Craig says " I'm honoured and delighted to be selected to fight my home town seat of Reading East for the Conservatives at the next General Election.
I'm standing to fight for real change for the people of Reading East. The next General Election is an opportunity for constituents to vote for a fresh Conservative candidate, brimming with ideas, and committed to standing up for local people.
My local priorities are tackling crime, getting the best Brexit deal for Reading East, and working to solve the town's transport issues - I will strongly oppose any move for congestion charging by Reading Borough Council."
Craig Morley was born and raised in Reading, Berkshire. His dad, Shaun, was a police officer (now retired), and his mum, Beverley, has suffered from a disability since his childhood.
He grew up with his three brothers, all attending Woodley C of E Primary, and then Waingels Copse Comprehensive School (now Waingels College) in Woodley, Reading. At 15, he got his first job working for Disney in The Oracle, Reading. At 18, he left home to study Geography at the University of Leeds.
Craig shares his family’s dedication to public service.
After graduating in 2005, he worked temporarily for Thames Valley Police as a member of police staff, before moving to China where he lectured at a university. He then became Editor for a News Agency in Beijing, and subsequently worked as an investigator of immigration fraud and visa abuse for the Home Office at the British Embassy in Beijing.
He returned to the UK in 2008, temporarily working for the NHS, before joining the office of the then Member of Parliament for Reading East as Parliamentary Aide and political adviser, pioneering the use of social media and new technologies for political campaigning.
Being interested in foreign affairs from his time at university and in China, Craig joined the Foreign & Commonwealth Office in 2010. He initially advised on the UK government’s UN Peacekeeping policy, and quickly rose up the ranks, being promoted four times in eight years. He advised on Hong Kong policy in China Department, then on multilateral nuclear disarmament policy for the Counter-Proliferation and Security Policy Departments. He headed up the UK’s Communication and Digital network across Middle East and North Africa in 2014, before being asked to help set up a new Middle East and North Africa Strategy Department where he was deputy head of policy, focusing particularly on tackling Islamist Extremism.
Craig was posted to China in 2015. He led a large team of diplomatic staff working on climate change and energy, and was credited with influencing regional government policy in South China, helping to secure millions of pounds in trade wins for UK businesses. He was inducted into the Foreign Office’s Global Leadership Programme in 2016, and in 2017 he was promoted to head up the UK’s South China Regional Network.
During his time in the Foreign Office, Craig was a dedicated volunteer for the government’s overseas crisis response. He worked closely with the military to coordinate and plan the evacuation of British nationals from the desert in the 2011 Libya crisis. He also worked on the 2011 Japan Earthquake (Fukushima disaster), Christchurch earthquake, and initial response to the Syria crisis, among others. He was deployed to lead a team assisting British nationals caught up in the 2014 Israel-Gaza conflict.
Craig led a group within the Foreign Office to advocate for the improvement of innovation and use of technology in foreign policy. He advised on the Office’s Tech Overhaul and 2016 Future FCO Review.
He was awarded a Postgraduate Diploma in Economic Policy from the University of London in 2012, and was awarded a Fellowship of the Royal Geographical Society (RGS) in 2018.
University of Oxford
Craig left the Foreign Office in 2018 to take up a position as Senior International Strategy Adviser to the University of Oxford.
Craig is a Trustee on the International Board of Butterfly Children’s Hospices – a British charity providing palliative care to orphaned, abandoned, and very sick babies and children in China.
He mentors students from disadvantaged backgrounds in the UK through Future Frontiers – an award-winning British charity that transforms young people’s relationship with learning, and raises aspirations.
Craig is a member of the Thames Valley Police (TVP) Strategic Independent Advisory Group (IAG), which advises TVP on its approach to policing, acts as a sounding board, and scrutinises its priorities and decision making.
He is also a Rugby Club Director and RFU-accredited Youth Rugby Coach. He had previously coached children’s rugby in China.
Craig married his wife Danni at Eynsham, Oxfordshire in 2009. They have two children – Harold and Evelyn.