| 11.8°C Dublin

British Labour plots return at its Mayo base

A BRITISH Labour MP who has been tasked with bringing the party back into power will be doing so from a rural idyll in Mayo.

John Cruddas, MP for Dagenham and Rainham in England, has built a home in Achill and plans to move their permanently with his wife.

Mr Cruddas insists the move won't affect his work at Westminster -- thanks to Knock Airport and a home office.

"We have built an office into the house. I managed to work throughout Christmas and it is a short hop to Knock, so I will be doing a lot of work from the house. This year we will spend quite a few months there and that will increase every year leading to total relocation."

He also revealed how he also plans on using the Atlantic base to inspire colleagues for the election battle ahead.

"I have been given the job or writing our next manifesto, perfectly suited to the Mayo landscape and climate. It will be a great retreat to bring colleagues to work through our plans for the future and the conclusions of our policy review. So I anticipate quite a bit of traffic between Westminster and Achill over the next few years," he said. The Labour MP and his wife Anna Mary Healy, a baroness who is a member of the House of Lords, have been coming to the area for years as Ms Healy's father was born nearby. However, they say Achill cast a spell over them and they were determined to base themselves there.







Beauty

"There are family connections, but really we've returned because of the beauty of the place. It is just extraordinary."

The couple admitted their plans to build a home in Ireland were brought forward after the Labour lost the election in 2010.

"We were able to do it earlier than we initial anticipated as we were thrown out of office, so we could get on with it from the opposition benches," he said.

hnews@herald.ie