John Cummings (politician)
|Member of Parliament
12 June 1987 – 12 April 2010
|Preceded by||Jack Dormand|
|Succeeded by||Grahame Morris|
|Born||John Scott Cummings
6 July 1943
Newcastle upon Tyne, England, U.K.
|Died||4 January 2017 (aged 73)
Durham, England, U.K.
Cummings was born in Newcastle upon Tyne, a fifth generation coal miner. He was educated at the Murton Council Infant and Junior schools on Watt Street and Secondary school. He attended both the Easington Technical College and the Durham Technical College until 1962. He began his career with the National Coal Board as a miner in 1958, becoming a pit electrician from 1967 until his election to parliament twenty years later. He was elected as councillor to the Easington District Council in 1970, was its chairman 1975-1976, and its leader from 1979 until he stepped down in 1987. He was a member of the Northumbrian Water Authority and the Peterlee and Newton Aycliffe Development Corporation. He was a trade unionist with the National Union of Mineworkers and was a trustee for the union from 1986-2000.
He first entered the House of Commons after the 1987 General Election as the Labour MP for Easington following the retirement of Jack Dormand, being elected with a majority of 24,639. In parliament he became a member of the Environment Select Committee from 1990 until he was promoted to become an Opposition Whip by Tony Blair in 1995. However, he was sacked after the 1997 General Election and did not serve in government. He again joined the environment select committee (in its various guises of Environment, Transport and the Regions and Transport, Local Government and the Regions). He was a member of the Speaker's Panel of Chairmen from 2000 and served on the select committee of the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister from 2002.
On 9 October 2006, Cummings announced his intention to stand down at the next general election. In September 2007, the Easington Constituency Labour Party (CLP) selected local councillor and CLP secretary Grahame Morris as their candidate for the 2010 election.
Single and Roman Catholic, Cummings represented a parliamentary constituency which can boast both the former Prime Minister Ramsay Macdonald, and Manny Shinwell, one of the longest lived parliamentarians, as previous MPs. He campaigned for the protection of the badger. His bag was once stolen in a Soho pub by a rentboy who used his travel documents. He used to share a flat with fellow northeastern Labour MP Ronnie Campbell and he kept Jack Russell terriers. He died from lung cancer in January 2017 in Durham at the age of 73.