UK Politics

Which MPs are standing down at the election?

MPs standing down

The general election date is set and most MPs are entering campaign mode. Others, however, are clearing out their desk for the last time.

The House of Commons will lose over 1,000 years of parliamentary experience with more than 70 incumbents preparing to stand down - and there may be more to come.

Here are the ones we know about so far:

Independents

Ken Clarke is the longest serving MP in the House of Commons, known as the father of the house, having served his Rushcliffe constituency for almost half a century.

A long-time supporter of the UK's membership of the EU, he was expelled from the Conservative Party by Boris Johnson, after he rebelled against the government over Brexit.

Image copyright PA Media
Image caption Mr Clarke ran three times for Conservative leader

Sir Oliver Letwin, the former Conservative minister and West Dorset MP, who was recently at the forefront of Parliamentary attempts to delay Brexit.

"With great sadness" former Chancellor and Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond (Runnymede & Weybridge) said he would leave the House of Commons after not being restored to the Conservative Party before the election.

Image copyright PA Media
Image caption Hammond lost the Conservative whip in September

Former Education Secretary and Brexit rebel Justine Greening (Putney), who said she can "achieve more positive change outside Parliament" and will now focus specifically on improving social mobility.

Image copyright PA Media
Image caption Greening represents Putney which voted overwhelmingly to remain in the EU referendum

One-time Conservative leadership candidate and walking enthusiast Rory Stewart (Penrith and the Border), who is focusing on trying to beat Sadiq Khan in next year's London mayoral election as an independent candidate.

Former Home, and Work and Pensions, Secretary Amber Rudd - MP for the ultra-marginal Hastings and Rye seat - who resigned from the cabinet and surrendered the Tory whip over Brexit in September. She was not among those who later had the whip restored by the PM.

Guto Bebb (Aberconwy), another Brexit rebel kept out in the cold by Boris Johnson - and so unable to stand as a Conservative candidate. Nick Boles (Grantham & Stamford) also quit the party over Brexit and has chosen not to stand again as an independent. Suspended Conservative Charlie Elphicke (Dover).

Image copyright Empics
Image caption Ex-Labour MP Ian Austin quit the party the day after Tom Watson announced he would stand down as Labour deputy leader

Ian Austin - a former minister for regional affairs under Gordon Brown - quit the Labour Party in February, when he criticised the party's approach to tackling anti-Semitism. In November, Mr Austin announced he would be standing down and called on voters to back Boris Johnson's Conservative Party in the polling booths.

The only person who was actually elected as an independent in 2017 Sylvia Hermon (North Down).

Conservatives

Image copyright AFP

Nicky Morgan (Loughborough), the current culture secretary, surprised Westminster watchers by announcing her departure, citing the "clear impact" on her family and "the other sacrifices involved in and the abuse for doing the job of a modern MP".

Claire Perry (Devizes), a former energy minister and president of COP26, a UN climate change conference.

Sir Nicholas Soames (Mid Sussex), grandson of wartime leader Sir Winston Churchill, who was among those kicked out of the party by Boris Johnson over his opposition to a no-deal Brexit. He has now been welcomed back into the fold, but is standing down.

Other readmitted rebels Alistair Burt (North East Bedfordshire), Richard Harrington (Watford), Richard Benyon (Newbury) will all leave the Commons too.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Famous family: Sir Nicholas Soames with his grandfather Sir Winston Churchill

Former Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon who has been the MP for Sevenoaks since 1997 and before that MP for Darlington.

Sir David Lidington (Aylesbury) de-facto deputy PM under Theresa May wants to spend more time with his family while he is "still in active and good health".

Former miner - and former minister - who has been in Parliament for 33 years - Sir Patrick McLoughlin (Derbyshire Dales).

Dame Caroline Spelman (Meriden), who cited "the intensity of abuse arising out of Brexit" in her resignation statement.

Jo Johnson (Orpington), the PM's brother, who resigned from the cabinet over Brexit.

Image copyright UK Parliament
Image caption Jo Johnson resigned as business minister

Other Tory MPs leaving the green benches will be:

  • Jeremy Lefroy (Stafford)
  • Glyn Davies (Montgomeryshire)
  • Keith Simpson (Broadland)
  • Nick Hurd (Ruislip, Northwood and Pinner)
  • Mark Prisk (Hertford and Stortford)
  • Bill Grant (Ayr, Carrick and Cumnock)
  • Sir Hugo Swire (East Devon)
  • David Tredinnick (Bosworth)
  • Mark Field (Cities of London and Westminster)
  • Seema Kennedy (South Ribble)
  • Sarah Newton (Truro and Falmouth)
  • Sir Alan Duncan (Melton and Rutland)
  • Peter Heaton-Jones (North Devon)
  • Margot James (Stourbridge)
  • Mark Lancaster (Milton Keynes North)
  • Ross Thomson (Aberdeen South)
  • Sir Henry Bellingham (North West Norfolk)
  • Nick Herbert (Arundel & South Downs)
  • Ed Vaizey (Wantage and Didcot)
  • Sir George Hollingbery (Meon Valley)
  • Andrew Griffiths (Burton)

Labour

Deputy leader Tom Watson (West Bromwich East) is to step down from his role and not run again for Parliament citing "personal not political" reasons. He will continuing campaigning on gambling regulation, public health and preventing press intrusion.

Former minister Keith Vaz (Leicester East) is standing down, after he was suspended from the Commons over an inquiry into his conduct by the standards committee.

Image copyright PA Media
Image caption Watson has been in frontline politics for 35 years

Of the other Labour MPs who have announced their intention to step aside, a good number are either Brexiteers or against a second referendum.

Jim Fitzpatrick (Poplar and Limehouse) and Sir Kevin Barron (Rother Valley) have all voted for Theresa May's Brexit deal at some stage. Veteran trade unionist Ronnie Campbell (Blyth Valley) and Kate Hoey (Vauxhall) backed leave in the 2016 referendum. John Mann (Bassetlaw) has already left and now sits in the House of Lords.

Ex-shadow justice minister Gloria De Piero (Ashfield), who expressed concern over the "lack of tolerance for different viewpoints" within her party in her resignation speech.

One-time leadership challenger Owen Smith (Pontypridd).

Ann Clwyd (Cynon Valley), who at 82 is the oldest woman to sit in the House of Commons.

Louise Ellman (Liverpool Riverside) - who quit Labour over anti-Semitism within the party - and Joan Ryan (Enfield North) and Ann Coffey (Stockport) now of Change UK. Suspended ex-Labour MP Kelvin Hopkins (Luton North) is retiring. Now independent MP John Woodcock (Barrow and Furness) is having a baby with his partner.

Other Labour MPs stepping down are:

  • Stephen Pound (Ealing North)
  • Stephen Twigg (Liverpool West Derby)
  • Roberta Blackman-Woods (City of Durham)
  • Geoffrey Robinson (Coventry North West)
  • Teresa Pearce (Erith and Thamesmead)
  • Paul Farrelly (Newcastle-Under-Lyme)
  • Albert Owen (Ynys Mon)
  • Jim Cunningham (Coventry South)
  • Ian Lucas (Wrexham)
  • Helen Jones (Warrington North)
  • Adrian Bailey (West Bromwich West)

Other parties

Image caption Vince Cable was the second politician to appear on the BBC's Strictly Come Dancing

Former Lib Dem party leader - and cabinet minister in the coalition government - Sir Vince Cable (Twickenham).

Coalition government minister Sir Norman Lamb (North Norfolk), who is leaving Westminster to focus on setting up a fund for people with mental health issues and learning disabilities.

Former Conservative and Change UK MP Heidi Allen (Cambridgeshire South), who only joined the Lib Dems a few weeks ago, said she had suffered "utterly dehumanising abuse" as an MP in a letter to her constituents announcing her future intentions.

The DUP's David Simpson (Upper Bann) is leaving the green benches.

The Speaker

In addition to being the House of Commons referee, former Conservative John Bercow is the MP for Buckingham, which he has represented since 1997.

Before he announced his decision to step down, the Conservative Party said it intended to break convention and run a candidate against him at the next election.

Image copyright UK Parliament
Image caption John Bercow served as Speaker for 10 years

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