Alan Johnson is among the MPs set to stand down in next few weeks

Written by David Singleton on 18 April 2017 in Diary

Four Labour MPs and two Tories have already said they are hanging up their parliamentary boots.

Former home secretary Alan Johnson is the biggest Labour beast to say that he will sit out the general election set for June 8.

After Theresa May’s shock decision to call a snap election, Johnson said: “Every day has been a privilege and a pleasure but it can’t go on for ever and the electoral cycle means that each incumbent has to think again about what’s best for them, the constituency and the Party.”

In a letter, the MP for Hull West and Hessle added:  “I’ve decided that going now will give me the opportunity to do other things with my life and is therefore in the best interests of me and my family. I also think it’s best for the Party.”

The first Labour MP to reveal that they would not be standing again was Tom Blenkinsop, MP for Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland and a staunch critic of Jeremy Corbyn. In a statement he said: “I have made no secret about my significant and irreconcilable differences with the current Labour leadership. It is because of these differences I feel I cannot in good faith stand as the Labour candidate for Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland.”

Conservative MP Simon Burns was also quick to say that he is standing down this year. “The time has come for a new face and a new approach to representing the people of Chelmsford,” he told Essex Live after May's shock announcement.

Other MPs including Tory heavyweight Ken Clarke have previously announced they are standing down at the next election. But that was when the election was expected to take place in 2020.

Labour MPs Pat Glass and Ronnie Campbell have also previously said that they would stand down at the next election.

Meanwhile senior Liberal Democrat figures from the Coalition era are set to try to win back their seats in the upcoming general election.

In London, former Cabinet ministers Vince Cable and Ed Davey are putting themselves forward as candidates, while the party’s former deputy leader Simon Hughes will stand in his former constituency of Bermondsey and Old Southwark.

All three lost their seats in 2015, when the party was reduced to just eight seats.


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