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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 a Shadow Minister for Housing.

Alex Cunningham
Official portrait of Alex Cunningham crop 2.jpg
Member of Parliament
for Stockton North
In office
6 May 2010 – 6 November 2019
Preceded byFrank Cook
Succeeded byElection in progress
Majority8,715 (20.4%)
Personal details
Born (1955-05-01) 1 May 1955 (age 64)
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.


Cunningham was elected as a councillor to Cleveland County Council in 1984, becoming the vice-chairman of the 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.

He has been a member of the Co-operative Party since 1986.[4]

In Parliament, he has pursued a ban on smoking in cars when a child is present.


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.

He 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 the Shadow Minister for Housing.


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.

External linksEdit