Even though it could still be (at most) two years away, politicians are still looking ahead to the next general election and whether they will contest the seat once again – with Bishop Auckland MP Dehenna Davison being the latest Conservative MP to say they will not.
Davison, who juggles a presenting job on GB News alongside her role in the House of Commons, announced her intention to stand down at the next election on her Facebook page on Friday.
Confirming she would continue to represent constituents until the election is called, she wrote: “I will always be humbled to have had the opportunity to serve as a Member of Parliament, but now the time feels right for me to devote more of my attention to life outside politics – mainly to my family, and helping support them as they’ve helped support me.
“That’s why I won’t be standing in the next general election.”
The 29-year-old, who became the first Tory MP to represent Bishop Auckland in 2019 with a majority of more than 7,900 votes, isn’t the only politician to decide they’ve had enough of Westminster and will leave parliament when we go to the polls again.
Here’s a round-up.
Gary Streeter MP
Just a day before Davison’s decision came news of Gary Streeter’s “retirement”, who said “the time has come” to “let a younger person take over” as the next Conservative contestant for his South West Devon seat.
Chloe Smith MP
The former minister for disabled people and ex-work and pensions secretary, who represents Norwich North, revealed on Tuesday that she would be stepping down at the next election.
First elected in 2009, the Tory MP said on her website that being the parliamentary representative for the constituency is a “fantastic job for a fantastic place” and that it is a “particular privilege” to represent Norwich.
“I hope I’ve been able to make a difference, locally and nationally. In 2024, after 15 years of service, it will be the right time to step back, for me and my family,” Ms Smith said.
William Wragg MP
On the same day that Ms Smith announced she would stand down when the current term ends, Hazel Grove MP William Wragg tweeted he too had made the same decision.
The 34-year-old Conservative wrote: “I shall continue to represent constituents to the best of my ability in the meantime and thank everyone for their wonderful support over the years.”
Colleen Fletcher MP
The Labour MP has represented Coventry North East since 2015.
Hywel Williams MP
The Plaid Cymru MP represented the Welsh constituency of Caernarfon from 2001 before representing the Arfon constituency from 2010.
Jon Cruddas MP
Also first elected in 2001, Labour’s Mr Cruddas is the MP for Dagenham and Rainham.
Rosie Winterton MP
Ms Winterton is better known as a deputy speaker in the Commons, but she is also the Labour MP for Doncaster Central in her own right.
Harriet Harman MP
Known as “the mother of the house” due to her being the female MP with the longest, continuous tenure in the chamber, Labour’s Ms Harman will stand down after 40 years in parliament representing Camberwell and Peckham.
Kate Green MP
The Stretford and Urmston MP and former shadow education secretary has represented her seat for Labour since 2010.
Wayne David MP
We imagine this Labour MP thought Caerphilly (sorry) about this decision before opting to stand down from the Welsh seat.
Adam Afriyie MP
He is the Conservative MP for Windsor.
Alex Cunningham MP
This Labour MP’s plan may or may not be cunning, but he’s standing down as the MP for Stockton North.
Charles Walker MP
Mr Walker – who found fame last month for venting his frustration with Liz Truss’s premiership - has represented Broxbourne in Hertfordshire for the Conservative Party since 2005.
Ben Bradshaw MP
Not to be confused with Tory MP Ben Bradley, Labour’s Mr Bradshaw will be an Exeter at the next election (so sorry).
Dr Alan Whitehead MP
We imagine being an MP may well have been testing from time to time, but Labour’s Mr Whitehead will be standing down as Southampton, Test’s MP at the next general election.
Margaret Hodge MP
The Labour MP has represented Barking since 1994.
Margaret Beckett MP
Another Margaret and another Labour MP, Ms Beckett has represented Derby South since 1983.
Paul Blomfield MP
Sheffield Central’s MP will not contest the seat again for Labour at the next election.
Barry Sheerman MP
A Labour and Co-operative MP, he has served Huddersfield since 1979.
Crispin Blunt MP
Conservative MP Mr Blunt, who made headlines earlier this year for branding former Wakefield MP Imran Ahmad Khan’s conviction for child sexual assault an “international scandal”, will not represent Reigate in 2024 (or sooner).
Until then, the LGBTQ+ rights campaigner – who happens to be actress Emily Blunt’s uncle – has said he will “continue to call out long-established populist views on policy shibboleths that continue to cause damage to our society and beyond”.
Chris Skidmore MP
Conservative MP and Mr Sunak's net zero tzar Mr Skidmore said he would step down at the next election because "parliamentary boundary changes will result in the Kingswood constituency ceasing to exist".
"With no alternative seat, I have decided that I do not wish to fight another constituency elsewhere in the region or country, especially with a very young family who deserve to see more of their family in their lives," he said in a statement.
Nigel Adams MP
Representing Selby and Ainsty for the Conservative Party, Mr Adams will stand down when the UK goes to the polls again. He’s a former minister, and is reportedly set to join the House of Lords at the next election, too, thanks to former prime minister Boris Johnson’s resignation honours list.
Alister Jack, Alok Sharma and Nadine Dorries (maybe)
Scottish secretary Mr Jack, former Cop26 president Mr Sharma and ultra-Johnson loyalist and ex-culture secretary Ms Dorries are also – according to The Times – set to be handed peerages in Johnson’s aforementioned list.
Though the paper reports that the ousted PM and lawbreaker has requested the trio and Mr Adams be given their honours at the next general election, so no by-elections are triggered.
Yet the ability to ‘delay’ when a Lord's appointment is made has caused a bit of a scandal, as The National reports that that requires a “special dispensation” from the King – one who should really be kept out of political dramas.
As noted by The National, it comes down to Mr Sunak as to whether he agrees with Mr Johnson’s eventual nominations and a pause in the MPs joining the Lords (making things tricky for King Charles), or whether he vetoes their honours altogether (upsetting Boris Johnson).
There’s also been some controversy over Ms Dorries’ potential appointment to the House of Lords, given her evidence provided to the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee in which she claimed the Channel 4 documentary Tower Block of Commons had used paid actors.
The production company, Love Productions, investigated and found the contributors to the programme included “ordinary members of the public and with whom the Secretary of State had significant interaction”.
Despite this finding, and the committee’s chair Julian Knight MP writing to her to say that the “weight of evidence” it has received “suggests that your recollection of the show is flawed”, Ms Dorries did not choose to reconsider.
The committee could have referred Ms Dorries to another committee for further investigation, but a report published last month concluded: “Had Ms Dorries remained Secretary of State, driving a policy of selling the channel, we may have sought a referral to the Privileges Committee but, as her claims have not inhibited the work of the Committee and she no longer has a position of power over the future of Channel 4, we are, instead, publishing this Report to enable the House, and its Members, to draw their own conclusions.”
Anyway, back to MPs standing down, and The Guardian reports that it understands a deadline of 5th December has been given to MPs to determine whether they want to contest again or stand down, so we could see more names added to the above list in a few weeks’ time.
Sajid Javid MP
The high profile Tory MP who has held numerous ministerial positions announced on 2 December that he won't stand again.
He said: "After much reflection I have decided that I will not be standing again at the next General Election.
"Serving as the Member of Parliament for Bromsgrove remains an incredible privilege, and I will continue to support the Government and the causes I believe in."
\u201cAfter much reflection I have decided that I will not be standing again at the next General Election.\n\nServing as the Member of Parliament for Bromsgrove remains an incredible privilege, and I will continue to support the Government and the causes I believe in.\u201d
In a letter to Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, Matt Hancock wrote: “I am writing to tell you that I do not intend to stand for the Conservatives at the next General Election. I am very grateful for my conversation with the Chief Whip last week, in which he made clear he would restore the whip in due course, but that is now not necessary.
“It has been a huge honour to serve as Member of Parliament for West Suffolk over the past twelve years. I am very proud of what we achieved, including the establishment of three Free Schools, dualling of the A11, supporting the horseracing industry, and expanding Newmarket Hospital. I will of course continue to represent all my constituents between now and the next election.
“I am incredibly proud of what we achieved in my nine years in Government: the massive expansion of Apprenticeships, the introduction of Traineeships, support for small and growing businesses, the digitisation of public services and starting to establish rules for the digital economy, restoring the nation’s finances, support for the NHS with record numbers of doctors and nurses, and of course the response to the pandemic: the first vaccine in the world, and a shorter lockdown, fewer jobs lost, and lower mortality than comparable countries.
“I am incredibly grateful for the loyal members of my team in Suffolk, in Parliament, in Government, and in the NHS who helped make all this possible. I am proud to have supported you to become Prime Minister and wish you the best in facing the challenges ahead.
“The Conservative Party must now reconnect with the public we serve. There was a time when I thought the only way to influence the public debate was in Parliament, but I’ve realised there’s far more to it than that. I have increasingly come to believe that for a healthy democracy we must find new ways to reach people – especially those who are disengaged with politics. The revival of modern conservatism over the next decade will I suspect take place as much outside Parliament as in it.
“For my part, I want to do things differently. I have discovered a whole new world of possibilities which I am excited to explore – new ways for me to communicate with people of all ages and from all backgrounds. I look forward to championing the issues that are dear to my heart, including better support for dyslexic children who get a raw deal from the education system.
“It has been an honour to serve in Parliament and represent the people of West Suffolk. I will play my part in the debate about the future of our country and engage with the public in new ways.”
\u201cMy letter to the Prime Minister \ud83d\udc47\n\nI look forward to exploring new ways to communicate with people of all ages and from all backgrounds\u201d
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