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FILE PHOTO: Britain's Prime Minister Rishi Sunak speaks to the media after a meeting with the Chancellor of Austria, Karl Nehammer, at Federal Chancellery Ballhausplatz, during a visit to Austria. Jordan Pettitt/Pool via REUTERS/File Photo Image: Reuters/Jordan Pettitt
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More UK Conservative lawmakers set to quit before election

19 Comments

British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak is facing a mass departure of lawmakers with the number of resignations surpassing the level the Conservative Party suffered before a landslide defeat in the 1997 election.

Sunak, in power since 2022, this week called a national election for July 4, but his party is far behind in the opinion polls after a period of high inflation, low economic growth and a steady stream of political scandals.

The number of Conservative members of parliament (MPs) who will not be standing at the next election reached 78 on Friday, more than the 72 in the run up to the 1997 election.

Late on Friday, Michael Gove, a veteran Conservative who has held several government roles and was a leading voice in the push for Britain to leave the European Union, said he was also standing down. "There comes a moment when you know that it is time to leave. That a new generation should lead," he said in a letter.

Andrea Leadsom, who also held ministerial roles and ran for the Conservative leadership in 2016 but lost to Theresa May, said she would also stand down at the election.

Conservative members of parliament said so many colleagues were leaving because it was unlikely the party would win the election and many had grown tired of the infighting and polarization in parliament.

All the opinion polls predict Sunak will lose the election with his Conservatives trailing the opposition Labour Party by about 20 percentage points.

Only 12 Conservative members of parliament said they would stand down in the run up to 2017 election, while 32 lawmakers stood down before the 2019 election, according to the House of Commons Library.

Defense minister Grant Shapps said earlier there was nothing unusual about the number of lawmakers leaving.

"You often get a lot standing down at election time," he told Sky News. "You often get this illusion that there are more standing down from the governing side and, of course, the good reason for that is there are, by definition, more MPs on the governing side."

Former business minister Greg Clark and veteran Brexit supporter John Redwood were among the Conservative lawmakers who announced they were standing down on Friday.

Some of the Conservative Party's best-known politicians have already said they will stand down, including former prime minister May.

© Thomson Reuters 2024.

©2024 GPlusMedia Inc.

19 Comments
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No surprise there. Sunak is a clown that needs to go.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Clearly they would rather jump than be pushed.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

4th of July is a good date to have an election!!? it's also Independence Day in the Good Old USA

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak is facing a mass departure of lawmakers with the number of resignations surpassing the level the Conservative Party suffered before a landslide defeat in the 1997 election.

Good riddance.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

More than 100 MPs are standing down.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

WoodyLeeToday  08:09 am JST

4th of July is a good date to have an election!!? it's also Independence Day in the Good Old USA

Also known as Revolution Day in the UK.

I only wish we had 100 Republican MAGA lawmakers willing to step down.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

There are reportedly a lot of Tory MPs furious with Sunak for how he’s handled the timing and announcement of this election.

He’s just not good at politics.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Rats and ship come to mind.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

veteran Brexit supporter John Redwood were among the Conservative lawmakers who announced they were standing down on Friday.

Nobody will miss that swivel-eyed, arrogant ignoramus. Except others like him.

I can never forget this, when the Tories thought they could insolently make him Wales Secretary:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WFP5MjUuzsg

But, shame has rarely moved Tory blood in the past 40 years.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

veteran Brexit supporter John Redwood were among the Conservative lawmakers who announced they were standing down on Friday.

Nobody will miss that swivel-eyed, arrogant ignoramus. Except others like him

Quite a few of the old guard stepping down plus a few high-profile Tories under threat from tactical voting.

If this goes the way the polls and recent by elections indicate, you wonder who’ll be left as a serious candidate to lead what’s left. Penny Mordaunt on the tactical voting hit list.

Still some Tories wanting Boris Johnson back. Insanity.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The past has realised the future could exile the conservative party from mainstream front line politically credible high office for a decade plus.

My concern is that the UK electorate will withdraw from the democratic process. Apathy, yes will ca capital A

The exodus of the current conservative parliamentary party MP's (80/115) is a devastating blow, so early on in 2024 general election campaign.

Rishi Sunak is or will soon to be, "appointed" PM, in the wrong place at the wrong time, a pretender from day one.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

My concern is that the UK electorate will withdraw from the democratic process. Apathy, yes will ca capital A

I think it’ll be a below-average turnout.

Some pointing out that we haven’t had an election/referendum for a while ( 2014-2019 was insane ) and so maybe people are itching to vote.

I don’t see it.

Labour hardly inspiring. Maybe just punishing the Tories could motivate some.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Jimizo, unless a complete tsunami of political infighting within the Labour grass roots over current wars etc ignites.

No scenario can genuinely condone the political status quo, another four/five years of conservative government, that is unfit to govern. Rishi is a pollical blown out windsock.

Labour, well, under the present electoral system is the only alternative on offer

If it can convince the public to vote.

A hung parliament a nightmare

The unforeseen element is a electorate that stays at home engrossed in Britain's Got Talent reruns on YouTube.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Rishi is a pollical blown out windsock

To be fair to him, he inherited an absolute mess. He’s not a good political operator but picking up the pieces after Johnson and Truss would’ve tested the best we’ve ever seen.

It takes some going to get lower personal favourability ratings than Liz Truss though.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Sunak is politicly down and out, even the with a overly generous, unrealistic margin of error the political polling's are read them and weep.

Hence an exodus on the conservative parliamentary party.

God the shallowness, the fake pretence that parliament is a tool for achieving the common good.

My only worry is my family in the UK, what the future holds for more than 50 years of a farming business.

First time, this 2024 election, the very definition of voter apathy, not matter how much I beg them to vote they are likely to stay at home.

This pandemic sowed the seeds.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

A hung parliament a nightmare

I don't necessarily see it that way. The whole tenor of British discourse, social relations, labour relations and politics is very adversarial. It has, over my lifetime, helped to destroy almost everything of worth. The British are even pretty defensive in conversation because they often expect someone to be attacking or ribbing them, though that can lead to fun times with banter, with people who can always see the funny side (of themselves too. The famed sense of humour is often not turned on oneself). But the British have a sense of compromise in few spheres, unless forced into it somehow. Meanwhile, in other, more successful societies, notably northern Europe, compromise and consensus can be achieved, and often have to be achieved due to the outcomes of proportional representation. Perhaps a hung parliament might have some benefit in the long run to knock their heads together. Hell, there was even a long coalition government in the 1930s

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Moonraker,

I am wary of the electorates expectations under the current plurality voting system.

Previous hung parliaments have brought intransigence, indecision, a reluctance to commit to a clear agreed policy agenda, ideological pollical posturing, open party political conflict in government preventing progress to pass fundamental legislation for health, welfare, education, employment priorities.

I agree implicitly, EU, northern European member states through open flexible government, a complementary electoral system to select how government functions is forced to compromise through consensus.

That could be one reason that UK was never going to be a fit within EU pollical union

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Then I guess the UK will continue its inexorable slide into oblivion if compromise is beyond them. I don't necessarily see healthy majorities producing great legislation. Look at the majorities the venal Tories have had and they either produce extremist market fundamentalism (ie funnelling wealth upwards to their donors) or complete incompetence because they quarrel among themselves. But, personally, I don't want anybody to have too much power to do as they like. Blair's poodle to ridiculous US foreign policy is another example of how too much power allows stupidity to prevail.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I doubt if I would even recognise the country I left if I booked JAL tomorrow.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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