Jon Cruddas MP: 'Policy-making in Opposition'

Date:  Tuesday 9th February 2016, 
Venue: Centre for Opposition Studies

6375304As part of our continuing series on UK opposition in the new parliament, we were pleased to present this lecture by Jon Cruddas, who oversaw Labour’s policy review under Ed Miliband’s leadership, 2010-15.  With Jeremy Corbyn’s surprise election as Labour leader changing the political landscape, and the next election over four years away, the challenges to the Official Opposition are significant.  Mr Cruddas gave the benefit of his experience to examine the complex issues facing a party in opposition as it prepares its policy platform.

Jon Cruddas MP (centre) with CfOS Director Nigel Fletcher (left) and CfOS Chairman Prof. Mohammed Abdel-Haq (right).Jon Cruddas was re-elected as Member of Parliament for Dagenham and Rainham at the 2015 General Election, with an increased majority.  Jon Cruddas was born in Helston, the son of a sailor, and was educated at the Oaklands Catholic Comprehensive School in Waterlooville, near Portsmouth, before attending the University of Warwick where he qualified with an M.A. and later a Ph.D. in Philosophy, for a thesis entitled: An analysis of value theory, the sphere of production and contemporary approaches to the reorganisation of workplace relations. He was a visiting fellow at the University of Wisconsin-Madison for a year from 1987.

In 1989, he became a policy officer with the Labour Party before becoming the chief assistant to the General Secretary of the Labour Party in 1994.


After the 1997 general election, he became the deputy political secretary to the new Prime Minister, Tony Blair, and as the link between the Prime Minister and the trade unions, he worked heavily on the introduction of the minimum wage. He was a member of the Transport and General Workers Union from 1989 until his election in 2001 when he became MP for Dagenham. 

In the run up to the 2006 local elections he identified that Labour's focus on Middle England and failure to engage with its traditional supporters was leading to a swelling of support for the far-right BNP. In 2007, Jon stood for election as Labour's deputy leader following the resignation of Tony Blair and John Prescott as Leader and Deputy Leader. By standing for election, Jon opened the contest to new ideas - especially on housing, immigration and public services. He won the support of tens of thousands of members and trade unionists. At the 2010 election Jon campaigned hard against the BNP, who enjoyed a strong presence in Barking and Dagenham until they lost all of their councillors in the 2010 elections. Between 2011 and 2015 Jon was a member of the Shadow Cabinet and oversaw labour’s Policy Review.



Sir Lynton Crosby lecture: 'Oppositions don't win elections, Governments lose them'

Date: 20th January 2016 
Venue: Hogg Lecture Theatre, University of Westminster

4485666We were delighted to present this special lecture by the internationally-renowned political consultant Sir Lynton Crosby, whose experience advising political parties and running successful campaigns has earned him the nickname “The Wizard of Oz”. 

In this rare public speech, he addressed the features of political success by looking at the flipside of the equation – why some parties lose elections.  What are the fatal weaknesses for any campaign?  How do winners exploit them?  And how can they be avoided? 

An audio recording of the lecture can be heard on our Soundcloud page at:

Lynton Crosby is Co-Founder of C|T|F Partners, a specialist opinion research, strategic communications and campaigns company.  He was a successful national Campaign Director for Australia Prime Minister John Howard’s Liberal Party in 1998 and 2001 and was Campaign Director for the British Conservative Party during the 2005 General Election when the Party gained 33 seats, the first net gain from Labour since 1992.  Crosby returned to British politics for the May 2008 London Mayoral Campaign, and masterminded the campaign that saw Boris Johnson beat the Ken Livingstone. In 2012 he repeated this success as Campaign Director for Boris Johnson for a second term.  Most recently he ran the Conservative Party’s campaign in the 2015 General Election, which saw David Cameron returned as Prime Minister with the first Conservative majority government for 23 years.  With three decades of marketing and communications experience, Lynton's advice and expertise is regularly sought by leading figures in the corporate and political sector.  He holds a degree in Economics from The University of Adelaide.​