View all newsletters
Sign up to our newsletters

Support 110 years of independent journalism.

Mary Creagh enters the Labour leadership race

Mary Creagh has surprised the pundits by entering the leadership race. 

By Stephen Bush

Mary Creagh has entered the Labour leadership race with an article for Mail Online, saying she wants to “earn back the trust that Middle England has lost in the Labour Party”. Channeling the spirit of Tony Blair’s Mondeo Man, Creagh recalls a doorstep conversation when she knew that the election was lost.

On election morning I received an email from a small business owner in Hove. ‘If your lot do win today, please don’t annihilate the private sector and economy.’

I was horrified, but I got a premonition of what was about to happen. It was his voice, the voice of middle England, that spoke on May 7 and delivered our thumping defeat.

Select and enter your email address Your weekly guide to the best writing on ideas, politics, books and culture every Saturday. The best way to sign up for The Saturday Read is via saturdayread.substack.com The New Statesman's quick and essential guide to the news and politics of the day. The best way to sign up for Morning Call is via morningcall.substack.com Our Thursday ideas newsletter, delving into philosophy, criticism, and intellectual history. The best way to sign up for The Salvo is via thesalvo.substack.com Stay up to date with NS events, subscription offers & updates. Weekly analysis of the shift to a new economy from the New Statesman's Spotlight on Policy team.
  • Administration / Office
  • Arts and Culture
  • Board Member
  • Business / Corporate Services
  • Client / Customer Services
  • Communications
  • Construction, Works, Engineering
  • Education, Curriculum and Teaching
  • Environment, Conservation and NRM
  • Facility / Grounds Management and Maintenance
  • Finance Management
  • Health - Medical and Nursing Management
  • HR, Training and Organisational Development
  • Information and Communications Technology
  • Information Services, Statistics, Records, Archives
  • Infrastructure Management - Transport, Utilities
  • Legal Officers and Practitioners
  • Librarians and Library Management
  • Management
  • Marketing
  • OH&S, Risk Management
  • Operations Management
  • Planning, Policy, Strategy
  • Printing, Design, Publishing, Web
  • Projects, Programs and Advisors
  • Property, Assets and Fleet Management
  • Public Relations and Media
  • Purchasing and Procurement
  • Quality Management
  • Science and Technical Research and Development
  • Security and Law Enforcement
  • Service Delivery
  • Sport and Recreation
  • Travel, Accommodation, Tourism
  • Wellbeing, Community / Social Services
Visit our privacy Policy for more information about our services, how New Statesman Media Group may use, process and share your personal data, including information on your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications.
THANK YOU

Tony Blair described a similar conversation after 1992:

His dad voted Labour, he said. He used to vote Labour, too. But he’d bought his own house now. He’d set up his own business. He was doing very nicely. “So I’ve become a Tory,” he said. In that moment, he crystallised for me the basis of our failure . . . His instincts were to get on in life. And he thought our instincts were to stop him. But that was never our history or our purpose.”

Creagh says she’s the candidate who can win back those votes, and talks up her own achievements as a frontbencher:

The country needs strong Labour voices in Parliament to hold this government to account. I defeated the government’s crazy plan to sell off England’s forests, and got the government to cap the rail fare rises that were crippling commuters. 

And I also spoke up for the parents from my children’s school playground and across the country, when we discovered the supermarkets had sold us horsemeat.

They instilled in us a drive to make the best of ourselves. Hard work. Fair play. A desire to get on and to give your children the chance for a better life. 

I have the same hopes for my own children. That hope is denied to too many parents in Wakefield, anxious about the state of Britain and worried by insecure wages.

I want to live in a country which embraces the future and leads the world. Britain needs to be a high-skill, high-wage economy to win in the global race. 

I spent ten years working with small businesses at an enterprise agency and Cranfield School of Management. 

I know that the UK’s five million innovative small businesses, start-ups and self-employed tradesmen and women are the backbone of our economy.

We want people to come and invest here and create the jobs of the future. Ten years ago the gaming, digital and renewable industries were in their infancy. 

The jobs our children will do have not yet been invented. Our education system must rise to that challenge.

She concludes with a call for the party to unite to defeat the Tories. Creagh, who is considered an outside bet for the leadership, has a challenge on her hands to get the 35 nominations by MPs needed, although I’m told there are “loads and loads of undecideds” among the parliamentary Labour party. 

Content from our partners
Labour's health reforms can put patients first
Data science can help developers design future-proof infrastructure
How to tackle the UK's plastic pollution problem – with Coca-Cola

Select and enter your email address Your weekly guide to the best writing on ideas, politics, books and culture every Saturday. The best way to sign up for The Saturday Read is via saturdayread.substack.com The New Statesman's quick and essential guide to the news and politics of the day. The best way to sign up for Morning Call is via morningcall.substack.com Our Thursday ideas newsletter, delving into philosophy, criticism, and intellectual history. The best way to sign up for The Salvo is via thesalvo.substack.com Stay up to date with NS events, subscription offers & updates. Weekly analysis of the shift to a new economy from the New Statesman's Spotlight on Policy team.
  • Administration / Office
  • Arts and Culture
  • Board Member
  • Business / Corporate Services
  • Client / Customer Services
  • Communications
  • Construction, Works, Engineering
  • Education, Curriculum and Teaching
  • Environment, Conservation and NRM
  • Facility / Grounds Management and Maintenance
  • Finance Management
  • Health - Medical and Nursing Management
  • HR, Training and Organisational Development
  • Information and Communications Technology
  • Information Services, Statistics, Records, Archives
  • Infrastructure Management - Transport, Utilities
  • Legal Officers and Practitioners
  • Librarians and Library Management
  • Management
  • Marketing
  • OH&S, Risk Management
  • Operations Management
  • Planning, Policy, Strategy
  • Printing, Design, Publishing, Web
  • Projects, Programs and Advisors
  • Property, Assets and Fleet Management
  • Public Relations and Media
  • Purchasing and Procurement
  • Quality Management
  • Science and Technical Research and Development
  • Security and Law Enforcement
  • Service Delivery
  • Sport and Recreation
  • Travel, Accommodation, Tourism
  • Wellbeing, Community / Social Services
Visit our privacy Policy for more information about our services, how New Statesman Media Group may use, process and share your personal data, including information on your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications.
THANK YOU