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Jonathan Cruddas (born 7 April 1962) is a Labour Party politician who has served as a Member of Parliament (MP) since 2001, first for Dagenham and then for the successor constituency of Dagenham and Rainham.

Jon Cruddas
Official portrait of Jon Cruddas crop 2.jpg
Official parliamentary portrait, June 2017
Policy Coordinator of the Labour Party
In office
15 May 2012 – 11 May 2015
LeaderEd Miliband
Preceded byLiam Byrne
Member of Parliament
for Dagenham and Rainham
Dagenham (2001–2010)
In office
7 June 2001 – 6 November 2019
Preceded byJudith Church
Succeeded byElection in progress
Majority4,652 (10.1%)
Personal details
Jonathan Cruddas[1]

(1962-04-07) 7 April 1962 (age 57)
Helston, Cornwall, England
Political partyLabour
Spouse(s)Anna Healy
Alma materUniversity of Warwick
WebsiteOfficial website

A graduate of the University of Warwick, Cruddas was first elected to Parliament at the 2001 general election. Having been critical of many aspects of the Blair Government, Cruddas stood for the Deputy Leadership of the Labour Party in 2007, being eliminated in the penultimate round of the contest. Unlike the other five candidates, he openly stated that he did not wish to become Deputy Prime Minister.[citation needed]

He won the most votes in the first round of voting, obtaining 19.39% of the vote from both party members and party-affiliated organisations, and it is thought that the second-choice votes of the Cruddas supporters contributed to Harriet Harman's eventual victory. After his campaign, he was offered a position in the Cabinet by Prime Minister Gordon Brown, which he turned down.[citation needed]

Despite being touted by some media sources as a potential candidate for the Leadership of the Labour Party in the future, he ruled himself out of the 2010 leadership election, saying that he did not want the job; but instead wanted to influence policy.[2] In 2012, Cruddas was appointed to Ed Miliband's Shadow Cabinet, replacing Liam Byrne as Labour Party Policy Coordinator.[3]

Early life and educationEdit

Cruddas was born in Helston to John, a sailor, and Pat (a native of County Donegal, Ireland).[4] Cruddas was educated at the Oaklands Roman Catholic Comprehensive School, Waterlooville, Portsmouth, before attending the University of Warwick where he ultimately received an M.A. and a Ph.D. in Industrial and Business Studies in 1991, writing a thesis entitled An analysis of value theory, the sphere of production and contemporary approaches to the reorganisation of workplace relations.[5] He was a Visiting Fellow of the University of Wisconsin–Madison from 1987–89.

Cruddas is a Visiting Fellow at Nuffield College, Oxford (2016–present), and is also a Visiting Professor at the University of Leicester (2016–present), primarily involved with the Centre for Sustainable Work and Employment Futures.[6]

Early careerEdit

In 1989, he became a policy officer for the Labour Party before being appointed Senior Assistant to Labour Party General Secretary Larry Whitty in 1994, remaining in that position when Tom Sawyer became General Secretary that same year. After the 1997 general election, he was employed as Deputy Political Secretary to newly elected Prime Minister Tony Blair. His main role was to be a liaison between the Prime Minister and the trade unions, with whom Blair had often had a difficult relationship. In this role, he also worked heavily on the introduction of the minimum wage.

Political careerEdit

Cruddas was selected to be the Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for the safe Labour seat of Dagenham in 2000, after the sitting MP Judith Church announced that she would be retiring. He was elected as the MP for Dagenham the following year at the 2001 general election, with a majority of 8,693 votes.

From the backbenches, Cruddas quickly became a vocal critic of the government for what he saw as their ignoring of their traditional, working-class support in a bid to be more appealing to middle-class voters.[7] He rebelled against the government on a number of occasions; including on the introduction of university top-up fees, the legislation on asylum seekers, the introduction of trust schools, proposals to renew the UK Trident nuclear weapons system, and foundation trusts.[8][9][10][11] He supported both the Fourth Option for direct investment in council housing and the Trade Union Freedom Bill.[12]

Cruddas was re-elected at the 2005 general election, but his Dagenham constituency was abolished in boundary changes for the 2010 general election. Cruddas chose to contest the newly created constituency of Dagenham and Rainham, which was notionally marginal. He won the seat by 2,630 votes in a close-run election campaign, which was a seat that the British National Party had heavily targeted. This resulted in a large number of anti-fascist organisations not affiliated to the Labour Party, such as Hope not Hate, campaigning for Cruddas to resist the BNP. After being successfully elected, he took up a part-time position teaching Labour history at University College, Oxford from 2010–12.[13]

Deputy leadership electionEdit

On 27 September 2006, Cruddas announced his intention to stand to become Deputy Leader of the Labour Party once the incumbent, John Prescott, stood down.[14] He said he did not want to be Deputy Prime Minister, but instead wished to act as a "transmission belt" with the grassroots of the party.[15] In interviews, Cruddas also said that he did not want the "trappings or baubles" that would potentially come with the job of Deputy Prime Minister, such as use of the Dorneywood weekend country residence.[16]

Cruddas accrued nominations from 49 MPs and received strong union backing, including Amicus and the Transport and General Workers' Union.[17] He received backing from former Deputy Leader Roy Hattersley,[18] then Mayor of London Ken Livingstone,[19] NUS President Gemma Tumelty, and former National Executive Committee member, actor and presenter Tony Robinson.[20] The left-wing magazine Tribune endorsed him as "the change that is required".[21]

On 24 June 2007, it was announced that Harriet Harman had won the election, although Cruddas gained the highest proportion of votes in the first round. He was ultimately eliminated in the fourth round of voting, coming third behind Harman and Alan Johnson. He had secured the highest number of votes from members of affiliated organisation in every round before his elimination.[citation needed]

Policy Review CoordinatorEdit

On 15 May 2012, Labour Leader Ed Miliband offered Cruddas a position in his Shadow Cabinet as Labour's Policy Coordinator, with a view to crafting Labour's manifesto for the 2015 general election. Cruddas accepted the offer, saying that it had always been his wish to influence policy.[13]

The Future of Work CommissionEdit

The Future of Work Commission was announced at the 2016 Labour Party Annual Conference in Liverpool. The goal of the commission is to make a set of achievable policy recommendations, which will be delivered in a report in September 2017 at Labour Annual Conference in Brighton. Jon Cruddas MP is one of the Commissioners working on the project.[22]

Political viewsEdit

Cruddas speaking alongside Adam Boulton at a Policy Exchange event in 2012

Cruddas's deputy leadership challenge was based on the precepts contained in a pamphlet called 'Fit for purpose: A programme for Labour Party renewal', co-authored with journalist John Harris and funded by the pressure group Compass.[23] Cruddas won a Compass membership poll in March 2007, gaining 53% of first preference votes among the deputy leadership candidates.[24] In terms of his relative position within the Labour Party, newspapers have described Cruddas as "left wing",[25] however he has also been described as "modernising centre-left",[26] and more recently has become associated with the socially conservative Blue Labour tendency and has formed a political partnership with James Purnell.[27] He described himself as "mistaken" over his decision to vote for British participation in the 2003 invasion of Iraq and has criticised his party's record on immigration, saying that "we had too many people coming too fast", and that "immigration has been used as a 21st century incomes policy, and protections in terms of the labour market have not been substantial enough."[28][29]

After speculation that Cruddas, a Catholic, was in favour of restricting abortion, he re-affirmed his pro-choice position.[30] In an interview concerning Cruddas' faith, he stated "in our family the political heroes weren't Gaitskell or Bevan. They were the Kennedys because they were Irish, there was Óscar Romero because liberation theology was quite a big thing, and Pope John. So I joined the Labour Party, and my brother joined the Carmelites. The Labour Party always seemed to me to be a rational, natural element within some of those things we were brought up to believe in. It was as simple as that. My family was part of the Diaspora, they were all over the world, and again that returned to certain issues of solidarity. So there was always that seamless thing between faith and political agency, and union activity as well, forged out of the politics of Irish immigration".[31]

The Times Guide to the House of Commons describes him as "a well-liked and well-respected left winger who took on the BNP and won".[32]

Jon Cruddas was one of 36 Labour MPs to nominate Jeremy Corbyn as a candidate in the Labour leadership election of 2015.[33] However, he later supported Owen Smith in the failed attempt to replace Corbyn in the 2016 Labour Party (UK) leadership election.[34]

He is a member of Labour Friends of Israel.[35]

Personal lifeEdit

Cruddas married Labour activist Anna Healy (now Baroness Healy of Primrose Hill) in 1992; the couple have one son, Emmett Cruddas.[36] His wife worked as a special adviser to Harriet Harman, and had previously worked for Labour MPs Jack Cunningham, Mo Mowlam and Gus Macdonald. He lives in Notting Hill.[citation needed]

In October 2012, Cruddas was banned from driving for eight weeks, for driving with no MOT or insurance.[37]

Selected bibliographyEdit


  • Cruddas, Jon; Rutherford, Jonathan (2008). The crash: a view from the left. London: Lawrence and Wishart. Pdf.
  • Cruddas, Jon; Rutherford, Jonathan; Laws, David; Clark, Greg (2009). Equality in the UK. London: CentreForum. ISBN 9781902622736.
  • Cruddas, Jon; Rutherford, Jonathan (2009), "Return to society", in Harrington, Peter; Burks, Beatrice Karol (eds.), What next for Labour? Ideas for progressive left: a collection of essays, Demos, pp. 19–24, ISBN 9781906693176.
  • Cruddas, Jon; Rutherford, Jonathan (2010), "The common table", in Williams, Rowan; Elliott, Larry (eds.), Crisis and recovery ethics, economics and justice, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 54–76, ISBN 9780230252141.
  • Cruddas, Jon; Rutherford, Jonathan (2011), "Common life ethics, class, community", in Pabst, Adrian (ed.), The crisis of global capitalism: Pope Benedict XVI's social encyclical and the future of political economy, Oregon, USA: Wipf and Stock Publishers, pp. 237–254, ISBN 9781608993680.
  • Cruddas, John (2015), "The Common Good in an Age of Austerity", in Geary, Ian; Pabst, Adrian (eds.), Blue Labour: Forging a New Politics, London: I.B. Tauris, pp. 87–95, ISBN 9781784532024.

Journal articlesEdit

News articlesEdit


  1. ^ "No. 61961". The London Gazette. 19 June 2017. p. 11776.
  2. ^ "Labour leader: Runners and riders". BBC News. 20 July 2010.
  3. ^ "Cruddas gets policy brief in shadow cabinet reshuffle". BBC News. 15 May 2012.
  4. ^ Watt, Nicholas (17 May 2012). "Jon Cruddas: the philosopher at the heart of Labour's policy planning". The Guardian. London, UK.
  5. ^ [1] Modern Records centre, University of Warwick.
  6. ^ Centre for Sustainable Work and Employment Futures Retrieved 19 January 2017.
  7. ^ Labour 'ignoring working classes' BBC News, 25 September 2005
  8. ^ The Labour rebels on tuition fees BBC News, 27 January 2004
  9. ^ Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Bill — Clause 43 — Accommodation — Commons Division No. 205,; accessed 8 May 2015.
  10. ^ "The Labour rebels on Trident replacement", BBC News, 14 March 2007.
  11. ^ "Labour contender calls for halt to privatisation in NHS", The Guardian, 21 May 2007
  12. ^ EDM 532 Trade Union Freedom Bill Campaign,, 18 December 2006.
  13. ^ a b Watt, Nicholas (17 May 2012). "Jon Cruddas: the philosopher at the heart of Labour's policy planning". The Guardian. London, UK.
  14. ^ "Cruddas to stand for deputy leadership",, 27 September 2006.
  15. ^ Interview: Jon Cruddas BBC News, 2 March 2007
  16. ^ "Jon Cruddas: You Ask The Questions" Archived 12 May 2007 at the Wayback Machine,, 7 May 2007.
  17. ^ Union chief backing Cruddas bid BBC News, 9 March 2007
  18. ^ Jon Cruddas Gains Momentum With Hattersley Endorsement CCNMatthews, 19 May 2007
  19. ^ Ken Livingstone and Unite back Jon Cruddas for deputy leader Archived 27 September 2007 at the Wayback Machine, 18 May 2007
  20. ^ Tony Robinson backs Jon Cruddas Archived 27 September 2007 at the Wayback Machine, 9 May 2007
  21. ^ Leader column from Tribune,, 11 May 2007
  22. ^ The Future of Work Commission Retrieved 19 January 2017.
  23. ^ "77504" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 11 May 2013. Retrieved 13 October 2010.
  24. ^ Members of Compass overwhelmingly vote to support Jon Cruddas for Labour Deputy Leader Compass, 7 March 2007
  25. ^ For Labour flavour, who will be deputy is the top tussle Financial Times, 26 February 2007 (republished on
  26. ^ Labour's lost its moral purpose, warns Cruddas The Telegraph, 14 April 2007
  27. ^ "David Goodhart: Labour can have its own coalition too". The Independent. London, UK. 20 March 2011.
  28. ^ "Prospect Magazine interview". 14 May 2010. Retrieved 8 May 2015.
  29. ^ Ministers urge Brown to launch Iraq inquiry Archived 30 September 2007 at the Wayback Machine The Independent, 19 May 2007
  30. ^ Compass Youth interviews Jon Cruddas,, 30 October 2006.
  31. ^ "Christian Socialist Movement: Interview with Jon Cruddas MP". Retrieved 8 May 2015.
  32. ^ The Times Guide to the House of Commons 2010, pg. 145
  33. ^ "Who nominated who for the 2015 Labour leadership election?".
  34. ^ "Full list of MPs and MEPs backing challenger Owen Smith". LabourList. 21 July 2016. Retrieved 15 July 2019.
  35. ^ "LFI Supporters in Parliament". Labour Friends of Israel. Retrieved 8 September 2019.
  36. ^ "Marriages and Births England and Wales 1984–2006". Retrieved 8 May 2015.
  37. ^ "Labour Jon Cruddas MP banned from driving". BBC News. 26 October 2012.

External linksEdit

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Judith Church
Member of Parliament
for Dagenham

Constituency abolished
New constituency Member of Parliament
for Dagenham and Rainham

Succeeded by
Election in progress
Party political offices
Preceded by
Liam Byrne
Policy Coordinator of the Labour Party