All the MPs standing down at next election as Matt Hancock eyes ‘new possibilities’

The date of the next general election has yet to be set, but a wave of MPs have already announced they will not be standing again.

It has been a tumultuous year for British politics, with three Prime Ministers in as many months and more U-turns than any reasonable person could be expected to keep track of.

Dozens of MPs from both the Conservatives and Labour have decided to call it a day, in some cases citing the current climate as the reason for stepping down.

The maximum term of any Parliament is five years from the day it first met, meaning that the current Parliament will automatically dissolve on Tuesday 17 December 2024. MPs had been asked to confirm their intention to stand – or not – by 5 December.

Below we look at the big names who have decided they will be leaving Westminster life behind them.

Which MPs are standing down?

CONSERVATIVES

Matt Hancock has had a taste of celebrity thanks to his stint on reality TV

(PA Archive)

Matt Hancock, Conservative MP for West Suffolk

Following his divisive appearance on I’m A Celebrity, Matt Hancock went public with his intention to stand down on 7 December.

Writing to Prime Minister Rishi Sunak stating that he looks to “influence the public debate” from outside of Parliament, he remarked that he’d discovered a “whole new world of possibilities.”

Notably, this decision followed a letter from a senior figure in his local Tory association expressing that he was “not fit” to represent the area.

Former health secretary Mr Hancock has served as MP for West Suffolk since 2010.

Sajid Javid made several unsuccessful bids to lead the country

(PA Wire)

Sajid Javid, Conservative MP for Bromsgrove

On 2 December, former Secretary of State for Health and Social Care Sajid Javid announced that this parliamentary term would be his last.

He described his position as an “incredible privilege

”, remarking that he will “continue to support the government and the causes I believe in.”

The former Secretary of State for Health and Social Care has represented Bromsgrove since 2010.

Dehenna Davison has only been in Parliament for three years

(PA Wire)

Deheena Davison, Conservative MP for Bishop Auckland

Elected in 2019, Deheena Davison currently juggles her position in the House of Commons with a presenting role on GB News.

On 25 November, she announced her intention to stand down via her Facebook page.

She had been seen as one of the “rising stars” of the Tory party until her sudden announcement last month.

Gary Streeter is a veteran MP

(PA Media)

Gary Streeter, Conservative MP for South West Devon

Sharing his letter of resignation via Twitter on 25 November, Sir Gary Street said: “It has been an honour and privilege to serve the people of South West Devon and I will continue to do so until the next election.”

Sir Gary was first elected to represent Plymouth Sutton in 1992 and then South West Devon in 1997.

While in opposition, from 1998 to 2001 he served as Shadow Secretary of State for International Development.

Crispin Blunt, Conservative MP for Reigate

Conservative MP Crispin Blunt

(PA Media)

Crispin Blunt has represented his Surrey constituency for 25 years, but this May he confirmed his intention to stand down.

He previously sparked fury after he came to the defence of a colleague found guilty of child sex assault.

Mr Blunt previously served as chair of the Foreign Affairs Select Committee and was Parliamentary Under Secretary for Prisons and Youth Justice under David Cameron.

Former energy minister Chris Skidmore

(PA Archive)

Chris Skidmore, Conservative MP for Kingswood

Serving since 2010, Mr Skidmore stated on 26 November that he would not be running for election again.

During his tenure as an MP, he became vice-chairman of the Conservative Party for Policy in 2018.

He has served as the representative for Kingswood since 2010.

MP for Norwich Chloe Smith

(PA Wire)

Chloe Smith, Conservative MP for Norwich North

Serving as MP for Norwich North since 2009, Chloe Smith confirmed the news via her website on 22 November.

In 2023, she will become the longest-serving MP for either Norwich constituency in modern history.

Sir Charles Walker has been an MP for 17 years but is unhappy with the current climate.

(PA)

Sir Charles Walker, Conservative MP for Broxbourne

An MP since 2005, Sir Charles revealed in February that he would not be seeking re-election.

Describing the current political environment as “pretty toxic”, he later told TimesRadio that “I suspect we will lose the next general election.”

Nigel Adams held a variety of ministerial briefs

(AFP via Getty Images)

Nigel Adams, Conservative MP for Selby and Ainsty

Previously the minister for Asia at the foreign, commonwealth and development office, Mr Adams was elected in 2010.

He won a majority of more than 20,000 votes in 2019 but confirmed in April that he wanted to spend time pursuing other interests.

William Wragg called on both Boris Johnson and Liz Truss to resign in the year of Tory chaos

(PA Media)

William Wragg, Conservative MP for Hazel Grove

Mr Wragg is a vice-chairman of the influential 1922 Committee and has been an MP in Greater Manchester since 2015.

However on 22 November. he announced he would not be standing again.

“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”, he said.

Adam Afriyie faced a petition for bankruptcy from HMRC last year

(PA)

Adam Afriyie, Conservative MP for Windsor

Representing Windsor since 2005, Mr Afriyie made his announcement in July.

“It is a double and unexpected honour to have been elected the first black Conservative MP in the history of our Party”, he said at the time.

Before he was selected as a Parliamentary candidate, Mr Afriyie worked for disgraced Jeffrey Archer on his unsuccessful bid to become Mayor of London in 1999.

LABOUR

Dame Margaret has been an MP for nearly 30 years

(Getty Images)

Dame Margaret Hodge, Labour MP for Barking

The veteran MP has held her post since 1994 and served as Minister of State for Work and later the Department for Culture under the last Labour government.

Dame Margaret announced in December last year that she would not be seeking re-election.

She previously served as Leader of Islington London Borough Council from 1982 to 1992.

Margaret Beckett is another veteran Labour MP standing down

(PA)

Dame Margaret Beckett, Labour MP for Derby South

Dame Margaret has served her constituency since 1983 and held a series of high profile positions on the party.

Under John Smith she was deputy leader of the Labour Party, then under Tony Blair the MP was leader of the House of Commons and later Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. She also served as Foreign Secretary between 2006 and 2007.

But after nearly 40 years, Dame Margaret said last March that this term would be her last.

Harriet Harman has also served as deputy party leader

(UK Parliament)

Harriet Harman, Labour MP for Camberwell and Peckham

Ms Harman has served her constituency since 1982, and is warmly regarded as “the mother of the house.”

The MP has held positions in various cabinets and shadow cabinets, but announced in December 2021 this term would be her last.

Ben Bradshaw is a former BBC Radio reporter

(Getty Images)

Ben Bradshaw, Labour MP for Exeter

Mr Bradshaw became an MP when Labour surged to power under Tony Blair in 1997.

He served as secretary of state for culture, media and sport from 2009 to 2010 under Gordon Brown.

In February he announced he would not be standing again.

Jon Cruddas previously said Labour is paralysed by its lack of radicalism

(GETTY IMAGES)

Jon Cruddas, Labour MP for Dagenham and Rainham

Having held his seat for 21 years, Mr Cruddas confirmed in August that he wouldn’t be representing his constituency in the next general election.

“There is never a good time to go but, with the Tories in crisis both locally and nationally, I feel it is time to let someone new take on the challenge”, he told the Romford Recorder.

Dame Rosie Winterton is also to step down as an MP

(PA Archive)

Dame Rosie Winterton, Labour MP for Doncaster Central

The MP for Doncaster Central since 1997, Dame Rosie Winterton has also served as deputy speaker since 2017.

She confirmed in February that she would be standing down.

Barry Sheerman, the MP for Huddersfield

(BBC Parliament)

Barry Sheerman, Labour (Co-op) MP for Huddersfield

Representing Huddersfield since 1979, Mr Sheerman is the longest-serving Labour MP.

He confirmed the news of his planned departure in December 2021.

Alex Cunningham announced last month he will not be seeking re-election

(Wikimedia Commons)

Alex Cunningham, Labour MP for Stockton North

Mr Cunningham confirmed his intended move in November 2021.

He has served as an MP since May 2010.

(PA Media)

Paul Blomfield, Labour MP for Sheffield Central

Mr Blomfield confirmed in February 2022 that he would not stand in a decision he labelled “difficult.”

Turning 70 next year, he regarded his position – which he has held since 2010 – as one of “extraordinary privilege.”

Wayne David, Labour MP for Caerphilly

The former shadow foreign, commonwealth and development minister for the Middle East and North Africa, Mr David announced in February that he would not choose to seek re-election.

Dr Alan Whitehead, Labour MP for Southampton

Elected under Tony Blair’s Labour in 1997, Mr Whitehead is one of only two Labour MPs in Hampshire.

In January 2022, he wrote in a letter to party members that, at 71, he “could not give a further five-year commitment to the role of MP” despite wanting to “in principle.”

Colleen Fletcher, Labour MP for Coventry North East

Former local councillor Colleen Fletcher announced in September she would not be standing again, telling the Local Democracy Reporting Service it was time to “pursue some new challenges”.

She has represented Coventry North East since 2015.

PLAID CYMRU

(UK Parliament)

Hywel Williams, Plaid Cymru MP for Afron

Mr Williams announced his intent to retire on 11 November. He has served as an MP since June 2001.

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