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Number of Labour MPs standing down before General Election continues to grow amid Corbyn skepticism

The number of Labour MPs who have confirmed or are expected to stand down rather than contest their seats is rising amid fears the party could face a trouncing at the polls and concerns over the leadership of Jeremy Corbyn.

The surprise decision by Theresa May to call a snap election could see several high-profile bids to return to Parliament as well as a number of departures. 

Labour MPs have until 20 April to announce whether or not they will contest their seats at the election on 8 June.

A dozen have now indicated they intend to get off the Commons stage – but two of these are remaining in politics and hope to become Mayors of Liverpool and Manchester.

Four Conservatives and one Liberal Democrat have also announced their intention to stand down, along with newly independent Douglas Carswell, who was previously Ukip’s only MP.

Conservatives

George Osborne, Tatton

One of the least surprising announcements of the last few days, given that the former Chancellor will soon have his hands full editing the Evening Standard. He has various other outside interests, including lucrative after-dinner speaking engagements and financial consultancy work for Black Rock. But Mr Osborne left the door open for a return to politics at some stage, saying he is leaving “for now”. 

Gerald Howarth, Aldershot

The backbench Brexiteer is standing down at the age of 69.

He said: “I have every confidence in the outstanding leadership of Prime Minister Theresa May and I have assured her of my fullest support from beyond the Palace of Westminster.”

Simon Burns, Chelmsford

A veteran Tory MP of 30 years, he served as a health and transport minister during his time in Government. He said “now is the right time” for him to go.

Angela Watkinson, Hornchurch and Upminster

The former Tory Whip who has been an MP since 2001 is stepping down for health reasons after suffering a minor stroke last year.

Anyone who takes on the establishment gets vilified, Corbyn says

Labour

Michael Dugher, Barnsley East

The most recent Labour MP to announce he is leaving Parliament is former Shadow Cabinet member Michael Dugher.

Mr Dugher told Politics Home he was stepping down after seven years after an MP to spent more time with his family “with some sadness”.

Alan Johnson, Hull West and Hessle

The former postman who rose to become Home Secretary and Chancellor during the Blair and Brown years, Mr Johnson is perhaps the best known of the Labour MPs to have announced their imminent departure.

An MP since 1997, he told his constituents: “Next month will mark the 20th anniversary of my tenure as Member of Parliament for Hull West and Hessle.

“Every day has been a privilege and a pleasure but it can’t go on for ever and the electoral cycle means that each incumbent has to think again about what’s best for them, the constituency and the Party.

“As far as the constituency and the Party are concerned, no MP wants to put them through…

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