Homan
Simon Gouldman

See also


  1. Animal Welfare Party website: Committee of National Officers
  2. Animal Welfare Party website: Vision
  3. "Activists welcome animal rights party", BBC News, 3 December 2006
  4. Electoral Commission: Animal Welfare Party registration (Reference PP616l)
  5. Animal Welfare Party website: About
  6. Partij voor de Dieren, Worldlog week 24 – 2013 Archived April 20, 2014, at the Wayback Machine
  7. Animal Welfare Party website: 2014 EU Elections
  8. "Animal Welfare Party Gains First UK Political Representation After Jane Smith Defects From Green Party". 4 September 2017.
  9. "New animal rights party launched". BBC News. 3 December 2006. Retrieved 9 January 2010.
  10. "London elections 2008: More candidates". Southwark News. 28 April 2008. Archived from the original on 20 May 2009. Retrieved 9 January 2010.
  11. "London Elections: Lambeth & Southwark". BBC News. 11 June 2008. Retrieved 9 January 2010.
  12. "Party promises voice for animals". BBC News. 2 June 2009. Retrieved 9 January 2010.
  13. "European Election 2009: East of England". BBC News. 7 June 2009. Retrieved 9 January 2010.
  14. Election 2010 - Islington South & Finsbury, BBC News. Accessed 12 May 2015.
  15. Election 2015 - Ealing Southall, BBC News. Accessed 12 May 2015.
  16. Election 2015 - Holborn & St Pancras, BBC News. Accessed 12 May 2015.
  17. Election 2010 - Kensington, BBC News. Accessed 12 May 2015.
  18. Election 2015 - Putney, BBC News. Accessed 12 May 2015.
  19. European Election 2009: East of England, BBC News Accessed 12 May 2015.
  20. Vote 2014 - London, BBC News Accessed 12 May 2015.
  21. "European Parliamentary elections 23 May 2019 | Lambeth Council".
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