Former Newham councillor Alan Craig steps down as Christian Peoples Alliance leader

The maverick former leader of Newham Council’s last opposition party is to step away from the spotlight.

Alan Craig has bowed out as leader of the Christian Peoples Alliance in typically fortright fashion.

He said his resignation, after 10 years, was necessary to allow new blood to come through at the top of the party.

Mr Craig said: “Promoting CPA’s Christian democratic vision at national and local level is a tough call in our selfish materialistic society.

“A sleek self-centred liberal individualism dominates all public life and, despite exciting bits of progress, our once-vibrant national culture is decaying.

“Our social capital is dissipating, and our previously prosperous civilisation seems in terminal decline.”

The Christian People’s Alliance was founded in 1999. Three years later, Mr Craig was elected as Labour-dominated Newham’s sole opposition councillor, for Canning Town South.

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He also ran as the party’s candidate for London Mayor in 2008.

He was joined by two other councillors - Simeon Ademolake and Denise Stafford - in 2006. The party fiercely opposed redevelopment plans for Canning Town and for Queens Street market in Upton Park.

Mr Craig also led protests against the biennial Arms Fair at the ExCeL centre.

But its representation was wiped out in the last general election in 2010.

Since then, Mr Craig has kept busy as leader of Newham Concern, a group of Londoners which says it wants the capital to be “a model of social harmony between our many communities.”

He has strongly opposed plans for a large mosque in West Ham, claiming the religious group behind it is isolationist and sexist.

He also led fierce protests against the opening of an abortion clinic in Stratford.

Mr Craig added: “Despite the odds and Labour Party hostility, I hugely enjoyed pioneering Christian democracy at the local level in east London.

“There’s no doubt our team usefully impacted the Newham agenda on a wide range of issues.”

He will officially resign as leader of the Christian People’s Alliance at its AGM on October 13.