UK POLITICS: Candidates in Britain’s Snap Election: Comings And Goings
Britain’s election on June 8 will see some prominent lawmakers stand down, while others are hoping to return.
Here is a list of some of them.
George Osborne (Conservative, Tatton, 2001-2017)
Osborne served as finance minister when the Conservative Party returned to government in a coalition in 2010. One of former prime minister David Cameron’s chief strategists, he was sacked by Prime Minister Theresa May following Cameron’s resignation after Britain voted to leave the European Union last year.
Since being fired, Osborne has been criticized for taking on other jobs alongside his duties as a Conservative lawmaker, including editor of the London Evening Standard newspaper and a part-time role at asset manager BlackRock.
In a letter to constituents, Osborne said that he did not “want to spend the rest of my life just being an ex-Chancellor. I want new challenges.” He added that he was stepping down as a lawmaker “for now” and said “it’s still too early to be writing my memoirs”.
Alan Johnson (Labour, Hull West and Hessle, 1997-2017)
Johnson held a variety of cabinet roles under the leadership of two Labour prime ministers, Tony Blair and Gordon Brown. He last served as Brown’s interior minister from 2009-2010.
A veteran of the trade union movement, Johnson said that after 20 years, he did not want to serve for another five years.
“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,” he said in a letter to voters.
Andy Burnham (Labour, Leigh, 2001-2017)
A cabinet member under Brown and a former Labour leadership candidate, Burnham had said he would stand for mayor of the northwestern city of Manchester in May, and resign his seat if he won. He has now said he will not stand in Leigh, regardless of the outcome of the mayoral vote.
Douglas Carswell (UKIP/Conservative, Clacton, 2005-2017)
Carswell became the anti-EU UK Independence Party’s first elected MP when he won a by-election in 2014, having defected from the Conservatives. He has since fallen out with the UKIP leadership, leaving the party this year. He said he will support the Conservative candidate in the election in June. He first represented the Conservatives in Harwich in 2005, before winning Clacton in 2010.
Gisela Stuart (Labour, Birmingham Edgbaston, 1997-2017)
German-born Stuart was one of the most prominent “Leave” campaigners in the Labour Party. She became an MP in 1997, winning the seat of Edgbaston for the first time in Labour’s history. The success in the home constituency of war-time Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain was emblematic of the appeal of Blair’s ‘New Labour’ in traditionally Conservative areas.
Nigel Farage (UKIP, never sat in parliament)
The former leader of UKIP, one of the most prominent ‘Leave’ campaigners during last year’s Brexit referendum, told BBC radio he had not yet decided whether to run again for parliament.
Farage has served as a member of the European Parliament but has never won a seat in Westminster, despite competing in seven separate elections and by-elections.
Vince Cable (Liberal Democrat, Twickenham, 1997-2015)
Cable was a key figure as Business Secretary in the coalition government between 2010-2015 as a member of the Liberal Democrats, junior partners to the Conservatives. He lost his seat to the Conservatives in 2015.
“I plan to lead fight back to recapture Twickenham for Lib Dems,” he tweeted. ” Brexit. Heathrow. School cuts. Social care. Plenty to campaign on.”
Some are standing for re-election again despite suggestions that they might not.
Nick Clegg (Liberal Democrat, Sheffield Hallam, 2005-?)
Clegg was close to tears when he resigned as leader of the Liberal Democrats after a 2015 general election result he described as “immeasurably more crushing and unkind than I could ever have feared”. The former deputy prime minister did win in his constituency, however, and has said he will stand again.
Ken Clarke (Conservative, Rushcliffe, 1970-?)
Clarke, 76, is the longest-serving member of the House of Commons, and had suggested he would stand down in 2020 after 50 years in parliament. However, the staunchly pro-Remain candidate is set to run again in June’s election.