SHIVER me timbers! Students at the University of York have picked a pirate as their new president.

Almost 3,000 students turned out to vote Tom Scott - also known as Mad Cap'n Tom - in as the new York University Student Union (YUSU) president on Friday.

He beat off competition from fellow students Laura Payne and Nadz Kunwar.

The post carries a salary of around £14,000 and is the primary representation of undergraduates and postgraduates on campus.

Mad Cap'n Tom, 23, who hails from Mansfield originally but has lived in York for the past five years, is in the second year of a Educational Studies postgraduate degree.

He spent his entire presidential campaign in traditional pirate dress, complete with eye patch, tricone hat and a rather unconventional stuffed toy duckling on his shoulder.

He has admitting running for office as a joke but has stressed he will take the job seriously now he has been elected.

Adopting a stereotypical west country pirate accent, Cap'n Tom told The Press: "As president, I be the figurehead for the whole university.

"I be like the producer on a film - I be very important, but no one knows exactly what I do.

"I ran entirely as a joke, I never expected to get in. I was only running for comedy value, but now I'm in, I be doing the best damn job I can!"

For the past five years, Cap'n Tom has been running the British leg of International Talk Like A Pirate Day, which is celebrated on September 19.

He revealed some students had already started a petition to have him removed - but others had started a more popular one to keep him in his post.

"It's going to be an interesting year, put it that way," he added.

Cap'n Tom, who has pledged to carry out all his presidential duties in his pirate character, will take office in July.

This is the third time in two months the university's students have hit the headlines.

In February, YUSU's academic and welfare officer, Grace Fletcher-Hackwood, was forced to resign following a drunken incident in which she struck a male student.

Ms Fletcher-Hackwood, who lost a motion of no-confidence by eight votes on an unprecedented turn-out of 1,440, was the first sabbatical officer ever to lose such a no-confidence vote at the union.

Only last week, chair of the James College Junior Common Room Committee, Chet Khatu, apologised to staff and students after being caught on camera with a stripper at a birthday party held in a college common room.