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Labour MP calls on party to “reclaim” Catholic tradition

Labour’s former Policy Coordinator, Jon Cruddas MP, has called on his party to “reclaim” its Catholic history.

Speaking at the Catholic Union’s latest Pub Talk, sponsored by the Catholic Universe, Mr Cruddas said that Catholic MPs and Labour party members had faced a “cold climate” in recent years as “utilitarianism” and “factionalism” dominated the party.

He struck an optimistic note about the future, saying that things were “warming up” for Catholics in the party and pointed to a number of younger Catholic MPs and parliamentary candidates.

Mr Cruddas, who has been MP for Dagenham and Rainham since 2001, has recently published a book on the history of the Labour Party.

While he is standing down at the next election, he plans to keep himself busy and announced that he will be writing another book specifically on the Catholic tradition within the Labour Party.

Reflecting on his time as an MP over 20 years, he said that liberal democracies were facing profound challenges. “The foundations of modern politics are crumbling away” he said.

He called for a return to a politics based on purpose and a reimagining of virtue and the common good in the 21st century.

The event was held in partnership with Catholics for Labour. The Catholic Union’s previous Pub Talk with Sir Iain Duncan Smith was hosted with Catholics in the Conservative Party.

Future events can be found on the Catholic Union’s website.

Catholic Union Deputy Director, James Somerville-Meikle, comments: “This was a really interesting and insightful talk. Many people will be heartened by Jon’s comments and the work he is doing to revive Labour’s Catholic heritage. It is vitally important that Catholic voices are heard in all of our political parties. This is particularly important as we head towards the next General Election where Catholics will need to decide how to vote. The Catholic Union will be working hard to educate and engage people in the run up to the election. The call to participate in public life is never clearer than at election time.”