Dick Cole (politician)

Dick Cole (born 6 April 1967) is a Cornish[1] politician, currently serving as an elected member of Cornwall Council and the leader of the Cornish devolutionist political party, Mebyon Kernow, a role he has held since 1997. He is currently one of the longest serving political leaders in Britain.[2] Dick Cole was first elected MK leader in 1997. He lives in Fraddon, a village in Mid-Cornwall.


Dick Cole
Leader of Mebyon Kernow
Assumed office
Preceded byLoveday Jenkin
Cornwall Councillor for St Enoder
In office
Preceded byElectoral division established
Succeeded byElectoral division abolished
Cornwall Councillor for St Dennis and St Enoder
Assumed office
Preceded byElectoral division established
Personal details
Born (1967-04-06) 6 April 1967 (age 54)
Political partyMebyon Kernow
ResidenceSt Enoder, Cornwall
WebsiteDick Cole's blog

Early lifeEdit

Cole grew up in Cornwall on the edge of the Goss Moor and was educated at Treviglas School, Newquay and University of Wales, Lampeter.[3]

Political careerEdit

Before becoming party leader in 1997, Cole had been Mebyon Kernow's press officer for the previous five years. Previous to that he had also campaigned for Plaid Cymru whilst at University in Wales.[citation needed]

In 1999, he was elected as a member of the borough council of Restormel, representing St Enoder, retaining his seat until the council was abolished as part of the 2009 structural changes.[4]

In the 2005 general election, he stood for parliament in North Cornwall and gained 1351 votes, coming fifth of six candidates standing.

In 2009, a new unitary authority called Cornwall Council was formed.[5] On 4 June 2009, Cole contested both the local and European Parliament elections held in Cornwall on that day. In the European Parliament election, he headed the Mebyon Kernow party list for the South West England constituency.[4] In the Cornwall Council election held on the same day, he fought the St Enoder electoral division, achieving a 78 per cent of the vote, comfortably beating the Conservative and Lib Dem candidates into second and third places respectively.[6]

In 2010 Cole was Mebyon Kernow's prospective parliamentary candidate for the newly formed St Austell and Newquay constituency in the United Kingdom general election. He gained 2,007 votes (4.2% of votes cast), placing him in fourth position.[7]

In 2015 Cole again stood as Mebyon Kernow's parliamentary candidate for the St Austell and Newquay constituency in the United Kingdom general election. He gained 2,063 votes (4.1% of votes cast) placing him in last position (out of 6 candidates). Although he increased his vote total, his percentage of the votes cast declined by 0.2%.[8]

He lives in Fraddon, in Mid-Cornwall, where he is a member of St Enoder parish council, a governor of Summercourt Primary School, and a trustee of the Fraddon Millennium Green and the Indian Queens Pit.[9]

In Cornwall Council, Cole leads the Mebyon Kernow political group, chairs the Planning Policy Advisory Panel, and represents the council in the Local Government Association's County Councils Network Special Interest Group.[10]

He has been outspoken on issues regarding the incinerator in St Dennis and the plans to build thousands of new homes through the development of an eco-town. He has also led a delegation to 10 Downing Street to present 50,000 signatures from Cornwall in support of calls for a referendum on the creation of a Cornish Assembly.[11]


  • Mebyon Kernow and Cornish nationalism (with Bernard Deacon and Garry Tregidga) (Cardiff: Welsh Academic Press, 2003, ISBN 1-86057-075-5 )


  1. ^ Whitehouse, Richard (1 October 2017). "Mebyon Kernow leader Dick Cole marks 20 years in the role". CornwallLive. Retrieved 6 April 2021.
  2. ^ Dale, Helen. "Dick Cole re-elected leader of Mebyon Kernow". Falmouth Packet (online edition). Retrieved 30 November 2017.
  3. ^ Dick Cole, Media coverage and ...oops!, dated 20 August 2009 at mebyonkernow.blogspot.com
  4. ^ a b South West European Elections at ukpollingreport.co.uk
  5. ^ 102 at mebyonkernow.org
  6. ^ "Election results for St Enoder, 4 June 2009". democracy.cornwall.gov.uk. 4 June 2009.
  7. ^ "BBC News | Election 2010 | Constituency | St Austell & Newquay". news.bbc.co.uk.
  8. ^ Cornwall, Mebyon Kernow-The Party for. "The result in St Austell and Newquay". www.mebyonkernow.org.
  9. ^ Register of Interests for Dick Cole, published on Friday, 21 August 2009, online at cornwall.gov.uk
  10. ^ Dick Cole at democracy.cornwall.gov.uk
  11. ^ Whitehouse, Richard (1 October 2017). "Mebyon Kernow leader Dick Cole marks 20 years in the role". cornwalllive. Retrieved 20 September 2019.

External linksEdit

Party political offices
Preceded by
Loveday Jenkin
Leader of Mebyon Kernow