Briton makes history as first to run in Basque Country elections

Briton makes history as first to run in Basque Country elections

Image of Richard Lewington outside Oñati Town Hall. Credit: Richard Lewington

Richard Lewington has made history by becoming the first Briton to stand in elections in the Basque Country.

Richard Lewington, Chairman of the Madrid branch of Conservatives Abroad – the international wing of the British Conservative Party, has been confirmed as a candidate in the upcoming municipal elections in Oñati, Guipuzkoa, Basque Country, Spain, on Sunday, May 28th, 2023.

Lewington is listed as candidate No5 on People Party (Partido Popular – PP) mayoral candidate Ricardo Guisado Balanzategui’s list for Oñati municipal council.

This marks a historic moment as Lewington will be the first British citizen to run for office in Spain’s autonomous Basque Country.

The 41-year-old, originally from Southend on Sea, Essex, is a former nurse who moved to Spain in 2007 where he lived in Oñati and worked as a freelance correspondent and English teacher.

Lewington’s platform focuses on supporting rural businesses, enhancing public services for young people, promoting cross-cultural understanding, and supporting the town’s candidacy for UNESCO world heritage status.

“I am extremely proud to be part of Ricardo Guisado Balanzategui’s list and to be running for office in Oñati. As someone who has lived and worked in the town, I believe that Oñati has the potential to be a model for other towns in the region”, he said.

Mr Lewington continued: “If elected, I will work tirelessly to support our small businesses, improve public services, and promote cross-cultural understanding”.

“I am also eager to support the town’s candidacy for UNESCO World Heritage status, as I believe that Oñati’s cultural heritage and natural beauty make it a deserving candidate. I look forward to working with the other council members to make Oñati the best it can be for all of its residents”, he concluded.

The municipal elections in Oñati will address critical issues facing the town, including improving local services, boosting economic development, and promoting sustainable tourism.

Lewington’s experience as a nurse, teacher, and Chairman of Conservatives Abroad Madrid demonstrates his leadership qualities and his ability to work with people from different backgrounds.

“Lewington’s experience in Oñati, dedication to public service and his passion for making a positive impact in his community make him an excellent and enriching candidate”, said Ricardo Guisado Balanzategui, the PP candidate for Oñati mayor.

“His political values are very much in line with the values of our land, and we are proud to have him on our list. We look forward to working with him to serve the people of Oñati”, he added.

For more information on Richard Lewington and his campaign, visit: and

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Written by

Chris King

Originally from Wales, Chris spent years on the Costa del Sol before moving to the Algarve where he is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at