Labour party in ‘crisis’ claims Dagenham and Rainham MP Jon Cruddas

Jon Cruddas held onto his Dagenham and Rainham seat in last week's election

Jon Cruddas held onto his Dagenham and Rainham seat in last week's election - Credit: Archant

The Labour party is in a “big crisis” according to Dagenham and Rainham MP Jon Cruddas, who this morning resigned from the shadow cabinet.

Barking and Dagenham General Election 2015

Barking and Dagenham General Election 2015 - Credit: Archant

The former policy coordinator helped write the party’s election manifesto, but stood down from front-bench politics to launch an in-depth inquiry into last week’s failings.

Over the coming months the 53-year-old hopes to speak with academics, voters and think-tanks, pooling evidence and regrouping the party for the next election in five years’ time.

“It was an easy decision to make,” he told the Post.

“We didn’t do very well at all, so we need to work out what went wrong over the next few years.

“We need to do some careful thinking which is much more important that hanging around the shadow cabinet.

“It’s about time to have the debate we didn’t have in 2010 after we lost then.

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“We certainly didn’t expect this to happen – the scale of the defeat was so bad.

“We need to ask some difficult questions, and make sure we don’t just dodge around them – that’s something I couldn’t do in the shadow cabinet.”

Despite Labour increasing its tally of London seats to 48 on Thursday, ex-party leader Ed Milliband stepped down the next day as the Conservatives won an outright majority for the first time since 1992.

A number of big names including shadow chancellor Ed Balls were among the 48 MPs losing out.

“It’s a big crisis for Labour nationally even though we did so well on a local level,” added Mr Cruddas. “I want to get involved in helping resolve that crisis.”

Despite boasting odds of up to 33/1 of becoming the new Labour chief, the one-time deputy-leader candidate has ruled himself out.

“I didn’t realise things had got so bad,” he said.

“No, I won’t be running for it. The real debate is to try and work out what the hell happened here and I want to get stuck into that straight away.

“I haven’t got a clue who will end up as the new leader.

“The person I’d back is the person’s who’s the most honest and prepared the answer the difficult questions and probe the dismal nature of the defeat.”