UK Politics

Farewell to William Hague - and the 85 other MPs standing down

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Media captionWilliam Hague answers questions sent in to the BBC News Channel

William Hague is standing down as an MP after an illustrious 25 year career in the House of Commons.

Looking back on his time in politics, in an interview with the BBC's Norman Smith, the former foreign secretary and Conservative Party leader said he had few regrets, other than losing the 2001 general election.

"I'm not one for having a lot of regrets but I do regret that we didn't get things back together again faster in the Conservative Party," he added.

But Mr Hague is far from alone in seeking a new role, away from the famous green benches, after 7 May's general election.

A total of 86 MPs have announced their intention to stand down, according to BBC Analysis and Research.

It might sound like a lot, out of 650 MPs, but it is a long way short of the total in 2010, when 149 MPs headed for the exit in the biggest Commons clear-out in history, in the wake of the expenses scandal.

Image caption Sir Peter Tapsell is standing down after 54 years in the House

A total of 17 former cabinet ministers - 12 Labour and five Conservative - are standing down at this election.

The departure of Mr Hague, Sir George Young and Stephen Dorrell takes the number of John Major cabinet survivors down to three: Ken Clarke, Peter Lilley, (who both served under Margaret Thatcher as well) and John Redwood.

Three female Conservative MPs, all elected in 2010, have announced they will retire. This constitutes 6% of female Tory MPs. In all, seven of the 2010 Tory intake will stand down after a single term.

High profile Tory retirees include former health secretary Andrew Lansley, Sir George Young and Sir Peter Tapsell, the Father of the House, who was first elected to the Commons in 1959. He has clocked up 54 years on the green benches, with a two year break from the Commons in the mid-1960s, making him one of the longest-serving MPs in British history.

Former Foreign Secretary Sir Malcolm Rikfind, who now sits as an independent. after having the Tory Whip withdrawn, is also standing down.

Image copyright PA
Image caption Gordon Brown is among the high-profile Labour figures retiring as an MP

The retirements on the Labour side leave only three members of Tony Blair's first cabinet - Nick Brown, Margaret Beckett and Harriet Harman - in the Commons, assuming they manage to retain their seats.

High profile Labour retirees include former Prime Minister Gordon Brown and ex-cabinet ministers Alistair Darling, David Blunkett and Dame Tessa Jowell.

Former Foreign Secretary Jack Straw, who has had the Labour whip suspended, and who now sits as an independent, is also standing down.

Eleven women, 16% of Labour's female MPs are standing down, although in contrast to the Conservatives, they are all long-serving MPs.

A total of 10 Liberal Democrats, including two women, are standing down. Retirees include former leader Sir Menzies Campbell and former minister Jeremy Browne.

Here is the full list of MPs standing down in 2015:


Stephen O'Brien, Eddisbury

Francis Maude, Horsham

Mark Hoban, Fareham

Sir Hugh Robertson, Faversham and Mid Kent

Robert Walter, North Dorset

Stephen Dorrell, Charnwood

Sir Richard Shepherd, Aldridge Brownhills

Andrew Robathan, South Leicestershire

Sir Tony Baldry, Banbury

Chris Kelly, Dudley South

Brooks Newmark, Braintree

Mark Simmonds, Boston and Skegness

David Ruffley, Bury St Edmunds

Dan Byles, North Warwickshire

Andrew Lansley, South Cambridgeshire

Greg Barker, Bexhill and Battle

David Willetts, Havant

William Hague, Richmond

Sir John Randall, Uxbridge and South Ruislip

James Clappison, Hertsmere

Mike Weatherley, Hove

Sir Peter Tapsell, Louth and Horncastle

Aidan Burley, Cannock Chase

Tim Yeo, South Suffolk (deselected)

Sir Malcolm Rifkind, Kensington (whip withdrawn)

Sir George Young, North West Hampshire

Laura Sandys, South Thanet

Jessica Lee, Erewash

Lorraine Fullbrook, Ribble South

Brian Binley, Northampton North

Sir Jim Paice, South East Cambridgeshire

Charles Hendry, Wealden

Jonathan Evans, Cardiff North

Richard Ottaway, Croydon South

Peter Luff, Mid Worcestershire

Sir John Stanley, Tonbridge and Malling

James Arbuthnot, North East Hampshire


Linda Riordan, Halifax

Paul Murphy, Torfaen

Andy Love, Edmonton

Dave Watts, St Helens North

Sir Hugh Bayley, York Central

Gordon Brown, Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath

Alistair Darling, Edinburgh South West

Frank Dobson, Holborn and St Pancras

Sir Tony Cunningham, Workington

David Blunkett, Sheffield Brightside & Hillsborough

Joe Benton, Bootle

Peter Hain, Neath

Gerry Sutcliffe, Bradford South

Austin Mitchell, Great Grimsby

David Heyes, Ashton-under-Lyne

Mike Wood, Batley and Spen

Sian James, Swansea East

Hazel Blears, Salford and Eccles

Meg Munn, Sheffield Heeley

Anne McGuire, Stirling

Andrew Miller, Ellesmere Port & Neston

Hywel Francis, Aberavon

Dame Tessa Jowell, Dulwich and West Norwood

Joan Walley, Stoke on Trent North

Shaun Woodward, St Helen's South

Lindsay Roy, Glenrothes

Jack Straw, Blackburn (whip withdrawn)

Frank Doran, Aberdeen North

George Mudie, Leeds East

Nick Raynsford, Greenwich and Woolwich

Dame Joan Ruddock, Lewisham Deptford

Bob Ainsworth, Coventry North East

Martin Caton, Gower

Dawn Primarolo, Bristol South

John Denham, Southampton Itchen

Jackson, Glenda, Hampstead & Kilburn

Dai Havard, Merthyr Tydfil and Rhymney

Liberal Democrat

Jeremy Browne, Taunton Deane

Ian Swales, Redcar

Don Foster, Bath

David Heath, Somerton and Frome

Sir Menzies Campbell, North East Fife

Sir Andrew Stunell, Hazel Grove

Sarah Teather, Brent Central

Sir Malcolm Bruce, Gordon

Sir Alan Beith, Berwick-upon-Tweed

Annette Brooke, Mid Dorset and North Poole

Plaid Cymru

Elfyn Llwyd, Dwyfor Meirionnyd


Eric Joyce, Falkirk (formerly Labour)