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Candidates in Britain's snap election: comings and goings
April 26, 2017 / 7:49 AM / 5 months ago

Candidates in Britain's snap election: comings and goings

Former Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg speaks at a Unite for Europe rally in central London, Britain March 25, 2017. REUTERS/Peter Nicholls

(Reuters) - Britain’s election on June 8 will mark the departure of some prominent lawmakers, while others are hoping to return.

Here is a list of some important moves.

STEPPING DOWN

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 criticised 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.

Andrew Tyrie (Conservative, Chichester, 1997-2017)

Tyrie became the bane of bankers and chancellors as chairman of parliament’s Treasury Committee, which holds the Bank of England and Treasury to account and investigates misconduct in the finance sector. He also led senior lawmakers in quizzing the prime minister on parliament’s Liaison Committee.

“I remain deeply committed to public service,” he said. “I am determined, and hopefully young enough, to contribute in other ways in the years ahead”.

Eric Pickles (Conservative, Brentwood and Ongar, 1992-2017)

The former Conservative Party chairman previously served as the minister for communities and local government between 2010 and 2015.

“Looking forward to #GE2017 as a canvasser, not a candidate. Thank you Brentwood and Ongar for your support and friendship over 25 years,” he tweeted.

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.

COMING BACK?

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.”

GOING NOWHERE?

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.

NOT STANDING

Nigel Farage (UKIP, never sat in parliament)

The former leader of UKIP and one of the most prominent ‘Leave’ campaigners during last year’s Brexit referendum, Farage said on April 20 that he would not stand, after considering a run.

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.

He said that he ultimately decided he could have a bigger influence on Brexit from the European Parliament in Strasbourg than he could from Westminster.

Arron Banks (former Conservative Party donor who switched his support to UKIP and then founded one of the two main Brexit campaigns during the referendum)

Banks said he had decided to withdraw his candidacy for the seat of Clacton, in eastern England.

“I will not be standing either as a UKIP candidate or as an independent,” he said in a statement.

Reporting by Alistair Smout and Kate Holton; Editing by Guy Faulconbridge and David Milliken

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