Labour rival Alan Craig is moving on

When he came to Newham’s docklands more than twenty-five years ago to run the �Mayflower Centre, Alan Craig quickly realised that community was at the heart of everything that people cared about.

But it was not playing the biggest role. It seemed to be getting lost as New Labour politics charged though traditional politics and traditional politicians.

Increasingly frustrated that, as he saw it, local people’s community-led solutions to the �admitted wide-spread problems were being snubbed Craig founded the Christian Peoples Alliance party in 2001, winning a council seat for Canning Town South the following year and at successive elections until 2010 when his reign was brought to end by the voters.

In that decade he was the lone voice against the party that has ruled over Newham for decades until in the last two years he was joined by two fellow CPA members and he became the official leader of the opposition to �Labour.

Now he has resigned as leader of the party he started.

He is continuing with his �media work and now runs the �office of a cross-bench peer.

“I really enjoyed working for the people of Canning Town and Newham during my time on the council,” he said.

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“However life for me has moved on since the elections in May 2010 and I have decided that I won’t stand again for election to Newham Council.

“I have lived in Newham for nearly thirty years now and will continue to be actively involved in Newham life, but no longer in a party political capacity.”

During his town hall time he was bitterly disliked by many Labour politicians.

His continued stance against the so called ‘‘mega-mosque’’ proposed for West Ham, which gave Newham unwanted national attention, led to claims of �Islamaphobia laid against him.

Nor did the Labour leadership like him regularly campaigning against the wholesale changes planned for the traditional Queen’s Market.

“The comments made against me didn’t hurt. I think our �campaigns were showed Labour were not the party of communities.

“The problem for Labour was that I acted as a local councillor and not as a party person,”

Out of mainstream politics he may be but this may not be the last time Labour have heard from him.