Constance Ann Cryer JP (née Place; born 14 December 1939) is a British former politician who was the Labour Party Member of Parliament (MP) for Keighley from the 1997 general election up until she stood down at the 2010 general election.[1]

Ann Cryer

Member of Parliament
for Keighley
In office
2 May 1997 – 12 April 2010
Preceded byGary Waller
Succeeded byKris Hopkins
Personal details
Constance Ann Cryer

(1939-12-14) 14 December 1939 (age 80)
Lytham St Annes, England
Political partyLabour
Spouse(s)Bob Cryer (m. 1963; wid. 1994)
John Hammersley (m. 2003; wid. 2004)
ChildrenOne son John Cryer, one daughter Jane Cryer, two stepchildren
Alma materBolton Institute of Technology

Early lifeEdit

Born Constance Ann Place in Lytham St Annes, Lancashire, she comes from a political family. Her father, Allen Place, was an activist in the Independent Labour Party, as was his mother, Dinah Place, a suffragette.[2] Ann Cryer was educated at St John's Primary School in Darwen and Spring Bank Secondary Modern School in the same town, before attending the Bolton Institute of Technology.

She began her career as a clerk for Imperial Chemical Industries in 1955, moving to the General Post Office as a telephonist 1960 to 1964.[3]


Cryer joined the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament when she was 18 and in 1961 became the youngest serving councillor in the country.[4]

She was selected as the prospective Labour candidate for the Keighley constituency, the seat her husband had held, from an all-women shortlist.[5] She was elected to the House of Commons at the 1997 general election, defeating the sitting Conservative MP Gary Waller by 7,132 votes. She made her maiden speech on 16 May 1997.[6]

When she entered parliament in 1997 she was joined by her son John who had been elected for Hornchurch; they were the only mother and son partnership in the Commons at that time, although John Cryer was out of parliament during the 2005–10 parliament.

Cryer was re-elected in the 2001 and 2005 general elections. After the 2005 general election, she was a member of the Home Affairs Select committee. She voted against the government on many occasions and was a member of the left-wing Socialist Campaign Group during her time in parliament. Cryer voted with the government to increase detention without trial to 42 days for terror suspects.[7] She favours nuclear disarmament.[2]

Cryer attracted media attention, and death threats,[8] for speaking out against forced marriages, honour killings, calling on immigrants to learn to speak English before entering the country,[9] and for being amongst the first people to talk about the issue of gangs of Asian men sexually abusing children in Yorkshire.[10]

On 21 August 2008, Cryer announced she would not contest the next general election, due to her health, energy levels and age.[1]

In May 2012, Cryer unsuccessfully stood as a candidate for the Ilkley ward of City of Bradford Metropolitan District Council.[11]

She was interviewed in 2014 as part of The History of Parliament's oral history project.[12]

Personal lifeEdit

Cryer married Bob Cryer in 1963. She became a researcher in social history at the University of Essex in 1969 before becoming a full-time personal assistant to her husband when he entered parliament in 1974 until his death in a car accident on 12 April 1994. She was in the car with him at the time.

Cryer has a son and a daughter,[13] and two stepchildren from her second marriage[3] in 2003 to the Rev John Hammersley, who died a year later.[3]

Internet inventor claimEdit

Until 2009, Cryer's Wikipedia page contained information associating the invention of the Internet to her. This remained unchallenged for many years, causing Cryer to be forced to deny the assertion during a media interview.[14]


Ann Cryer is president of the Keighley and Worth Valley Railway Society having been a member with her first husband from its early days.[15] She became a Justice of the Peace in 1996 and a member of the Bradford Cathedral Council from 1999.[3]


In December 2009, Ann Cryer was awarded an honorary doctorate by the University of Bradford for services to the community from 1991, before and after becoming Keighley's MP.[4]


  • Boldness be My Friend: Remembering Bob Cryer by Ann Cryer and John Cryer, 1997, Bradford Arts, Museums and Libraries Service, ISBN 0-907734-48-0


  1. ^ a b "MP Cryer to quit at next election". BBC News. 21 August 2008. Retrieved 27 December 2015.
  2. ^ a b McIntyre, Annette (11 September 2008). "Ilkley MP wanted to change the world, but she didn't invent the internet!". Keighley News. Archived from the original on 5 June 2014. Retrieved 2 April 2010.
  3. ^ a b c d "CRYER, (Constance) Ann". Who's Who 2010 online edn. Oxford University Press. November 2009. Retrieved 28 February 2010.
  4. ^ a b "Ann Cryer MP". University of Bradford. 3 February 2016. Archived from the original on 4 February 2016. Retrieved 3 February 2016.
  5. ^ Strickland, Pat; Gay, Oonagh; Lourie, Julia; Cracknell, Richard (22 October 2001). "The Sex Discrimination (Election Candidates) Bill" (PDF). Research Paper 01/75. House of Commons Library. Archived (PDF) from the original on 20 November 2006. Retrieved 11 August 2009.
  6. ^ "House of Commons Hansard Debates for 16 May 1997 (pt 6)". Archived from the original on 28 October 2016. Retrieved 29 August 2017.
  7. ^ "How MPs voted on 42-day limit". BBC News Online. 11 June 2008. Archived from the original on 5 October 2008. Retrieved 27 June 2008.
  8. ^ Speech by Kevan Jones in the House of Commons, 27 October 2014 Archived 22 February 2015 at the Wayback Machine
  9. ^ "MP calls for English tests for immigrants". BBC News Online. 13 July 2001. Archived from the original on 22 September 2005. Retrieved 4 December 2005.
  10. ^ "Heartbreak of MP's lone battle to tackle sex abuse in Bradford". Yorkshire Post. 12 December 2016. Archived from the original on 11 October 2017.
  11. ^ "Councillors return as Tories lose one area seat". Wharfedale and Aireborough Observer. 11 May 2012. Archived from the original on 18 August 2016. Retrieved 8 July 2016.
  12. ^ "Ann Cryer interviewed by Henry Irving". British Library Sound Archive. Retrieved 26 January 2018.
  13. ^ "MP For The Keighley Constituency Ann Cryer". – Wharfedale's Community on the Web. Wharfedale Online Trust. Archived from the original on 27 December 2008.
  14. ^ "Ilkley MP wanted to change the world, but she didn't invent the internet!". Keighley News. Keighley News. Archived from the original on 2 December 2018. Retrieved 1 December 2018.
  15. ^ ""Excited and proud": The Anniversary Gala!". BBC. 2 July 2008. Archived from the original on 10 October 2016. Retrieved 11 July 2016.

External linksEdit

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Gary Waller
Member of Parliament for Keighley
Succeeded by
Kris Hopkins