Eighth Tory MP announces retirement before their first term is up

21st July, 2014 1:11 pm

Dan Byles, Conservative MP for North Warwickshire, has announced he intends to step down next year – despite only being elected in 2010. This makes Byles the eighth Tory MP elected at the last election to make the decision to step down before the full term is up. Just what’s going on in the Conservative party?


The other seven are:

Aidan Burley, MP for Cannock Chase – best known for the “Nazi stag-do”, where he allegedly organised an SS uniform for the groom. It’s also said Burley was present when guests performed Nazi salutes and that he failed to protest when the groom’s brother gave a pro-Nazi toast. Alongside this incredibly offensive incident, he also caused a stir when he tweeted that the  2012 Olympic opening ceremony was “leftie multicultural crap“. 

Lorraine Fullbrook, MP for South Ribble –  whose 2010 campaign is said to have amounted to £41,700 – which if true would make it the most expensive in the country. Money well spent, then…

Jessica Lee, MP for Erewash  – the former barrister didn’t give a reason as to why she was stepping down, but as you’ll see from looking down the list, she’s not the only woman who’s chosen to leave Parliament. Surely it’s no coincidence that so many Conservative female MPs are stepping down?

Laura Sandys, MP for South Thanet – she’s said that a “wide range of family demands” mean she’s stepping down. Notably Sandys’ seat is one of the only ones that Ukip leader, Nigel Farage, has said he may contest. Just last week the Telegraph (£) reported that she’d warned the Tories have a bit of a transactional type manifesto”, and Farage has “put the pin in the loom of transactional politics”

Mike Weatherley, MP for Hove & Portslade – who recovered from cancer just two years ago, said that the experience had, understandably, led him “to review what I want for the future“. He also noted that he hadn’t taken the choice to step down lightly, saying that it was the “toughest decision of my life”.

Louise Mensch, former MP for Corby – after only two years in the job she stepped down in 2012, saying she wanted to spend more time in New York with her family.

Jonathan Evans, MP for Cardiff North – who previously served as the MP for Brecon and Radnorshire (1992-97) and as an MEP for Wales (1999-2009). He said the fixed term parliament, which would mean serving as an MP until 2020, would be “too lengthy for him“.

 If the Conservatives can’t persuade their own MPs to stay in their seats (particularly women MPs), what hope have they got persuading the public to vote for them next year? 

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  • RWP

    Wow, 8 out of 300+ .. surely Labour has a similar attrition rate of overall MPs?

    • Barry_Edwards

      300+ Tory MPs are 2010 first-timers?

  • simon1970

    Last time I looked, a greater percentage of female Labour MPs have announced their plans not to seek re-election than amongst their Tory equivalents.

    It is all very well trying to make a cheap point about such matters, but it is always worth making sure that your figures aren’t undermined so quickly.

    All parties lose MPs at the end of a term – some don’t like the lifestyle, some don’t think they can win, some have other issues in their lives that they want to address.

    That is life – get over it!

    • channel.fog

      Except, of course, the bulk of the women Labour MPs who are standing down are long-term members, not recently elected ones. For example, Ann Clwyd, Dawn Primarolo, Tessa Jowell, Glenda Jackson, Joan Ruddock, Anne McGuire and Joan Walley. So, the point isn’t quite as cheap as you pretend.

      • simon1970

        You can make that case – but others could equally point out that many of those women could still make a valuable contribution to parliament for another term but have chosen to step down. Does Ed have a women problem?

        I am not saying he does – but it is possible to present things in such a way as to suggest he might.

        Either way, it is not right to rush to judgement as to why any individual MP (whether new or long-standing) might wish to move on from Westminster. I doubt any of them took the decision lightly.

        • mactheanti

          The point is that they have served a fair amount of time and not given up after a couple of years and at least one of them is rumoured to be standing for manorial candidate.

  • literate3

    Mike Weatherly has temporarily recovered from cancer and Jonathan Evans will be 70 by 2020, so it might actually be that each thinks he should be fit enough to represent his constituents – difficult though it may be for you to grasp that idea.
    Several youngish women have found that all the so-called “family-friendly” measures invented by New Labour are not enough to make life easy unless they have a house-husband to support them (as was tyhe case last parliament for a number of female Labour MPs who employed their husbands). So what?
    On the other hand it seems, looking at his CV quite possible that Dan Byles finds life in parliament too tame and easy.
    This is an utter non-story.

  • derekemery

    Dan Byles has been a driven high achiever since childhood http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dan_Byles. Hence he is hardly like the vast majority of MPs. His constituency is the most marginal.
    There must be far better offers for a driven high achiever outside of politics than in it.

  • Owen Edwards

    Whilst this is a non-story, I’ve got to laugh at the sockpuppets (derekemery and literate3) puffing Byles’ reputation!

  • gunnerbear

    You can bet some of them are standing down – in all parties – because they aren’t ever going to be Ministers and being lobby fodder must be a s**t job.

  • Pingback: Nigel Farage punta al South Thanet per entrare a Westminster | Votofinish()


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