Election 2017: Which MPs are standing down, and who might be standing?


Andy Burnham and Ed Balls.


Andy Burnham, left, is stepping down – and Ed Balls has ruled out a comeback

The surprise election on 8 June has brought things into sharp focus for MPs looking for a way out of politics – and offers a possible way back for their former colleagues wanting to return.

Some of the big names stepping down include George Osborne and Sir Eric Pickles, while Tony Blair and Wikileaks founder Julian Assange are among the more surprising names to suggest they could possibly stand.

Those who are going…

George Osborne


The former chancellor once feted as the likely successor to David Cameron as prime minister has announced he will not seek re-election as Conservative MP for Tatton, Cheshire.

Mr Osborne was sacked as chancellor after Theresa May became the party’s new leader in July. He has since become the editor of the London Evening Standard newspaper as well as taking a job for the fund manager BlackRock, among others, prompting calls for him to stand down.

Announcing his decision not to seek re-election, the 45-year-old said he was stepping down “for now”.

Eric Pickles

Former Conservative Party chairman Sir Eric Pickles, 65, is standing down as MP for Brentwood and Ongar after 25 years.

Sir Eric, who had been the communities and local government secretary between 2010 and 2015, said he was going to “miss it dreadfully” but there always came a point when things must end.

Andrew Tyrie


The long-standing chairman of the Treasury Select Committee, who has locked horns with Boris Johnson, HMRC and Bank of England governor Mark Carney, will quit his safe Conservative seat.

Mr Tyrie, 60, said it had been an “exhilarating” 20 years as MP for Chichester in West Sussex but that he was “hopefully young enough” to contribute to public service in other ways.

Douglas Carswell


Douglas Carswell, UKIP’s first elected MP who later became an independent after falling out with senior figures in the party, will not be seeking re-election in Clacton.

Instead, the political maverick will lend his support to the Conservatives, the party he defected from in 2014, causing political shockwaves at the time.

Alan Johnson


Regarded by some in Westminster as the best leader Labour never had, Alan Johnson is to stand down from the Hull and West Hessle seat he has held since 1997.

Announcing his decision not to seek re-election, the former postman and union official who rose to become home secretary under Gordon Brown, said it was “best for the party”.

Gisela Stuart


Labour’s Birmingham Edgbaston MP, who was a key figure in the campaign to leave the EU, has decided not to seek re-election.

Ms Stuart, who has represented the Midlands seat since 1997, told local supporters it was “time to stand down and pass on the baton”.

Andy Burnham


Andy Burnham, a former Labour health secretary and now tipped as favourite to become Mayor of Greater Manchester, says he will not stand again in June.

Mr Burnham, MP for Leigh for 16 years, had two shots at party leadership, coming fourth in 2010 and second to Jeremy Corbyn in 2015.

Other MPs known to be not standing

  • Tom Blenkinsop – Labour (Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland) elected in 2010
  • Graham Allen – Labour (Nottingham North) elected in 1987
  • Iain Wright – Labour (Hartlepool) elected in 2004
  • Pat Glass – Labour (North West Durham) elected in 2010
  • Simon Burns – Conservative (Chelmsford) elected in 1987
  • John Pugh – Lib Dem (Southport) elected in 2001
  • Andrew Smith – Labour (Oxford East) elected in 1987
  • Angela Watkinson – Conservative (Hornchurch and Upminster) elected in 2001
  • Jim Dowd – Labour (Lewisham West and Penge) elected in 1992
  • Fiona Mactaggart – Labour (Slough) elected in 1997
  • Rob Marris – Labour (Wolverhampton South West) elected in 2015
  • Sir Gerald Howarth – Conservative (Aldershot) elected in 1997
  • Dave Anderson – Labour (Blaydon) elected in 2005
  • Michael Dugher – Labour (Barnsley East) elected in 2010
  • Michelle Thomson – Independent (Edinburgh West). Ms Thomson was elected as SNP MP in 2015, but resigned the party whip amid a police probe into property deals. After being rejected for SNP selection, she said she would not stand again at this time
  • Andrew Tyrie – Conservative (Chichester) elected in 1997
  • Sir Alan Haselhurst – Conservative (Saffron Walden) elected in 1977

Those hoping to return…

Zac Goldsmith

The former Conservative MP, Zac Goldsmith, is understood to be seeking re-selection as the party’s candidate in Richmond Park.

He resigned from the party and stood as an independent in a by-election before Christmas in protest at the government’s decision to give the go-ahead to the expansion of Heathrow Airport.

But he lost to the Liberal Democrats.

Sir Vince Cable


Sir Vince Cable, who served as former business secretary in the coalition government from 2010-2015, is one of a batch of Lib Dems who have confirmed they will stand again.

A former Labour councillor, the 73-year-old was first elected as MP for Twickenham in 1997 but was defeated by Conservative Tania Mathias in 2015 after the Lib Dems lost dozens of seats.

Announcing his decision to stand again, Sir Vince said “Bring it on!”.

Sir Simon Hughes


A former Lib Dem deputy leader and minister of state for justice and civil liberties in the coalition government, Sir Simon Hughes said he intends to be the party’s candidate to fight the Bermondsey and Old Southwark seat in south London, which he lost to Labour’s Neil Coyle in 2015.

Making the announcement, the 65-year-old said: “In Bermondsey and north Southwark we are determined to win back the seat from Labour and really clear we can do so.”

Sir Ed Davey


Sir Ed Davey, 51, is another Lib Dem heavyweight to announce his return to the political fray.

Confirming his intention to stand again for election in Kingston and Surbiton, the former energy secretary in the coalition government told the Independent: “We will be the surprise in this election, we will do far better than people currently think. “

The seat was won by Conservative James Berry in 2015, with a majority of 2,834.

Jo Swinson


A former deputy leader of the Scottish Liberal Democrats, Jo Swinson was once Parliament’s youngest MP, after she was elected to East Dunbartonshire in 2005, but was ousted by the SNP in 2015.

Announcing her decision to stand again, she said: “I’m standing to be a pro-UK, pro-EU MP.”

Sir Bob Russell

The former Liberal Democrat MP for Colchester, Sir Bob Russell, is to stand again, despite retiring from politics after his defeat in 2015 to Conservative Will Quince.

Sir Nick Harvey

Previously an armed forces minister, former Liberal Democrat MP, Sir Nick Harvey, 55, has told the BBC he will be seeking re-election after losing his seat in North Devon in 2015 to Conservative Peter Heaton-Jones.

Out of the race…

Ed Balls

Former shadow chancellor Ed Balls will not be standing in the Morley and Outwood constituency he held for five years and is not expected to stand anywhere else.

Mr Balls, who lost his seat in the 2015 general election, has arguably since become best known for his dance moves on the last series of Strictly Come Dancing, in which he became a fan favourite.

Arron Banks


Despite rumours he could be standing as UKIP’s candidate in Clacton, the former UKIP donor and businessman Arron Banks has said this won’t be the case.

He said he had “no intention of standing in the way of hard-working activists who are the soul of the party”.

He will instead endorse local UKIP councillor Jeff Bray for the role and “give the local party financial assistance to fight the election”.

Standing for the first time…

Jack Monroe


The food blogger and campaigner Jack Monroe will stand as an independent in Southend.

Announcing the reasons for the decision in a series of tweets, the blogger said: “And what do I know about politics?

“I know what it’s like to be evicted when your housing benefit is late. I know what it’s like to starve.”

The activist did not specify whether she would stand for the Rochford and Southend East seat or Southend West seat, both currently held by the Conservatives.

Karen Danczuk

The ex-councillor who found fame posting self-portraits on Twitter has applied to be the Labour candidate for the Conservative-held Bury North seat.

Ms Danczuk, a rape victim dubbed the “selfie queen” by the tabloid press, has said she is “a voice of the people” as she seeks to challenge sitting MP David Nuttall’s majority of just 378 votes.

And finally – will they, won’t they?

Tony Blair


He won three elections while leader of the Labour Party, before stepping down in 2007, but could Tony Blair – now 63 – be making a big political comeback in this snap election?

The former MP for Sedgefield – and prominent Remainer – got tongues wagging during an exclusive interview with BBC Radio 4’s The World This Weekend, after he admitted there was a temptation to get back into Westminster politics to fight against a hard Brexit.

“I feel for the first time since I first came into politics, I look at the British political scene at the moment and I actually almost feel motivated to go right back into it,” he said.

David Miliband


It is a long shot but there has been speculation about whether David Miliband might return to politics after stepping down as an MP in 2013.

The former foreign secretary under Gordon Brown, who was surprisingly defeated by his brother Ed in the 2010 Labour leadership contest, declined to rule out a return to UK politics in an interview with the Times in February.

Esther McVey


According to reports, the former employment minister, who lost her Wirral West seat in 2015, has been shortlisted to stand in George Osborne’s former Tatton seat.

The former TV presenter and businesswoman is reported to be on a shortlist of three.

Julian Assange


The Wikileaks founder may have been holed up at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London since 2012, but has still suggested, perhaps light-heartedly, that he could stand in the election.

Mr Assange tweeted: “I can run for Parliament in any constituency in the UK. Haha. So–which one?”

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