Andrew (Andy) John Edward Halsall (born 1981 in Germany) is a British politician and the former campaigns officer of the Pirate Party UK. Halsall was elected to the position after the resignation of Peter Brett in 2011, defeating Graeme Lambert in a membership election and stepped down from the position in November 2014 to stand in the General Election in Sheffield.
He is a former soldier. Between 2010 and 2015 he worked on campaigns for the Pirate Party UK, acted as election agent for Pirate Party UK Leader Loz Kaye and stood as a candidate in the 2015 General Election in Sheffield.
Halsall designed and ran the Pirate Party's 2011 Policy Process and is listed as the principal author of the Pirate Party UK's 2012 Manifesto. During his time with the Pirate Party UK he was instrumental in expanding Pirate Party UK policies beyond its core positions and toward a broader political platform.
Halsall grew up outside of the UK, living primarily in Germany and Hong Kong. He did not go to university, instead enlisting in the military after leaving college.
Halsall began his political career working on Tim Dobson's 2010 General Election campaign. It was the first time that the Pirate Party had stood candidates in the UK. His influence can be seen in the manifesto issued by Dobson for that campaign which was far broader than those used by other Pirate Party candidates in 2010.
In late 2011 and early 2012 he was one of the instigator of the Pirate Party UK's drive to broaden its platform and produce a wide-ranging manifesto; his name appears at the top of the acknowledgements and as the person responsible for compiling the Pirate Party's 2012 Manifesto. Halsall's interest in expanding policy came to prominence after his election to the National Executive Committee and continues to be a focus for Halsall, pushing for the party to take up positions on issues like energy, the environment, health, defence and gender politics.
Halsall has been re-elected to the Pirate Party UK National Executive Committee as the party's Campaigns officer three times, most recently in December 2013 since he initially stood for the post in 2011.
Halsall chaired the Pirate Party UK's Conference in London in September 2012, announcing the party's new manifesto and approach to politics in the UK.
Halsall was threatened with legal action alongside other members of the Pirate Party National Executive Committee in 2012. Halsall spoke to the BBC, claiming that the Pirate Party UK proxy had had more than 2 million hits in a 24-hour period.
In May 2012 Halsall coordinated local elections in Manchester together with his then newly appointed deputy Jack Allnutt. The result of those elections included the first time that the Pirate Party received more than 5% in a poll and were the best result for the party in the UK.
In November 2012 Halsall acted as election agent for Loz Kaye in the Manchester Central by-election, running the most expensive and most comprehensive election campaign that the Pirate Party had run to date in the UK. Halsall worked closely with Kaye, speaking daily on the phone.
In early 2013 Halsall argued that the Pirate Party UK should withdraw from Pirate Parties International,. The Pirate Party UK then conducted a vote to determine whether they should remain a member, voting to remain. Halsall is also now responsible for the Pirate Party UK's international relationships as the head of the international team.
In October 2013 Halsall acted as election agent for Loz Kaye again in the Manchester City Council Ancoats and Clayton elections. Halsall also chaired the Pirate Party UK 2013 Conference in Manchester at which it was announced that the Pirate Party UK was definitely going to participate in European elections in 2014 and that the Pirate Party UK would seek to elect a Deputy Party Leader.
Halsall has appeared on television and radio in the UK to talk about policy and cybersecurity in his capacity as a spokesperson for the Pirate Party in the UK. Halsall writes regularly for Public Service Europe a British European-focused magazine with eurosceptic leanings. Halsall also gives talks at events and conferences.
In 2015 Halsall stood in the May General Election as a candidate for the Pirate Party UK in Sheffield Central.
On 24 April Halsall discussed the UK Party's aims, manifesto, their goals with Kenney Jones on Talk Radio Europe, spelling out a radical departure from traditional Pirate Policy, including the party's support for a referendum on the UK's EU membership.
In 2015 Halsall endorsed and published a separate manifesto for his election campaign in Sheffield, saying that "It's important for candidates to be clear about where they stand, especially where they have differences with their party.". The Pirate Party Sheffield 2015 Manifesto, authored by Halsall, included a number of differences to the Pirate Party Manifesto 2015. In July 2015, Halsall gave a statement to JUS News saying he intended to leave the Pirate Party and join the Labour Party.Election Manifesto 2010 - Gorton
2012 Pirate Party Manifesto
2012 Pirate Party UK Statement of Accounts
PPI Finance Activity Brief
Common European Election Programme
2015 Pirate Party Sheffield Manifesto