Election 2017: Which MPs are going and who might return?

George Osborne

With a snap election just weeks away, it’s make-your-mind-up time for those MPs looking for a way out of politics and for those wishing to return. Here are the latest Westminster comings and goings.

Those that are going ….

George Osborne

The former chancellor once feted as the successor to David Cameron as prime minister has announced he will not seek re-election as an MP.

He was elected as MP for the Conservatives in Tatton, Cheshire, in 2001.

After roles as shadow chief secretary to the Treasury and shadow chancellor, he became chancellor in 2010 when the coalition government with the Lib Dems came to power.

He was widely seen as one of the favourites to succeed his friend David Cameron as the next Conservative prime minister.

But following the vote to leave the EU in June 2016, Mr Cameron stood down as leader and Mr Osborne was sacked as chancellor the following month when Theresa May became the leader.

He has since taken jobs as the editor of the London Evening Standard newspaper and for the fund manager BlackRock, among others, prompting calls for him to stand down as an MP, which he had resisted.

Announcing his decision not to seek re-election in the 8 June election, the 45-year-old said he was stepping down “for now”.

Douglas Carswell

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Douglas Carswell, the former UKIP MP who became an independent, will not be seeking re-election in Clacton.

Instead, he’ll be lending his support to the Conservatives, the party from which he defected in 2014.

A political maverick, Mr Carswell joined UKIP saying he wanted to see a “fundamental change in British politics”.

He made history when he became the party’s first elected MP but fell out with its leadership, and quit last month.

If Mr Carswell had defended his seat, he would have faced former UKIP party donor Arron Banks.

In a statement, he said: “I have done everything possible to ensure we got, and won, a referendum to leave the European Union – even changing parties and triggering a by-election to help nudge things along.

“It is sometimes said that all political careers end in failure – it doesn’t feel like that to me.

“I have stood for Parliament five times, won four times, and helped win the referendum last June. Job done. I’m delighted.”

Alan Johnson

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Regarded by some in Westminster as the best leader Labour never had, Mr Johnson was a former home secretary and health secretary, serving in the governments of Gordon Brown and Tony Blair.

A former postman and union official, he was elected as MP for Hull West and Hessle in 1997.

He ran for the job of deputy to Gordon Brown in 2007 but was pipped to the post by Harriet Harman by the slenderest of margins.

Mr Johnson was seen as a possible successor to Mr Brown but ruled himself out of the contest in 2010, instead backing David Miliband, who was ultimately defeated by his brother Ed.

Mr Johnson led Labour’s fight to remain in the European Union but clashed with Jeremy Corbyn, claiming that the leader’s office had been “working against” the party’s efforts.

Speaking about his decision not to fight the next election, Mr Johnson said it was “best for the party”.

Gisela Stuart

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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”.

She chaired the victorious Vote Leave campaign, touring the country with Boris Johnson, and was seen as a key figure in winning Labour voters over to the Brexit cause.

“Whomever is selected as the Labour candidate will have my full backing,” she told Labour members.

“I will be with them and you, not just in spirit but on the campaign trail.”

Andy Burnham

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Andy Burnham, left, was culture secretary and health secretary in Gordon Brown’s government

Andy Burnham, a former 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.

In a message to constituents, he said there was now “a crisis in politics” and the Westminster system was a “major part of the problem”.

“We could hold as many general elections as we like and yet Westminster would still be structurally incapable of developing a real response to the deep-rooted issues revealed by last year’s referendum,” he said.

Real change was needed, he added, and devolution in England was the best chance to secure a more equal country.

The election for Greater Manchester mayor is on 4 May.

Other MPs known to be not standing

  • Tom Blenkinsop – Labour (Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland) elected in 2010
  • 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 McTaggart – Labour (Slough) elected in 1997
  • Rob Marris – Labour (Wolverhampton South West) elected in 2015

Those hoping to return …

Sir Vince Cable

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Sir Vince, 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 in the upcoming election.

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

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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 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

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

Confirming his intention to stand again for election, 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.

“Clearly the Tories are going to hammer Labour. But we can take some [seats] back.”

He plans to attempt to retake his Kingston and Surbiton seat, which he held from 1997 until 2015.

And the rest – will they, won’t they?

Ed Balls

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The former Labour shadow chancellor was one of the biggest surprise casualties of the 2015 general election.

Following his defeat, Mr Balls, 50, gained new-found fame during his 2016 stint in Strictly Come Dancing.

He has so far neither confirmed or denied if he will stand for election, but in 2016 he refused to rule out a return one day to politics, saying : “I’m not going to say to you I can’t imagine it” (being re-elected to Parliament).

Nigel Farage

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The former UKIP leader says he has not decided yet whether to stand in the election.

Already an MEP, Mr Farage explains he’s weighing up “where am I best to be in terms of having an impact on Brexit” – in Westminster, or the European Parliament.

“Am I better off staying in Strasbourg or better off trying to go to Westminster?” he asks.

Mr Farage contested the Kent seat of South Thanet in the 2015 general election, but lost out to the Tories by almost 3,000 votes.

David Miliband

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It is a long shot but there has been speculation about whether David Miliband might stand again.

The former foreign secretary under Gordon Brown was expected to become the leader of the Labour Party after Mr Brown stood down, but was surprisingly defeated by his brother Ed in 2010.

In 2013 he stepped down as MP for South Shields in Tyne and Wear to become president of the US humanitarian aid charity International Rescue Committee.

In February the 51-year-old said Labour was at its weakest point in half a century in an interview with the Times and declined to rule out a return to UK politics.

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