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All The MPs Standing Down At The General Election

Michael Gove is one of several formerly senior Tories who is standing down (Alamy)

6 min read

With the General Election set to take place on 4 July, more than 100 MPs have chosen to not stand again for their seats – the vast majority of whom are Conservatives.

So far, 132 MPs have announced their intention to stand down as MPs at this general election. At the last general election in 2019, a total of 74 MPs announced that they would not stand again, while in 2017's snap election it was 31 MPs.

PoliticsHome has compiled a list of all the MPs who are standing down at the election so far, along with when they announced their upcoming resignation, how their seat will be affected by the constituency boundary review, the year they were first elected, their vote majority in the 2019 election and their date of birth. The lists also include independent MPs, such as Matt Hancock, who ran in the 2019 election as part of a party but have since had the whip withdrawn.

The lists include MPs who are still sitting and do not intend to stand at the next election, but do not include any MPs who have already stood down and been replaced in by-elections, such as Nadine Dorries, Boris Johnson and Chris Skidmore.

Here all the MPs who have announced they are standing down at the General Election:

85 MPs who were elected as Conservatives in 2019 have announced they are standing down at the General Election so far – including three, Dan Poulter, Natalie Elphicke and Mark Logan, who have since defected to Labour, Poulter in protest of the Conservatives' NHS policies and what he called the party's “rightward drift” and Elphicke in protest against the government's failure to stop small boats crossing the Channel. These two MPs have been included in the table of Labour MPs below. Logan defected to Labour as Parliament was dissolved, so did not sit as a Labour MP before standing down.

Nearly a dozen Conservative MPs have announced they were standing down after the date of the General Election was announced on 22 May, including Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities Michael Gove, who said "there comes a moment when you know that it is time to leave" and "that a new generation should lead". Andrea Leadsom, who has held a number of ministerial positions, has confirmed she is also resigning as an MP.

Former Prime Minister Theresa May is perhaps the most recognised politician to announce she is stepping down as an MP after 27 years in the Commons. May told her local paper the Maidenhead Advertiser she had focused more on issues such as modern slavery and human trafficking while she was on the backbenches.

She said such work had taken increasing amounts of her time and said she felt she could not longer represent her constituent as effectively. 

Current Secretary of State for Northern Ireland Chris Heaton-Harris has also announced he will stand down as an MP only a few days before the General Election was announced, but requested that the prime minister keep him in his government position to complete "a number of pieces of unfinished business".

Given the Conservatives' majority in Parliament, it is not surprising that the Tories are seeing most MPs out of all the parties call it quits at the next election – and even less surprising when you consider the the dire picture of the polls for the Tories, in which they have been trailing behind Labour for more than a year.

What is perhaps more telling is the fact that many of those stepping back from frontline politics are relatively young, in their 30s and 40s. While the Tory MPs stepping down have an average age of 57 years, Labour MPs stepping down have an average age of 66, mostly made up of veteran MPs retiring from long professional lives in Parliament.

Among the Tories, former levelling up minister Dehenna Davison was the first MP elected at the 2019 election to announce she will not run again. At 30 years old, she is one of the youngest MPs in her party, and said she was choosing to stand down as she hadn’t “had anything like a normal life for a 20-something”.

Former health secretary and one-time leadership contender Sajid Javid, 54, has also announced he is resigning his seat, as well as former deputy prime minister Dominic Raab, aged 49. Kwasi Kwarteng, who served as chancellor for only 38 days during Liz Truss's short-lived premiership, posted on X in February that he would not be standing again.

William Wragg, a vice-chairman of the influential 1922 Committee, has announced his intention not to run again. He joined the Commons in 2015, when he was 27 years old.

A significant number of Tories have also resigned as ministers when they have announced their intention to stand down as MPs, including most recently skills minister Robert Halfon, former schools minister Nick Gibb, former defence minister James Heappey, and Ben Wallace, who resigned as defence secretary last summer.

Conservative MP Mike Freer announced in early February that he would be standing down at the next election, after a series of death threats and an attack on his constituency office in December. 

"There comes a point when the threats to your personal safety become too much," he told the Daily Mail.

Other notable Conservatives not contesting the next election include former Chancellor and Party Chairman Nadhim Zahawi who had to resign from the latter role due to breaking the ministerial code, and former Cabinet minister Chloe Smith, who most recently served as science, innovation and technology secretary to cover Michelle Donelan's maternity leave.

Several high profile Labour MPs have already announced their decision not to run again, including “Mother of the House” Harriet Harman who has been the MP for Peckham and Camberwell since 1982, longstanding Derby South MP Margaret Beckett, who served as the first female foreign secretary, and Labour's longest continuously serving MP Barry Sheerman.

Overall 30 Labour MPs are standing down, nearly a dozen Labour MPs of whom announced their intention to stand down after the date of the election was announced. The list above also includes Nick Brown, Conor McGinn, and Geraint Davies, who were all elected as Labour MPs but have since lost the party whip so have sat as independents.

The most common years that Labour MPs standing down were first elected were 1997, the year of Tony Blair's Labour landslide victory, and 2010, the year the Conservatives won the general election from Labour. Big New Labour names including Alan Whitehead, Ben Bradshaw and Rosie Winterton are among those stepping down.

Out of the remaining parties, the SNP have by far the most MPs stepping down: most of whom were elected in 2015 in an election which saw the SNP win all but three seats in Scotland in an unprecedented landslide victory, gaining a total of 56 seats (an increase of 50 seats).

Caroline Lucas, the country's only Green Party MP, is not standing again in her Brighton Pavillion seat.

This list was last amended on 31 May 2024 and will be continually updated in the run-up to the General Election.

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