Alex Cunningham

Alexander Cunningham[1] (born 1 May 1955[2]) is a British Labour Party politician. He was elected at the 2010 general election as the Member of Parliament (MP) for Stockton North. He is a currently the Shadow Minister for Courts and Sentencing.

Alex Cunningham

Official portrait of Alex Cunningham crop 2.jpg
Cunningham in 2017
Shadow Minister for Courts and Sentencing
Assumed office
9 April 2020
LeaderKeir Starmer
Preceded byPosition established
Shadow Minister for Housing
In office
8 April 2019 – 9 April 2020
LeaderJeremy Corbyn
Preceded byMelanie Onn
Succeeded byPosition abolished
Shadow Minister for Pensions
In office
14 October 2016 – 21 December 2017
LeaderJeremy Corbyn
Preceded byAngela Rayner
Succeeded byJack Dromey
Shadow Minister for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
In office
18 September 2015 – 27 June 2016
LeaderJeremy Corbyn
Preceded byBarry Gardiner
Succeeded byMary Glindon
Member of Parliament
for Stockton North
Assumed office
6 May 2010
Preceded byFrank Cook
Majority1,027 (2.5%)
Personal details
Alexander Cunningham

(1955-05-01) 1 May 1955 (age 65)
Harthill, Scotland
Political partyLabour
Alma materDarlington Technical College

Born in Scotland, Cunningham moved to the town of Darlington in County Durham at a young age. He was educated at Branksome Comprehensive School in Darlington, and the Queen Elizabeth Sixth Form College. He later attended the town's Darlington Technical College where he was awarded a certificate in journalism in 1976.[3]

Early careerEdit

A career journalist, he joined the Darlington-based Darlington & Stockton Times in 1974. In 1976, he moved to the Hartlepool Mail, and a year later, joined Radio Tees. In 1979, Cunningham joined The Evening Gazette in Middlesbrough, where he remained for five years, when his career moved with British Gas as a press officer. In 1995, he joined Transco (later National Grid plc) as a communications adviser, becoming head of communications after five years. He left this job in 2002, and subsequently has been the managing director of Tees Valley Communicators.

Political careerEdit

Cunningham was elected as a councillor to Cleveland County Council in 1984 and joined the Co-operative Party in 1986, becoming the vice-chairman of the education committee, and serving on the council until 1997. He was a member of Stockton Borough Council from 1999 until his election to Parliament at the 2010 general election. He served as the north eastern chairman of the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council, 2002–08. He was very active in the Stockton North Constituency Labour Party, as the press officer from 1984–2010, vice chairman and secretary, 1985–95, and its chairman, 1995–2000.[4]

Following his election, Cunningham was appointed to the Work and Pensions Select Committee in 2010. In 2011, he became a member of the Committee set up to scrutinise the Bill that became the Armed Forces Act 2011.[5] He then became a member of the Education Select Committee, and was a Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Shadow Justice Secretary Sadiq Khan MP.

Cunningham supported Owen Smith in the failed attempt to replace Jeremy Corbyn in the 2016 Labour Party (UK) leadership election.[6] In October 2016, he was appointed Shadow Pensions Minister,[7] but resigned in December 2017 after voting against the Labour whip on an amendment to the EU (Withdrawal) Bill.[8] In April 2019, he succeeded Melanie Onn as Shadow Minister for Housing.[9]

Cunningham held his seat at the 2019 general election, with a hugely reduced majority.[10] He endorsed Keir Starmer in the 2020 Labour Party leadership election.[11] After Starmer won the contest, he was appointed Shadow Minister for Courts and Sentencing in April 2020.[12]


He has been married to Evaline since 1977, and they have two sons.


  1. ^ "No. 59418". The London Gazette. 13 May 2010. p. 8745.
  2. ^ "Alex Cunningham MP". BBC Democracy Live. BBC. Retrieved 25 July 2010.
  3. ^ "Who's Who". Retrieved 9 June 2017.
  4. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 28 December 2010. Retrieved 7 April 2011.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  5. ^ "Select Committee on the Armed Forces Bill". Retrieved 20 September 2013.
  6. ^ "Full list of MPs and MEPs backing challenger Owen Smith". LabourList. 21 July 2016. Retrieved 15 July 2019.
  7. ^ Talya Misiri (14 October 2016). "Alex Cunningham appointed as Shadow Pensions Minister". Pensions Age. Retrieved 28 October 2016.
  8. ^ "Alex Cunningham resigns as shadow pensions minister". 5 January 2018.
  9. ^ "Teesside MP appointed as shadow minister". The Northern Echo. Retrieved 14 June 2020.
  10. ^ "Stockton North parliamentary constituency - Election 2019". BBC News. Retrieved 26 January 2020.
  11. ^ MP, Alex Cunningham (4 January 2020). "Just some of the reasons I'll be backing Keir Starmer to be the next leader of the Labour Party". @ACunninghamMP. Retrieved 4 January 2020.
  12. ^ "Keir Starmer appoints Labour frontbench". The Labour Party. Retrieved 16 April 2020.

External linksEdit

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Frank Cook
Member of Parliament for Stockton North