John Cryer

John Robert Cryer (born 11 April 1964) is a British Labour Party politician who has been the Member of Parliament (MP) for Leyton and Wanstead since the general election in May 2010.[1] He was previously MP for Hornchurch from 1997 until his defeat at the 2005 general election. He is the Chair of the Parliamentary Labour Party.

John Cryer

Chair of the Parliamentary Labour Party
Assumed office
9 February 2015
LeaderEd Miliband
Jeremy Corbyn
Keir Starmer
Preceded byDavid Watts
Member of Parliament
for Leyton and Wanstead
Assumed office
6 May 2010
Preceded byHarry Cohen
Majority20,808 (46.7%)
Member of Parliament
for Hornchurch
In office
1 May 1997  11 April 2005
Preceded byRobin Squire
Succeeded byJames Brokenshire
Personal details
John Robert Cryer

(1964-04-11) 11 April 1964 (age 57)
Darwen, Lancashire, England
Political partyLabour
Spouse(s)Second wife:
(m. 2012)
Alma materUniversity of Hertfordshire
University of the Arts London
WebsiteOfficial website

Early life and education

Cryer is the son of Ann Cryer and Bob Cryer, both former Labour MPs.[2] As a child he appeared as an extra in the film The Railway Children (1970).

A journalist by profession, Cryer was educated at Oakbank School, Keighley, Hatfield Polytechnic and the London College of Printing.[3]

Political career

Cryer is on the left-wing of the Labour Party and was a member of the Socialist Campaign Group until he resigned from the group in 2015.[4][5]

He has worked for Tribune, the Morning Star, ASLEF and the Transport and General Workers Union (now Unite).

Cryer describes himself as a Eurosceptic, and was one of a few Labour MPs who campaigned and voted for the UK to leave the European Union in the 2016 referendum.[6] He has been consistently opposed to holding a Second referendum on EU membership.[7] His seat has was targeted by the Pro-European Liberal Democrats in the 2019 general election for his support for Brexit.[8]

As Member of Parliament for Hornchurch, Cryer had a record as a rebel. He voted against tuition fees and top-up fees for higher education, against cuts in lone parent benefits (the first major rebellion under the Blair government) and against the Iraq War.[citation needed]

He was also involved in local campaigns to save a local primary school, to prevent the loss of a popular GP surgery in Rainham and against proposals to cut the number of beds at Oldchurch Hospital.[citation needed] He lost this marginal seat in 2005, before being selected to succeed Harry Cohen in Leyton and Wanstead, a safe Labour seat; he comfortably retained it for the party at the 2010 general election.

Cryer was one of 16 signatories of an open letter to Ed Miliband in January 2015 calling on the party to commit to oppose further austerity, take rail franchises back into public ownership and strengthen collective bargaining arrangements.[9]

On 9 February 2015, he was elected, unopposed, to succeed Dave Watts as the Chair of the Parliamentary Labour Party.[4]

On 8 May 2015, Cryer was re-elected as MP for the Leyton and Wanstead constituency with 58.6% of the vote. On 8 June 2017, he was re-elected as MP for the Leyton and Wanstead constituency with 69.8% of the vote.[10]

In July 2019, following the BBC Panorama programme "Is Labour Antisemitic?", Cryer condemned his party's attack on former staff whistleblowers who had appeared in the programme as "a gross misjudgment".[11]

Personal life

Cryer's second wife is Ellie Reeves, a Labour MP for Lewisham West and Penge, whose sister is Rachel Reeves, the current Shadow Chancellor as of May 2021.[12]


  1. "Election 2010: Leyton and Wanstead". BBC News. Archived from the original on 23 August 2017. Retrieved 7 May 2010.
  2. "MP For The Keighley Constituency Ann Cryer". – Wharfedale's Community on the Web. Wharfedale Online Trust. Archived from the original on 27 December 2008. Retrieved 28 June 2009.
  3. Times Guide to the House of Commons, 1997
  4. "John Cryer Is The New Chair Of The PLP". LabourList. 9 February 2015. Archived from the original on 10 February 2015. Retrieved 10 February 2015.
  5. "So how did a left-winger get to be chair of the parliamentary Labour party? | Left Futures". Retrieved 6 August 2020.
  6. "EU REFERENDUM – JOHN CRYER MP". Archived from the original on 18 October 2017. Retrieved 17 October 2017.
  7. "EU REFERENDUM | JOHN CRYER MP". Archived from the original on 20 August 2019. Retrieved 15 November 2019.
  8. Blackburn, Ralph (26 April 2017). "Election 2017: Wanstead's Lib Dem candidate – 'I'm the only person who will fight against a hard Brexit'". Ilford Recorder. Retrieved 29 May 2021.
  9. Eaton, George (26 January 2015). "The Labour left demand a change of direction – why their intervention matters". New Statesman. Archived from the original on 12 April 2015. Retrieved 5 April 2015.
  10. "Leyton and Wanstead". BBC News. BBC. Archived from the original on 8 May 2015. Retrieved 9 May 2015.
  11. Rowena Mason and Jessica Elgot, "Corbyn under fire from staff and Labour peers over antisemitism" Archived 21 July 2019 at the Wayback Machine, The Guardian, 15 July 2019, accessed 21 July 2019)
  12. Jonny Greatrex "MP Tom Watson finds new love after break up of marriage" Archived 14 October 2014 at the Wayback Machine, Birmingham Mail, 26 August 2012