Labour has eight retirement seats to fill as Steve McCabe joins MPs quitting

Tom Belger

Eight more Labour MPs have announced they are standing down at the general election, with Lyn Brown and Steve McCabe the latest on Tuesday, sparking fresh selection choices for party officials.

It came after the party closed applications to stand in 13 other retirement, battleground and suspended-MP seats on Monday, before promptly reopening applications until Tuesday lunchtime for the new retirement seats and any future vacancies.

Provisional shortlists had initially been due to be agreed on Tuesday and due diligence conducted, with national executive committee (NEC) selection panel interviews scheduled to take place on Wednesday and Thursday.

Candidates are being selected by panels of three NEC members in a fast-tracked process given the election, rather than local members and parties having a say.

Selections watcher Michael Crick of Tomorrow’s MPs speculated about whether favoured allies of leader Keir Starmer were likely to be parachuted into some of the seats, adding: “Why aren’t more people asking why so many of these retirements are so last-minute?”

READ MORE: Labour selections in retirement, suspension and target seats: See filled and unfilled seats in our election tracker

The MPs standing down, and the constituencies now set to see new centrally and swiftly appointed candidates are as follows, including MPs’ statements posted on X:

Birmingham Selly Oak

McCabe said he had made the “difficult decision” to go but looked forward to “playing my part in deliver a Labour government”.

West Ham: Lyn Brown

Lyn Brown said it was “with the heaviest of hearts” that she had decided not to stand again, explaining that the calling of the election had “forced a faster decision” on whether to stand following a period of poor health over the last year.

Sunderland Central: Julie Elliott

Julie Elliott spoke of her “sadness” at leaving the Commons, but said it was the “right time”.

Worsley and Eccles: Barbara Keeley

Keeley was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2019, and cited health reasons in her statement for her “very difficult decision”.

Smethwick: John Spellar

John Spellar said his three decades as Warley MP had been an “honour”. The constituency has been redrawn and renamed Smethwick.

Cardiff West: Kevin Brennan

Brennan also cited health factors in his decision to stand down after surgery for prostate cancer.

Leyton and Wanstead: John Cryer

Cryer said his “extremely difficult decision” reflected having two young children he felt he should spend more time with.

Ealing Southall: Virendra Sharma

Sharma said the “time has come for another chapter”.

Read more of our 2024 general election coverage here.

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