MPs Standing Down

The following MPs have indicated their intention to stand down from Parliament at the next election.
Last updated 28th December 2014

Conservatives

Aldridge-Brownhills - Sir Richard Shepherd
Banbury - Sir Tony Baldry
Bexhill & Battle - Greg Barker
Boston & Skegness - Mark Simmonds
Braintree - Brooks Newmark
Bury St Edmunds - David Ruffley
Cannock Chase - Aiden Burley
Cardiff North - Jonathan Evans
Charnwood - Stephen Dorrell
Croydon South - Sir Richard Ottaway
Dudley South - Chris Kelly
Erewash - Jessica Lee
Havant - David Willetts
Hertsmere - James Clappison
Hove - Mike Weatherley
Louth & Horncastle - Sir Peter Tapsell
Mid Worcestershire - Sir Peter Luff
North Dorset - Robert Walter
North East Hampshire - James Arbuthnot
North Warwickshire - Dan Byles
North West Hampshire - Sir George Young
Northampton South - Brian Binley
Richmond (Yorks) - William Hague
South Cambridgeshire - Andrew Lansley
South East Cambridgeshire - Sir Jim Paice
South Leicestershire - Andrew Robathan
South Ribble - Lorraine Fullbrook
South Suffolk - Tim Yeo
South Thanet - Laura Sandys
Tonbridge & Malling - Sir John Stanley
Uxbridge & Ruislip South - Sir John Randall
Wealden - Charles Hendry

Labour

Aberavon - Hywel Francis
Aberdeen North - Frank Doran
Ashton Under Lyne - David Heyes
Batley & Spen - Mike Wood
Blackburn - Jack Straw
Bootle - Joe Benton
Bradford South - Gerry Sutcliffe
Bristol South - Dame Dawn Primarolo
Coventry North East - Bob Ainsworth
Dulwich & West Norwood - Dame Tessa Jowell
Edinburgh South West - Alistair Darling
Ellesmere Port & Neston - Andrew Miller
Falkirk - Eric Joyce*
Glenrothes - Lindsay Roy
Gower - Martin Caton
Great Grimsby - Austin Mitchell
Greenwich & Woolwich - Nick Raynsford
Hampstead & Kilburn - Glenda Jackson
Holborn & St Pancras - Frank Dobson
Kirkcaldy & Cowdenbeath - Gordon Brown
Leeds East - George Mudie
Lewisham, Deptford - Dame Joan Ruddock
Neath - Peter Hain
Salford & Eccles - Hazel Blears
Sheffield, Brightside & Hillsborough - David Blunkett
Sheffield, Heeley - Meg Munn
Southampton, Itchen - John Denham
St Helens South & Whiston - Shaun Woodward
Stirling - Anne McGuire
Stoke-on-Trent North - Joan Walley
Swansea East - Sian James
Workington - Sir Tony Cunningham
York Central - Hugh Bayley

*Eric Joyce was elected as a Labour MP but resigned from the Labour party in 2012 after pleading guilty to four charges of assault.

Liberal Democrat

Bath - Don Foster
Berwick-upon-Tweed - Sir Alan Beith
Brent Central - Sarah Teather
Gordon - Sir Malcolm Bruce
Hazel Grove - Sir Andrew Stunell
Mid Dorset and North Poole - Annette Brooke
North East Fife - Sir Menzies Campbell
Redcar - Ian Swales
Somerton & Frome - David Heath
Taunton Deane - Jeremy Browne

Plaid Cymru

Dwyfor Meirionnydd - Elfyn Lloyd

Comments - 455 Responses on “Retirements”
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  1. Disillusionment with the coalition? Not enjoying the life and demands of being an MP? Unhappy with the party in general? These are three reasons I can think of, though they might not necessarily be correct.

  2. All possible reasons (though as previously stated, Swales had been reselected, so obviously something HAS happenned).
    Teather made no secret of her disillusionment.
    But I am pretty sure that fear is not the reason.

  3. Swales can’t have expected to win last time, not when he applied to stand. What his motivation is now is not for me to speculate.

  4. Anyone care to take a guess at who might be the next Lib Dem MP to chicken run to retirement rather than face humiliation at the ballot box?

    I’d suggest these possibles:

    Lynne Featherstone
    Lorely Burt
    Mike Crockart
    John Hemming
    Julian Huppert
    John Leech
    Jo Swinson
    Adrian Sanders
    David Ward
    Jenny Willott
    Simon Wright

  5. According to my figures 43 LD MPs have been reselected and 9 have announced their retirement. The 5 MPs who have yet to make a decision are those representing the following seats: Caithness, Argyll, St Austell, Cornwall North, Portsmouth South.

  6. I wouldn’t think that being reselected is much of a barrier to an MP coming up with some compelling reason as to why, after all, they won’t be standing.

  7. Indeed, Ian Swales himself had already been reselected before his announcement today.

  8. In 1997 quite a lot of Tory MPs went on the chicken run and lost their seats anyway.

    Very humiliating.

  9. Norman Lamont’s defeat was the most embarrassing I think.

  10. Harsh to characterise most of the nine Lib Dem MPs confirmed as standing down as going on the “chicken run”.

    Six of them will be at state pension age in 2015, and only Teather won’t reach that age during the next parliament.

    People have their own views on her. Mine is that to feel strongly enough about the Lib Dem record to stand down would make a lot more sense if she had resigned from the party. That said, the Lib Dems do not have a single MP more accustomed to tough election campaigns in which the Lib Dem is expected to lose.

  11. Andy JS, do you have a recording of Norman Lamont’s defeat anywhere in your archive? From what I’ve heard his wasn’t a case of chicken run as much as his seat was abolished and none of the successor seats would have him!

  12. Swales, Teather and their ilk are frit. Like other modern MPs like Jessica Lee, Louise Mensch and, to a lesser degree, Laura Sandys they are taking rational steps to manage their own careers and have some control over their lives.

    Knowing that you will leave parliament in a year is a much more stable atmosphere to plan the next stage in your like than fighting a campaign which may or, most probably, may not end up well. Most normal people plan in this way, now some politicians are doing the same.

    yes, there are personal reasons, wrestling with their consciences blah blah…Teather entered into government with the Tories, and was happy enough to be a minister of state, and take up the pay and perks of that position. Did she think she was going to working with Maria Teresa?

  13. Might some of the Tory MPs who have stood down early get back into Parliament in the future in safe seats? For example, Jessica Lee for Rushcliffe or Aidan Burley for Stone.

  14. I think they’ve had enough of parliament, tbh. I certainly don’t think Aidan Burley would ever get selected again, as the story of the WW2 German uniforms is a tabloid gift….

    I think your idea is a rather romantic idea but the only example i can think of an MP retiring, i.e not losing his/her seat, and coming back was Alan Clark…everyone else generally fought and lost their seats before coming back.

    They won’t be coming back to parliament.

  15. I think Aidan Burley after his SS uniform incident might only get a berth with the UKIP.. in any case who wants an MP who can’t even run two consecutive campaigns…?

  16. ”I think your idea is a rather romantic idea but the only example i can think of an MP retiring, i.e not losing his/her seat, and coming back was Alan Clark…everyone else generally fought and lost their seats before coming back.
    They won’t be coming back to parliament.”

    I didn’t really think they would, it was just an interesting question I thought. I don’t know about romantic though. Maybe it will be more likely to see some Tory MPs lose marginal seats next year, and then return for safe seats, rather than those who have stood down perhaps.

  17. An MP who fights on in a marginal seat, instead of walking away, is more likely to find another, safer seat, even if they do lose, because that way they’ve proven that they can end their tenure with real dignity.

  18. Labour’s John Grogan declined to stand in Selby & Ainsty in 2010, after the boundary changes made the seat unwinnable for Labour (he represented Selby from 1997 until the last general election). However, he has now been selected to stand for Labour in Keighley, and if he wins there (it’s almost a toss-up in many people’s eyes) he will “do an Alan Clark” too. However, unlike Clark I have no evidence that he has been with a mother & daughter simultaneously – in the biblical sense.

  19. Interesting about John Grogan…do we think he’ll win Keighley? there can’t be many other examples…though it was a bit pathetic of him to decline to stand because the seat become much more difficult…did he not manage to get selected for a neighbouring seat which had some of his old seat…?

  20. The constituency where the lost parts of his seat were going was even worse: it was York Outer.

  21. If Dan Byles loses North Warwickshire next year, he might back in the future for a safe seat in the West Midlands, maybe Sutton Coldfield.

    Likewise, if Mark Spencer lost Sherwood, he could get back in the future for Rushcliffe. James Wharton, MP for Stockton South, might also get back to the House of Commons.

  22. defeated candidates can get back. no question about that. Chris Leslie and Stephen Twigg can vouch for that, along with Francis Maude and Andrew Mitchell,….Of course, Boris will have done an Alan Clarke re. standing down and getting back in, if he ends up on the green benches in 2015.

  23. Gerald Nabarro is another Conservative MP to have got back to Westminster after standing down. He was the MP for Kidderminster from 1950-1964, and then for South Worcestershire from 1966 until 1973.

    Does Enoch Powell count? He was Wolverhampton South West Conservative MP from 1950 until he stood down in February 1974, then switched to the Ulster Unionists, and was MP for South Down from October 1974 until his defeat by the SDLP’s Eddie McGrady in 1987.

    Both of these men were rather similar, and very colourful characters.

    Some more MPs from recent times to return to Westminster after being defeated include Gerald Howarth, Michael Fallon, Christopher Chope, Charles Hendry, Greg Knight, and Alistair Burt.

    In addition, Bob Spink in Castle Point and Henry Bellingham in North West Norfolk, who both lost to Labour in 1997, returned for their old seats in 2001.

  24. yes, the phenomenon of defeated candidates coming back in different seats is quite common. the examples of people standing down and then getting re-elected is much rarer.

    I don’t count Powell because he changed party… and got back. on this basis Shawn Woodward did the same…though, in Powell’s case, he had to be out of parliament for 8 months, which was probably torture for him. Alan Clark was very eloquent about his desire to get back into parliament once he left in ’92.

  25. Interestingly, also, both of the famous McNair-Wilson brothers, both very notable Conservative Members of Parliament, were MPs for two different seats in two different periods in the Commons-

    The older brother Patrick McNair-Wilson was first MP for Lewisham West for two years in the 60s (1964-66), until his defeat at the hands of Labour’s James Dickens. He then safely returned to the Commons for New Forest at a by-election in 1968, where he remained until his retirement in 1997.

    His younger brother Michael McNair-Wilson, was also originally a London MP, in his case for Walthamstow East, from a by-election in 1969 until that seat’s abolition in February 1974. He then became MP for the then-still Tory-held seat of Newbury, which once again became a very safe Conservative seat in 1979, and got safer for him throughout the 80s.

    Both brothers served in Parliament alongside each other for a total of 23 years.

  26. ”Alan Clark was very eloquent about his desire to get back into parliament once he left in ’92.”

    Alan Clark’s case is very interesting actually. He had a bit of a battle with the SDP I think in Plymouth Sutton in 1987, but I don’t know if it was his seat’s sudden marginality that made him stand down. But I think because he hadn’t lost the seat, he was rewarded in 1997 with the gold-plated Kensington and Chelsea, though that seat would go on to be home to two MPs already defeated in other seats- Michael Portillo (Enfield Southgate in 1997) and Sir Malcolm Rifkind (Edinburgh Pentlands in 1997 and 2001, though he wasn’t the MP that time).

    RE Gerald Nabarro, he was close in views to Enoch Powell, and was a supporter of his I think. Not to mention the fact they were also both West Midlands MPs as well, a coincidence?

    I think on average, historically at least, you’ve found it more likely for former Conservative MPs to return for new seats, than for their Labour counterparts.

  27. I don’t think there’s been an election where so many former MPs are attempting to win back their old seats as will be the case the next year. Mostly Labour of course.

  28. Indeed so. Interestingly, there was quite a large number of ex-Tory MPs who were defeated in 1997 who stood again to try and get their seats back in 2001- The aforementioned Bob Spink and Henry Bellingham who were successful, but others included Lady Olga Maitland (Sutton and Cheam), Robin Squire (Hornchurch), John Sykes (Scarborough and Whitby), Vivian Bendall (Ilford North), Roger Evans (Monmouth) and David Evennett (Bexleyheath and Crayford). Of these, David Evennett only David Evennett won his old seat back in 2005- The others didn’t stand again.

  29. Also, Peter Emery, longtime Devon MP, for Honiton (1967-1997) and then East Devon (1997-2001) was originally MP for Reading from 1959-1966, defeating Ian Mikardo of Labour. He was in turn defeated in 1966 by John Lee, who himself later returned for another constituency after losing Reading back to Conservative Gerard Vaughan in 1970- Birmingham Handsworth in February 1974, where he defeated Sydney Chapman, who later became MP for Chipping Barnet. Confusing?

  30. Other MPs who have retired & then returned are Richard Body (Tory MP for Billericay in the late 50s, retired in 1959, then came back for Holland with Boston) and Angus Maude (Tory MP for Ealing S, retired to take up an overseas politics-related job, then subsequently came back as MP for Stratford-on-Avon). “Retreads” who have come back for a safer seat after losing, or for the same seat, are too numerous to bother naming. Some have lost twice, such as Lord Michael Ancram (defeated in Berwick & E Lothian Oct 1974, and Edinburgh S in 1987 before coming to Wiltshire) and Labour’s Arthur Palmer (defeated in Wimbledon in 1950 & Cleveland in 1959 before migrating to Bristol Central in 1964, subsequently Bristol NE in 1979).

  31. Elizabeth Peacock also unsuccessfully contested Batley & Spen in 2001 which she lost to Labour’s Mike Wood in 1997.

  32. I don’t know if he counts, but David Martin, who was MP for Portsmouth South from 1987 until 1997, stood for Parliament on a further two occasions, both times unsuccessfully- In Rugby and Kenilworth in 2001, and then Bristol West in 2005.

    Other ex-Tory MPs after 1997 who re-contested their seats in 2001 included-
    1. Matthew Carrington (Hammersmith and Fulham)
    2. Bob Dunn (Dartford)
    3. Jacques Arnold (Gravesham)
    4. Tim Devlin (Stockton South)
    5. Iain Sproat (Harwich)
    6. Phil Gallie (Ayr)
    7. David Congdon (Croydon Central)
    8. John Marshall (Finchley and Golders Green)
    10. Malcolm Rifkind (Edinburgh Pentlands)

  33. ”Other MPs who have retired & then returned are Richard Body (Tory MP for Billericay in the late 50s, retired in 1959, then came back for Holland with Boston) and Angus Maude (Tory MP for Ealing S, retired to take up an overseas politics-related job, then subsequently came back as MP for Stratford-on-Avon). “Retreads” who have come back for a safer seat after losing, or for the same seat, are too numerous to bother naming. Some have lost twice, such as Lord Michael Ancram (defeated in Berwick & E Lothian Oct 1974, and Edinburgh S in 1987 before coming to Wiltshire) and Labour’s Arthur Palmer (defeated in Wimbledon in 1950 & Cleveland in 1959 before migrating to Bristol Central in 1964, subsequently Bristol NE in 1979).”

    RE retreads Barnaby-

    Some others include-
    1. Julian Amery- MP for Preston North from 1950-1966, then Brighton Pavilion from 1969-1992
    2. Derek Spencer- MP for Leicester South from 1983-1987, then Brighton Pavilion from 1992-1997
    3. Fergus Montgomery- MP for Newcastle upon Tyne East from 1959-1964, then Brierley Hill from 1967-Feb 1974, and finally Altrincham and Sale from Oct 1974-1997.
    4. Alan Haselhurst- MP for Middleton and Prestwich from 1970-Feb 1974, then Saffron Walden from 1977-present.

  34. John Wilkinson was a Bradford MP between 70 and 74 before moving to Ruislip. Another example is Bruce Grocott: Lichfield & Tamworth from 74 to 79 and The Wrekin / Telford from 1987 to 2001.

  35. Charles Hendry also made a comeback after a gap. High Peak then Wealden. More remarkable is that he almost won Mansfield in 1983.

  36. Nick Raynsford was originally Labour MP for Fulham from a by-election in 1986 until his defeat by Matthew Carrington a year later. He returned for Greenwich in 1992, defeating one of the two continuing SDP members Rosie Barnes, and is now the MP since 1997 for Greenwich and Woolwich.

  37. Retreads are extremely common & it’s not necessary to list them in detail. There are always about 20 of them in any parliament.

  38. I wish I could agree Barnaby but I personally think it’s an interesting topic.

  39. John Grogan is unusual because he is standing for Keighley – his home constituency -after being an MP elsewhere.

  40. Bob Cryer, who was MP for Keighley from February 1974 until his defeat in 1983, later got back for Bradford South in 1987 until he died in 1994.

  41. John Grogan gained a pretty good reputation as the MP for Selby. He was certainly an unexpected name that came up when the final shortlist of names was drawn up for Keighley.

  42. He has every chance of getting back to the Commons, where he would serve alongside the man who he narrowly defeated in 2005, Mark Menzies, who is of course now MP for Fylde.

  43. Greg Barker is retiring.

  44. As is David Willetts

  45. I find former ministers announcing that they are standing down from parliament literally the moment after they have been sacked to be most unseemly….it plays into every stereotype the public now have that MPs are all in it for themselves and on the make.

  46. Hague standing down in 2015

  47. He’s to become the Leader of the House of Commons.

  48. Yeah, quite a raft only in their 50s are standing down.

  49. I’m no Conservative, but like William Hague and it will be sad to seem him go, but at least there won’t be a by-election now.

    He’s been one of the most formidable debaters in the House of Commons during his (nearly) 25 years in Parliament, and he’ll leave a great legacy when he stands down next year.

  50. I have long thought that Hague is one of the most competent & assured Tory ministers. I should have thought his departure from the scene is an almost unmitigated disaster for the Conservative Party even if he does play some political role outside the Commons.

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