Senior Labour MP Iain Wright becomes latest to quit amid ‘exodus’ warning

Posted On: 
19th April 2017

Iain Wright has become the third Labour MP to announce he will not stand in the general election on 8 June.

Labour MP Iain Wright
Credit: 
BBC Parliament

The chair of the Business Select Committee said it had been an “enormous privilege” to serve as MP for Hartlepool since 2004, but now was the right time to “do other things”.

He joins Labour grandee Alan Johnson and backbench MP Tom Blenkinsop in confirming he will not stand at the early election.

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PoliticsHome has also been told that many other Labour MPs are considering standing down rather than risk losing their seats.

In a statement, Mr Wright - who has a majority of 3,024 - said: "I do not intend to stand again to become Member of Parliament for Hartlepool.

“It has been an enormous privilege to serve my home town in Parliament. I have now been an MP for nearly a third of my life. I would like to do other things and now is a good opportunity to do so.

“I would like to thank my constituents for giving me the honour of allowing me to be their Member of Parliament since 2004.”

Former Home Secretary Mr Johnson yesterday said now was the right time to stand down from parliament after two decades in Westminster.

In an email to members of his Hull West and Hessle constituency party, he said: “I've decided that going now will give me the opportunity to do other things with my life and is therefore in the best interests of me and my family. I also think it's best for the party.”

Mr Blenkinsop meanwhile announced soon after Theresa May said she was planning to hold an early election that he would not stand in Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland.

Meanwhile Pat Glass, the Labour MP for North West Durham since 2010, also confirmed yesterday that she will not stand on 8 June.

One Labour MP told PoliticsHome that “loads” of others were now actively considering leaving politics.

“I think you'll see an exodus of Labour MPs – before and after the election,” said the MP.

“Lots of colleagues are now thinking about their future, or as in many cases, the lack of it. Lots will stand down ahead of near-certain defeat or because Jeremy has made the atmosphere inside the party so miserable

“And of course the sad fact is very many decent hardworking colleagues are set to lose their seat thanks to Jeremy and his allies.”