Alongside his parliamentary role, Cunningham is also a member of the One North East regional development agency board and a non-executive director of the North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust. 
He has served on the work and pensions select committee since 2010 and in 2011 he served on the Armed Forces Bill.
A journalist by profession, Cunningham worked in newspapers and radio before entering in to a career in communications and public relations namely as head of communications for Transco the gas pipeline company.
When Cunningham entered politics he first served as the north eastern chairman of the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council from 2002 to 2008. He was also very active in the Stockton North Constituency Labour Party, as their press officer from 1984–2010, vice chairman and secretary between 1985 and 1995 as well as being its chairman from 1995 to 2000. 
Stance on fracking
In 2013, Cunningham said on the government's support of fracking:
- 'They have not proved the case yet for fracking in the UK, particularly in close proximity to where people live and while it may be an industrial area, Teesside is pretty compact. We need to make sure that the impact on the environment and on the water table is tried and tested before we allow anything to go ahead.' 
Cunningham's constituency includes one oil and gas licence block, awarded to Third Energy by the Oil and Gas Authority under the 14th licensing round in 2015. There are no plans or applications currently underway. 
Cunningham has an inconsistent voting record on fracking. 
- 26 January 2015: voted in favour of making fracking companies apply for an environmental permit before conducting exploratory drilling. He was absent for a vote on an amendment to the Infrastructure Bill to include an 18 month moratorium on fracking.
- 11 February 2015: voted against requiring more pre-conditions for where fracking can take place.
- 16 December 2015: voted against weakening regulations on fracking in protected areas and national parks.
- All-Party Parliamentary Group on Parents and Families
- Chemical Industry All-Party Parliamentary Group - Vice-chair 
- Alex Cunningham MP www.parliament.uk, accessed 2 March 2015
- Alex Cunningham Express, accessed 20 May 2015
- Alex Cunningham politics.co.uk, accessed 2 March 2015
- Alex Cuningham MP Democracy Live BBC, accessed 2 March 2015
- Janet Gleeson, Investigation must come before fracking says North Yorkshire MP, Darlington & Stockton Times, 12 August 2013, accessed 23 December 2016.
- Oil and gas: licensing rounds, GOV.uk, accessed 14 November 2016.
- TheyWorkForYou | Alex Cunningham, TheyWorkForYou, accessed 22 December 2016.
- Parents and Families APPG,www.parliament.uk, accessed 16 November 2015
- Chemical Industry APPG Register Feb 16, www.parliament.uk, accessed 18 February 2016