John Cryer MP: a news roundup

When John Cryer moved his home to Lewisham in 2015, many Labour party members hereabouts were disappointed, as they believed he had pledged that, as long as he represented Leyton and Wanstead, he would live there too.

But any outright criticism was muted, because Mr. Cryer seemed motivated by the most touching of human concerns. He had recently married Labour activist Ellie Reeves, and they now had a very young baby. The reason for the move, he explained, was all about his wife and child. As he told the Waltham Forest Guardian: ‘“After our baby was born in January we both found it very difficult without any family nearby. We did not want to move and wanted to stay in Leyton but decided to move to Lewisham to be near my wife’s family so we have that support nearby”’.

However, cynical as always, this blog wondered.

Ms. Reeves was busy climbing the Labour hierarchy. Her sister was in the Shadow Cabinet. Maybe, she, too, wanted to become an MP?

And was it just a coincidence that the couple had chosen to live in the Lewisham West and Penge constituency, not just a safe Labour seat, but one currently held by an incumbent who turned out to be… sixty-five.

Well, cynical or not, that speculation seems prescient. For when the Lewisham West and Penge party recently sat down to select a candidate for the next election, its choice was Ms. Reeves, who subsequently tweeted:

‘Delighted to have been selected as the ‪@UKLabour candidate in Lewisham West & Penge – the area that I live in and that I love’.

As always, there are some Leyton and Wanstead hard hearts who are less than impressed, with one contacting this blog to ask – rather unkindly – if there are in fact two Ellie Reeves, one ‘who definitely definitely was not under any circumstances interested in a parliamentary seat, and whose move to SE London was motivated by child care issues and the sheer distance (nearly half an hour) from Leyton to her family in Lewisham which caused intense loneliness’, and the other who is now fighting Lewisham West and Penge.

Finally, back to John Cryer. I have referenced his poor Parliamentary record before, and as the latest summary from They Work For You shows, it has not improved:

Has spoken in 22 debates in the last year — below average amongst MPs.

Has received answers to 6 written questions in the last year — below average amongst MPs.

Replied within 2 or 3 weeks to a low number of messages sent via WriteToThem.com during 2015, according to constituents.

Has voted in 65.31% of votes in this Parliament with this affiliation — below average amongst MPs.

(see http://www.theyworkforyou.com/mp/10143/john_cryer/leyton_and_wanstead; emphasis added)

Such a performance is unimpressive at best, and no doubt reflects the fact that, rather than representing the ordinary voters who pay him, Mr. Cryer’s main concern seems to be the internal contortions of the Parliamentary Labour Party.

Let us hope, for the sake of Lewisham West and Penge constituents, that Ms. Reeves does not follow her husband’s example.

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