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”
  1. Not much surprises me about British politics but this is genuinely surprising. I thought Hague would remain an MP and be a possible contender for the leadership at some point.

  2. “he’ll leave a great legacy when he stands down next year”

    Oh purlease! What exactly is William Hague’s great legacy? A picture in a baseball cap?

  3. “I thought Hague would remain an MP and be a possible contender for the leadership at some point.”

    You should have listened to me and to Tim Jones…both of us have said on here for years that hell would freeze over before Hague ever led the Tory party again.

  4. Surprised Hague is standing down and leaving politics altogether. It was suggested earlier today that he might stand down and resign as an MP for the jib of EU Commissoner for Britain.

    I thought he’d have another 20 years left in Richmond (Yorks)

    I’m no Tory supporter but always thought he was a great politician!

  5. “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.”

    Agree 100%.

  6. “I’m no Tory supporter but always thought he was a great politician!”

    You thought he was a great politician BECAUSE you are not a Tory supporter.

    As a Tory politician, William Hague was an entertaining failure, which always elicits affection from the other side (as with all the Tory tributes to Tony Benn).

    For many a Tory supporter, the period of William Hague’s leadership is not remembered at all fondly.

  7. Interesting that there’s all this talk about pension-age Lib Dem MPs somehow going on the chicken run by deciding that they don’t want to work into their 70s, yet not a word about about the rump of Tories in their early to mid 50s doing exactly the same thing…

    I thought Hague did a good job in the Foreign Office, and minus Tony Blair I can’t think of anyone who really got the better of him at the dispatch box. His leadership was probably the main reason the Tories weren’t in a position to form a government or at least force a hung parliament in 2005 though.

  8. There will be plenty of parachutes being sewed together in CCHQ these next few days….could well be 10 safe Tory seats coming vacant all at once.

  9. “minus Tony Blair I can’t think of anyone who really got the better of him at the dispatch box”

    Tony Blair is the only person Hague faced over the dispatch box, as Leader! Talk about damning someone with faint praise. Agreed he’s been an OK foreign secretary but there have been plenty of good foreign secretaries in the past 40 years.

  10. William Hague has been a fine statesman, well-respected minister and popular constituency MP. He will be missed.

    He didn’t have an easy task as leader in 2001, as New Labour were still in the ascendancy under Blair. He at least managed to increase the vote by 0.3% more than Michael Howard did in 2005. It should also be noted that his own successor as leader Iain Duncan Smith didn’t even fight a general election, so after David Cameron I’d say William Hague was the second most effective leader of the Conservative Party during the 1997-2010 era.

  11. His 2001 campaign was extremely wrong-headed though. Perhaps he shouldn’t take all the blame for it, but it was a core vote strategy that almost anyone could have seen would have no effect whatsoever in persuading any floaters, with the virtually sole exception of the S Essex subregion. Some of the ground gained by the Tories in 2001 was really just down to a foot-and-mouth-generated anti-Labour vote rather than anything Hague did well. I still think he’s a loss however. He is hardly loved but he’s quite a decent media performer & looks as though he knows what he’s doing.

  12. “so after David Cameron I’d say William Hague was the second most effective leader of the Conservative Party during the 1997-2010 era”

    Horseshit. Michael Howard was far better than Hague (and far more respected, which is what matters).

    The toss up is between Hague and IDS as to who was the worst. I have met both and personally preferred IDS, though he is hardly from my own wing of the party.

  13. I think WH had a hard enough time as it was given at that point, four years into their time back in opposition since 1979, the Tories still hadn’t sorted out their infighting and were being swayed rightwards slightly IIRC. They needed to work out what kind of party they were going to be in order to begin the fight back, and that didn’t really begin in 2005, though even then that was more by default given the big drop in Labour support nationally.

  14. Michael Howard? Are you joking?

    He only increased the vote share by 0.7% in 2005, then after he resigned quietly left frontline politics. By contrast, Hague remained popular and well liked even when he was no longer leader, and indeed was still talked about as a possible leader again in the future. As well Howard was elected unopposed in the 2003 leadership election, which suggested by that time the Tories didn’t even know who they wanted as leader- Michael Portillo, Ken Clarke and Hague himself didn’t stand. That says a lot.

  15. I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt as you are too young to remember 1997-2001 properly. William Hague was quite simply a disaster as party leader and this was a pretty universal opinion at grassroots level (I remember vividly, having been a member at that point), as well as in the country at large. It was an image Tony Blair exploited ruthlessly. That’s not to say people didn’t like him or indeed feel sorry for him – it was indeed a pretty impossible job – but the fact remains that he was terrible at it.

    IDS did an OKish job for a year or so (partly thanks to 9/11) but it all came apart very suddenly in 2003.

  16. “Michael Howard? Are you joking?

    He only increased the vote share by 0.7% in 2005”

    Following the IDS debacle the vote share would almost certainly have fallen in 2005 if it hadn’t been for Howard.

    If you take a straw poll of Tories posting here I’m very confident you will find that most regard Howard as having been the better leader

    “By contrast, Hague remained popular and well liked even when he was no longer leader”

    What’s that got to do with how good a leader he was?

  17. But he had a go, IDS didn’t, that’s my point.

    IDS was effectively forced out by his own parliamentary party, it has to be said that if he had led the party into 2005, who knows how the Conservatives would have done? We’ll never know for certain. Better?

  18. Sarcasm…

  19. IDS was a better leader than Hague in his first year, and a worse one in his second year, though part of that was because his own party undermined him then forced him out. Overall it is very hard to objectively choose which was the worse leader IMO. Howard had to pick up the pieces 18 months before an election and in the circumstances he did OK.

  20. I am genuinely surprised that Hague is standing down in 2015. I had him down as the kind of old-fashioned Parliamentarian who would stay on after High Office and offer counsel from the backbenches.

    Although he was a fine speech-maker I am not all that sad to see him go. His credibility with those of us on the Right of the party is absolutely shot these days- not helped by his prevarication on Europe and his apparent enthusiasm for intervention in the Middle East.

  21. Yes he did OK but nothing more. The recovery by that point, 1.5% up since 1997 proved that the decline in Labour’s fortunes was only nominally at the Tories’ expense, and that, in reality, the party were still a fair way behind.

    I understand that Howard had to clean things up, but in those days where you had Blair seeing everyone off (first Major, then Hague, then IDS) it seemed inevitable that the same fate would befall Howard. It was only when Cameron came on the scene that Blair actually met his match, though by that time it was obviously too late for him to prove whether he could have beaten him at the polls. Gordon Brown still managed to deprive DC of an overall majority after all.

  22. HH- I quite agree. Hague and IDS were both disastrous Tory leaders even when you factor in Blair’s popularity pre-2003. It is so easy to forget now but people were really beginning to wonder if the Conservative party had any future at the fag end of the IDS era. Howard steadied the ship just in time and although the 2005 campaign was deficient in many respects it was at least vaguely professional.

  23. “I had him down as the kind of old-fashioned Parliamentarian who would stay on after High Office and offer counsel from the backbenches.”

    Not sure what useful counsel he would have been able to offer…..don’t go to the Notting Hill carnival in a baseball cap…don’t do a Tory Boy impression at party conference aged 16….don’t share a hotel room with a handsome male assistant half your age?

    Sorry to be glib, but as with tonight’s Newsnight panel I am struggling to think of any stand out achievement from Hague’s tenure as Foreign Sec. It will consequently be forgotten very quickly, and he will be remembered most for his books and for his terrible period as party leader.

  24. Many of the Tory gains in 2005 were seats in which the swing to the Lib Dems was greater than the Tory majority over Labour.

    I think Howard was the better leader of the three being discussed here, but frankly Charles Kennedy had as much to do with the Tory advance as any of them.

  25. Luck is the most important attribute of a successful leader.

  26. Labour’s majority in 2005 still wasn’t too bad however.

    Most governments would have loved one like that.

    I do accept that the Lib Dem’s taking votes from Labour did lend a slight helping hand to Howard though.

  27. Hague became leader eight years too early, in my view.

  28. Howard’s achievement is often overlooked. I think its because many in the media derided the, “are you thinking what we’re thinking…” campaign on immigration etc which achieved a huge 8% swing to the Tories amongst DE groups. Ironically that campaign may have been more suited for 2010 or later, by which time even Labour admitted they got it wrong on immigration. The Results – I think DC deprived himself of that majority, given the huge poll lead he lost, rather than much that Brown did. Although Brown did achieve a surge in Scotland, Merseyside etc. I recall the collapse of Bradford & Bingley and the Tory lead vanish when some voters in times of trouble wanted to cling onto the Govt for fear of the unknown. DC & GO had no experience remember.

  29. I disagree. Luck is the most important attribute of a successful party. The success of a leader is about playing the circumstances he or she is dealt.

  30. It is. The more you get the luckier you are, I’ve learnt.

  31. “Hague became leader eight years too early, in my view.”

    Probably right. He should not have welched on his deal with Howard to run as Howard’s deputy in 1997. Even in 2005, however, Hague’s conference speech would still have dogged him as leader, and his odd voice would still have rubbed up southern swing voters the wrong way, as I vividly remember from campaigning fruitlessly in SE London in 2001.

  32. ”as I vividly remember from campaigning fruitlessly in SE London in 2001.”

    Were the oranges too strong for you?

  33. Let me put it this way.

    The only center-leaning Conservative that could have pulled off a majority in 2010 was Ken Clarke (IMHO), on the basis that he was one of the only people heavily enough involved in the Thatcher and Major eras to get away with being on the left of the party among the core vote, whilst also having the potential to draw New Labour voters back. He wouldn’t have represented the Conservative core vote as well as IDS, but few will dispute that he had more obvious leadership qualities.

    Slightly different circumstances in 2015, as even with Red Ed Labour have a chance of forming a majority government, but the same case could have been made for David Miliband or to a lesser extent Andy Burnham. Ed Miliband won because he more closely represents old Labour than those two (and is more likeable than Ed Balls), but even his own supporters would quietly acknowledge that his rivals would have come across as more obvious PMs in waiting.

  34. As well as Hague, David Willetts and Greg Barker are retiring as Con MPs.

  35. I wonder why they’re all walking away?

  36. “I wonder why they’re all walking away?”

    No idea. But on a totally unrelated note, Chicken Run was a seriously underrated film 😉

  37. Perhaps it’s ‘London Calling’ for some rising stars in the Tories?

  38. They’re all in safe seats though, so hardly Chicken Runs. All have been outed in the past, although I’ve heard nothing worse than that about 5 of the retirees.

  39. Plenty of safe seats on offer…

  40. Hugh Robertson is standing down. I think that makes 70 MPs so far.

  41. Surprise, not that old and did OK as sports minister. Huff?

  42. Andrew Lansley retiring as MP too according to BBC

  43. Does anyone have an up to date list of retirements?

    Wikipedia has this entry, I’m not sure if it’s completely accurate:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Next_United_Kingdom_general_election

  44. Lancs Observer, I know Hugh Robertson has left the government, but I haven’t seen it mentioned that he’s standing down at the next election. What’s your source?

  45. John D – he was listed on Sky News.

  46. I think Hague has been a pretty centrist, consensus minded foreign secretary. Its a far less important job these days.

    He comes over as much more relaxed these days – but yes, he was a really atrocious party leader, largely because he decided that what was wanted was to take the party way to the right. He was good at PMQT but that was about it. I think the problem was that he really wasn’t expected to win and the right wing clearly expected him to do their bidding when the parliamentary party was very small

  47. Reading the posts from the last 4 days for the first time, I get an uncanny feeling I’m reading the ConservativeHome archive.

  48. James: my candidates list includes retirements at the bottom of the spreadsheet:

    http://bit.ly/Xb3122

  49. Frank Dobson standing down.

  50. Dan Byles in Warwickshire North standing down.

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