Ann Cryer

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Ann Cryer
Member of Parliament
for Keighley
In office
1 May 1997 – 6 May 2010
Preceded by Gary Waller
Succeeded by Kris Hopkins
Personal details
Born (1939-12-14) 14 December 1939 (age 75)
Lytham St Annes, England
Nationality British
Political party Labour
Spouse(s) Widow
Children One son John Cryer, one daughter Jane Cryer, two stepchildren
Alma mater Bolton Institute of Technology

Constance Ann Cryer JP (born 14 December 1939) is a former British Labour Party politician, who was the Member of Parliament (MP) for Keighley from the 1997 general election up until she stood down at the 2010 general election.[1] She became a Justice of the Peace in 1996 and a member of the Bradford Cathedral Council from 1999.[2]

Early life[edit]

Born Constance Place in Lytham St Annes, Lancashire, she comes from a political family: her father, Allen Place, was an activist in the Independent Labour Party, as was his mother, Dinah Place, who was also a suffragette.[3] She was educated at the St John's Primary School in Darwen and the Spring Bank Secondary Modern School in the same town, before attending the Bolton Institute of Technology.

She began her career working as a clerk with Imperial Chemical Industries in 1955, moving to the General Post Office as a telephonist 1960 to 1964.[2]

Cryer married Bob Cryer, later an MP, in 1963. She became a researcher in social history at the University of Essex in 1969 before becoming a full-time personal assistant to her husband from 1974, when he first entered Parliament, until his death in a car accident on the M1 on 12 April 1994. She was in the car with him at the time.


Cryer was selected to stand for election for Labour through an all-women shortlist.[4]

Cryer was elected to the House of Commons for one of her husband's former constituencies, Keighley, at the 1997 general election, defeating the sitting Conservative MP Gary Waller by 7,132 votes. She made her maiden speech on 16 May 1997.[5]

She remained after the 2001 and 2005 general elections. After the 2005 general election, Cryer was a member of the Home Affairs Select Committee. Cryer has voted against the government on many occasions and was a member of the left-wing Socialist Campaign Group during her time in parliament, although lately her left-wing orientation were called into question[citation needed] when Cryer voted with the government to increase detention without trial to 42 days for terror suspects.[6] She favours nuclear disarmament[3] and is viewed as being a Eurosceptic.[citation needed]

Cryer has attracted some media attention for speaking out against forced marriages, honour killings and calling on immigrants to learn to speak English before entering the country.[7]

Following controversy over the grooming of young white girls by Asian men (see Rochdale sex trafficking gang), Nick Griffin, the chairman of the far-right British National Party, stood against her in Keighley in the 2005 general election, coming fourth.

On 21 August 2008, Cryer announced that she would not contest the next general election, due to her health, energy levels and age.[1][8]

In May 2012, Cryer unsuccessfully stood as a Councillor in the Ilkley ward of Bradford Council.[9]


Cryer has a son — the MP John — and a daughter,[10] and two stepchildren from her second marriage[2] in 2003 to the Rev. John Hammersley, who died a year later in 2004.[2][8]

When she entered parliament in 1997 she was joined by her son John Cryer who had been elected for Hornchurch; they formed the only mother and son partnership in the Commons at that time, although John Cryer was out of parliament during the 2005-10 period.


  • Boldness be My Friend: Remembering Bob Cryer by Ann Cryer and John Cryer, 1997, Bradford Arts, Museums and Libraries Service, ISBN 0-907734-48-0


  1. ^ a b MP "Cryer to quit at next election". BBC News Online. 21 August 2008. 
  2. ^ a b c d "CRYER, (Constance) Ann". Who's Who 2010 online edn. Oxford University Press. November 2009. Retrieved 28 February 2010. 
  3. ^ a b McIntyre, Annette (11 September 2008). "Ilkley MP wanted to change the world, but she didn't invent the internet!". Keighley News. Retrieved 2 April 2010. 
  4. ^ Strickland, Pat; Gay, Oonagh; Lourie, Julia; Cracknell, Richard (22 October 2001). "The Sex Discrimination (Election Candidates) Bill" (PDF). Research Paper 01/75. House of Commons Library. Retrieved 11 August 2009. 
  5. ^ House of Commons Hansard Debates for 16 May 1997 (pt 6)
  6. ^ "How MPs voted on 42-day limit". BBC News Online. 11 June 2008. 
  7. ^ "MP calls for English tests for immigrants". BBC News Online. 13 July 2001. 
  8. ^ a b Drury, Ian (21 August 2008). "Veteran campaigning Labour MP Anne Cryer to step down at next general election 'due to decreasing energy levels'". London: The Daily Mail. 
  9. ^
  10. ^ "MP For The Keighley Constituency Ann Cryer". - Wharfedale's Community on the Web. Wharfedale Online Trust. 

External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Gary Waller
Member of Parliament for Keighley
1997 - 2010
Succeeded by
Kris Hopkins