Retiring MPs: The full list

The exodus from parliament, spurred on by the expenses scandal, is set to be one of the greatest in the Commons' long history. Here's the latest list of the MPs who are standing down - and why they're choosing to do so.

By Emmeline Saunders


Hilary Armstrong (Lab) - Durham North West. The ex-chief whip has represented her constituency since 1987 and is stepping down because, in turning 65 at the end of 2010, she feels it is "the right time to let someone else take up the role". She was not required to pay back any expenses under Sir Thomas Legg's audit.

Stephen Byers (Lab)- North Tyneside. The Blairite ex-Cabinet minister has served the seat since 1997, and will be stepping down to "pursue other interests". Last year it emerged he had claimed £125,000 in second home expenses over five years for a flat owned by his partner. He was forced to repay £1,125 for cleaning costs.

Frank Cook (Lab) - Stockton North. The septuagenarian backbencher failed to be reselected by party colleagues last January, months before his expenses claim for a £5 donation to a Battle of Britain memorial church service came to light.

John Cummings (Lab) - Easington. He has served the second-safest seat in the country since 1987, and has a majority of 18,636. He has insisted his replacement must be selected by local constituency members rather than be parachuted in from party headquarters.

Fraser Kemp (Lab) - Houghton and Washington East. The former government whip made several claims for household items, including 16 bedsheets and two DVD players for his one-bedroom flat. He said the claims were made "in error" and promised to pay back some of the money claimed.

Alan Milburn (Lab) - Darlington. He has served as health secretary and chief secretary to the Treasury, and has told his constituents, who he has represented since 1992, he is standing down to find "the right balance between my work life and my family life".

Denis Murphy (Lab) - Wansbeck. First elected to the Commons in 1997, he leaves the constituency after allegations of 'flipping' so he could claim expenses on his second home. He must repay £1,841.84.

Peter Atkinson (Con) - Hexham. A former news editor at the Evening Standard, he has served the seat since 1992 and is stepping down because, at 67, he feels it "appropriate". He leaves the only Conservative seat in the north-east region.

Doug Henderson (Lab) - Newcastle-upon-Tyne North. The MP, who has represented the constituency since 1987, reckons it is time for "a younger person" to replace him. He claimed £800 for phone calls made from his family home, located more than 150 miles away from his seat.

Jim Cousins (Lab) - Newcastle-upon-Tyne Central. He has served as an MP since 1987 and now wishes to spend more time with his family. He described himself as "not exactly the Facebook, Twitter and YouTube generation".

Bill Etherington (Lab) - Sunderland North. He was a persistent rebel of the Blair government, with a strong socialist union background. He will not stand at the election because his constituency is to be abolished, and replaced with Sunderland Central.

Chris Mullin (Lab) - Sunderland South. MP for the seat since 1987 with a current majority of 11,059. The seat has consistently been the first to declare at each general election since 1992, but will soon be abolished and merged with its northern neighbour to make Sunderland Central.


Stephen Hesford (Lab) - Wirral West. He announced he would step down in January for "family reasons". Mr Hesford quit as a parliamentary aide last year when attorney general Baroness Scotland refused to step down for employing an illegal cleaner.

John Hutton (Lab) - Barrow and Furness. The former Cabinet minister has served the seat since 1992 and was one of Tony Blair's closest supporters. He once said that Gordon Brown would be "a f****** disaster" as prime minister.

David Maclean (Con) - Penrith and the Borders. He has represented the constituency since 1983 and is stepping down at the election due to poor health. He once tabled a private members' bill which, had it been implemented, would have exempted MPs from the Freedom of Information Act.

Eric Martlew (Lab) - Carlisle. After more than 22 years as MP, and having had a political career spanning almost 40 years, the Carlisle MP said it was "time to step down from front-line politics".

Ben Chapman (Lab) - Wirral South. He was the first Labour MP to quit over the expenses scandal, after allegations he had overclaimed £15,000 in mortgage interest. He insisted he had done "nothing wrong" and said his decision was due to the "hurtful" publicity affecting his family.

David Chaytor (Lab) - Bury North. He was suspended by the Parliamentary Labour Party last year after allegations he had claimed almost £13,000 for a mortgage that was already paid. At the time he said he had made an "unforgiveable error" and promised to pay the money back.

Claire Curtis-Thomas (Lab) - Sefton Central. She said she was standing down due to the hate-mail she received after it emerged she had spent almost £100,000 on staffing costs. She became the area's first Labour MP when she won the seat in 1997.

Beverley Hughes (Lab) - Stretford and Urmston. The former children's minister resigned from the Cabinet last year but insisted her decision had "nothing whatsoever to do" with her expenses claims, which included £801.60 on re-upholstering furniture and £435 for curtains and bedding.

Brian Iddon (Lab) - Bolton South-East. Having represented the seat since 1997, he said last year he was "utterly ashamed" to be an MP after the expenses scandal broke. His own expenses were not contentious.

Ruth Kelly (Lab) - Bolton West. The Opus Dei member and former education secretary got into hot water in 2007 when it emerged she had put one of her children into a private school. She is standing down to spend more time with her children after serving the seat since 1997.

Jane Kennedy (Lab) - Liverpool Wavertree. The former health minister was the first MP to stand down in protest at Sir Christopher Kelly's proposal to prevent politicians from employing family members. Her husband works in her constituency office, and she has been an MP since 1992.

Ian McCartney (Lab) - Makerfield. The senior MP, who has served since 1987, said he was stepping down due to "health reasons" but made no mention of the 18-piece dinner set, champagne flutes and wine glasses for which he claimed expenses.

Greg Pope (Lab) - Hyndburn. The backbencher said he was leaving parliament because of "family circumstances". He has served the seat since 1992.

Helen Southworth (Lab) - Warrington South. The 2008 MP of the Year is standing down to spend more time with her family, after serving her constituency since 1997.

Neil Turner (Lab) - Wigan. The MP is an ardent New Labour supporter with a majority of nearly 12,000 and has served since the 1999 by-election. He once returned a letter to a dyslexic constituent with the spelling mistakes corrected in red ink. He later said he did not realise his correspondent was dyslexic.

Kitty Ussher (Lab) - Burnley. The ex-junior Treasury minister was sacked by Gordon Brown last year over evidence she had 'flipped' her homes to avoid paying thousands in capital gains tax. She said she would not be standing in the election because her job as MP was not compatible with her parenting duties.

Michael Jack (Con) - Fylde. The MP unexpectedly announced he would be stepping down after serving 23 years in the seat, because "guests shouldn't out-stay their welcome". The seat has a projected Tory majority of more than 10,000.

Ann Winterton (Con) - Congleton. Last year, news emerged that Ann and her husband Nicolas had claimed more than £80,000 in rent for a London property owned by a trust controlled by their children. She is resigning to spend more time with her family.

Sir Nicholas Winterton (Con) - Macclesfield. Along with his wife, he charged food bills to the taxpayer because he had come to London during the summer recess on parliamentary business. He said they were both stepping down in order to "pass the baton to a younger person".

James Purnell (Lab) - Stalybridge and Hyde. The former work and pensions secretary, who resigned his Cabinet post in June 2009 as part of a plot to oust Gordon Brown as leader, has decided he doesn't want to spend his life in frontline politics. His letter to Brown last year outlined Purnell's belief that a Conservative election victory would be more likely under Brown's leadership.

Peter Kilfolye (Lab) - Liverpool Walton. The 63-year-old left-winger announced, after a colourful 19-year career in politics, it was time to stand aside and "watch the wheels go round". As MP for a Liverpool constituency, he has been investigated under the official secrets act over his admission that he had passed on secret details of George Bush's alleged threat to bomb the al-Jazeera TV station. He plans to fly to Australia to trace his family history.

Joan Humble (Lab) - Blackpool North and Fleetwood. The former Lancashire county councillor has represented the seat since 1997 when she overturned the sitting Tory MP's majority of 8,000. She said she wants to spend more time with her husband, who is nearing retirement, and her elderly parents. The constituency's boundaries will change on election day to become Blackpool North and Cleveleys.


John Austin (Lab) - Erith and Thamesmead. He said he did not want to be working a 70-hour week at the age of 70, which he will be by the end of the next five-year parliament. He claimed more than £10,000 to redecorate his London flat, 11 miles away from his main home, before selling it and making £30,000 in profit.

Harry Cohen (Lab) - Leyton and Wanstead. After 26 years as MP, he announced his decision to stand down after it emerged he had claimed more than £300,000 in second-home allowances since 1990, as "part of my salary". He said the resulting backlash had caused him "intolerable stress".

Neil Gerrard (Lab) - Walthamstow. As he will be 67 at the time of the election, the backbencher said it was time for him to step down. He has served the constituency since 1992 and in 2005 was re-elected with 50.1 per cent of the vote.

Keith Hill (Lab) - Streatham. He was the first Labour MP to be elected to the seat, which he has served since 1992. Last year he argued the expenses system should be scrapped completely and MPs should be given a higher salary.

Andrew Pelling (Independent) - Croydon Central. The MP and former London Assembly member had the Conservative whip withdrawn following allegations he had assaulted his pregnant wife in September 2007, although the case was later dropped without charge.

Bridget Prentice (Lab) - Lewisham East. Having held the seat since 1992, the feminist justice minister decided to step down long before the expenses scandal broke. She made headlines last December backing a campaign to boycott pink toys for girls, saying they funnelled children into "pretty, pretty jobs".

Rudi Vis (Lab) - Finchley and Golders Green. He claimed 40 per cent of the vote at the 2005 election but is holding the country's most marginal seat - a 0.2 per cent swing would see it go to the Tories. He used his expenses to help buy a retirement home worth £520,000, but argued this was "well within the rules".

Derek Conway (Con) - Old Bexley and Sidcup. The disgraced Tory had the whip withdrawn last January when it emerged he had paid his son an inflated parliamentary salary (£11,773 plus more than £10,000 in bonuses) for his work as a researcher while he was a full-time university student.

Jacqui Lait (Con) - Beckenham. The MP was forced to repay £7,000 after over-claiming mortgage interest on her second home. Her claims also included dry cleaning bills from a company in Rye, East Sussex, where her husband works as leader of the county council.

John Horam (Con) - Orpington. He has sat for three different parties throughout his political career; Labour, the SDP and the Conservatives. He has held the seat since 1992 and his replacement is to be Boris Johnson's brother, Jo.

Yorkshire and Humberside

Jeff Ennis (Lab) - Barnsley East and Mexborough. the Yorkshire MP made the "very difficult decision" to step down for a number of "personal reasons". "I'm very lucky to have represented some of the most genuine and sincere people in the country," he said. "It has been a real pleasure and a privilege to serve them."

Paul Truswell (Lab) - Pudsey. The backbench MP has served since 1997 and is stepping down due to a number of personal problems, and said he no longer possesses "the physical and mental stamina" to fulfil the role.

Colin Burgon (Lab) - Elmet and Rothwell. He claimed £1,000 for food between December 2008 and March 2009 but had already announced his intention to "pursue other interests" before the expenses scandal erupted.

Richard Caborn (Lab) - Sheffield Central. The former sports minister resigned to take up the role of Gordon Brown's ambassador for a potential 2018 World Cup bid.

Colin Challen (Lab) - Morley & Outwood. The backbench MP will be replaced by Brownite education secretary Ed Balls as the Cabinet minister's neighbouring constituency will be abolished. Mr Challen will focus on campaigning for an international declaration to reduce climate change.

Michael Clapham (Lab) - Barnsley West & Penistone. He has served the seat since 1992 but it is due to be abolished under boundary changes. He won the last election with a majority of 11,314.

John Battle (Lab) - Leeds West. The former minister's political career has spanned 30 years and he was honoured by the Pope last year for his work as an anti-poverty campaigner.

Ann Cryer (Lab) - Keighley. The veteran campaigner has been described as a "heroine" for her work to improve women's lives, especially young Asian women. She has cited "age, health and decreasing energy levels" for her reason to stand down.

John Grogan (Lab) - Selby and Ainsty. He has served since 1997 and won by a small majority of 467; 0.9 per cent of the vote.

Christine McCafferty (Lab) - Calder Valley. She has the most marginal seat in West Yorkshire at 1,367, and has said a younger person should take over as she will have reached retirement age by the time of the election.

Elliot Morley (Lab) - Scunthorpe. The former minister claimed £16,000 in mortgage interest payments, 18 months after the mortgage was paid off. He blamed "sloppy accounting" and said the scandal had been "traumatic" for his family and health, "both of which have suffered".

Kali Mountford (Lab) - Colne Valley. The MP announced she would be standing down due to poor health, and then claimed £2,239 for two sofas and a coffee table the following month. She has a majority of 1,501.

Phil Willis (LD) - Harrogate and Knaresborough. The former shadow education secretary agreed to repay £3,230 in cleaning claims and received a death threat over his London flat expenses. His replacement will defend a majority of 10,429.

John Prescott (Lab) - Hull East. The former deputy prime minister, nicknamed 'Two-Jags' for his extravagant taste in cars, has courted controversy throughout his 40 years as an MP. Despite the headlines - from the scuffle with a man who threw an egg at him to the affair he conducted with a secretary, plus that picture of him playing croquet at his grace-and-favour house - he was always seen as the Old Labour mediator between Tony Blair and Gordon Brown.

David Curry (Con) - Skipton and Ripon. The former chair of the parliamentary standards and privileges committee - which regulates Commons expenses - resigned his position when it emerged he had claimed nearly £30,000 for a second home in which he rarely stayed.

John Greenway (Con) - Thirsk and Malton. The MP, who survived a tumour last year, was found to be one of the lowest-claiming parliamentarians in terms of expenses. Boundary changes will split the constituency and a replacement has already been selected.

East Midlands

Liz Blackman (Lab) - Erewash. The former government whip has served the constituency for 12 years and said she is still loyal to Gordon Brown. She was criticised for her last-minute shopping sprees before the expenses deadline, and ended up £9 short of the Additional Costs Allowance for 2004/05.

Patricia Hewitt (Lab) - Leicester West. The Blairite former health secretary caused a sensation this January when she and Geoff Hoon attempted to bring down Gordon Brown by urging Labour MPs to vote in a secret leadership ballot. She has held the seat since 1997 and insisted her decision to step down was unrelated to her expenses claims of £194 for blinds and other furniture costs.

Tom Levitt (Lab) - High Peak. He has represented his constituents since 1992 and his replacement will be drawn from a women-only shortlist. His expenses claims included £21 for wine glasses, and hair clippers which were not signed off by the Fees Office. He will be able to claim a settlement fee of up to £54,403 on stepping down - 84 per cent of his final salary.

Alan Simpson (Lab) - Nottingham South. The serial Blair-critic has represented the seat since 1992, and once said there were "not enough" good Labour MPs. He also claimed his colleagues "would vote for the slaughter of the first born if asked to".

Paddy Tipping (Lab) - Sherwood. The 60-year-old backbencher suffered a heart attack last year after becoming embroiled in the expenses scandal, having unsuccessfully put in a £50 claim for "dog-minding".

Mark Todd (Lab) - Derbyshire South. He has served since 1997 and last year put in a claim for a white marble dining table, a week after expressing surprise at the things his parliamentary colleagues claimed for.

Tim Boswell (Con) - Daventry. In 1987 he voted to keep Clause 28 of the local government bill which banned authorities from "promoting homosexuality" and was re-elected in 2005 with a majority of 11,776.

Douglas Hogg (Con) - Sleaford and North Hykeham. The former agriculture minister made perhaps the most infamous expenses claim when he put in a bill which included the cleaning of his moat in his country estate, and was awarded the dubious honour of being the first MP to step down over the scandal.

Geoff Hoon (Lab) - Ashfield. The former defence secretary's political career came to a thudding halt as his unexpected and utterly unsuccessful 'snowplot' attempt to get rid of Gordon Brown failed this January. After a discreet interval, Mr Hoon left an even more discreet letter to his local party while on a business trip to Moscow.

West Midlands

Sion Simon (Lab) - Birmingham Erdington. The junior culture minister is stepping down to lobby for the creation of a Birmingham mayor, and then for that mayor to be him. He apologised to the House last year for his expenses arrangements.

Bill Olner (Lab) - Nuneaton. After a political career spanning more than 40 years, including a trade union background, the four-term MP is standing down to spend more time with his wife.

Janet Dean (Lab) - Burton. She has represented the seat since 1997 and was not marred by the expenses scandal. Her replacement will be defending a relatively small majority of 1,421.

Lynne Jones (Lab) - Birmingham Selly Oak. The left-winger said she was standing down because of her disappointment in "a leadership that has been so timid in applying our socialist principles", but constituents believe it is because Birmingham's representation will be cut from 11 to ten seats, therefore opening up competition to more candidates operating from the centre ground.

Ken Purchase (Lab) - Wolverhampton North East. He has served as MP for 18 years and in December strongly criticised Tony Blair and Gordon Brown for failing to leave a legacy, but praised Churchill and Thatcher for making a lasting impression on Britain.

Clare Short (Lab) - Birmingham, Ladywood. The ex-Cabinet minister who left Blair's government over the Iraq war in 2003 has been an independent MP since resigning the party whip three years later. In 2005 her majority was 6,801.

Tony Wright (Lab) - Cannock Chase. The public administration committee chair is standing down due to poor health, but Labour will defend a majority of 9,227 in his constituency.

Sir Patrick Cormack (Con) - South Staffordshire. The second-longest running MP entered parliament in 1970 but said the "unhappy events" of last year had encouraged him to "hand the torch" to someone younger.

Paul Keetch (LD) - Hereford and South Herefordshire. The Lib Dem whip has served the seat since 1997 and was immediately pulled into the Chechnya crisis when two of his constituents were taken hostage there. His campaign manager has been selected as his replacement.

Michael Spicer (Con) - Worcestershire West. The chair of the 1922 Committee of backbench MPs said his claims for £106,141 of maintenance work over five years were "acceptable", including the work he had done on his 'helipad' - which he held was not a real helipad.

Julie Kirkbride (Con) - Bromsgrove. The backbencher, along with husband Andrew Mackay, claimed for thousands for their family home, while he claimed for their London property, meaning the taxpayer paid for all their accommodation. She was the subject of an anti-Kirkbride petition despite winning a 10,080 majority in 2005.

Sylvia Heal (Lab) - Halesowen and Rowley Regis. One of parliament's deputy Speakers announced she couldn't cope with another five years of working for up to 14 hours, six days a week, with less than two months to go before polling day.


Jim Devine (Lab) - Livingston. The MP was Robin Cook's replacement and resigned as a ministerial aide in protest over Trident plans. Last year, local party activists took the unusual step of referring his expenses to the police. He had claimed £2,157 for "re-wiring" his London home, but the company's invoices carried a bogus VAT number, false postcode and inaccurate address.

Des Browne (Lab) - Kilmarnock and Loudoun. The former Scottish and defence secretary is standing down to continue his work as the chair of a multilateral nuclear disarmament group.

Adam Ingram (Lab) - East Kilbride, Strathaven and Lesmahagow. The former Northern Ireland minister has served the constituency since 1987, and last year was revealed as the highest outside-earning MP representing a Scottish seat, topping up his salary with around £170,000 from other posts.

Rosemary McKenna (Lab) - Cumbernauld, Kilsyth and Kirkintilloch East. As one of Blair's loyalest supporters, she won the 2005 election with a majority of 11,562. She has spent 40 years in politics.

John Reid (Lab) - Airdrie and Shotts. The former home secretary has a 14,084 majority. He held nine difference ministerial jobs in his parliamentary career. He used his resignation in 2007 to criticise the Human Rights Act as hindering Britain's fight against terrorism.

Mohammed Sarwar (Lab) - Glasgow Central. Britain's first Muslim MP is stepping down after receiving death threats over his role in extraditing three racist murderers and bringing them to justice.

Gavin Strang (Lab) - Edinburgh East. The former transport secretary has been Scotland's longest-serving MP since 2005, having entered parliament in 1970.

Alex Salmond (SNP) - Banff and Buchan. Scotland's first minister and the Scottish National party's leader is also MSP for the constituency of Gordon, leading his opponents to question how he could carry out three jobs at once. He claimed £130,000 in expenses and staffing costs as an MP during a period when he only visited the Commons six times.

John Barrett (LD) - Edinburgh West. He has the second-largest majority of any Lib Dem behind Charles Kennedy, at 13,600. He has stated his reasons for leaving Westminster are to spend more time with his grand-daughters.


David Lepper (Lab) - Brighton Pavilion. Despite being known as a bit of a rebel, this MP has remained loyal to Gordon Brown. Labour holds a majority of 5,867, but Green leader Caroline Lucas intends to stand there to become the party's first member of parliament.

Andrew Mackinlay (Lab) - Thurrock. The backbencher has become "disillusioned with parliament" and is standing down in protest at the dominance of party whips, which he claims undermines the public's rights and liberties.

Bob Marshall-Andrews (Lab) - Medway. The serial rebel said he would support former shadow home secretary David Davis' resignation in protest at the government's planned 42-day detention for terrorism suspects.

Martin Salter (Lab) - Reading West. The backbencher said he wants to "do something else" with his life while he still has the energy. He faced criticism after promising to back the recent Gurkha campaign yet abstaining from an important vote.

Howard Stoate (Lab) - Dartford. He is standing down at the election because new rules on MPs' second jobs would force him to stop practising as a GP.

Des Turner (Lab) - Brighton Kemptown. Along with fellow Brighton MP David Lepper, he is known as independent-minded. He claimed up to £400 a month on food and £450 a month in mortgage interest payments on his designated London flat.

Derek Wyatt (Lab) - Sittingbourne and Sheppey. The MP announced his intention to stand down over Twitter, after his expense claims for pork pies and scotch eggs emerged. His majority is just 79 - the third-smallest in parliament.

Peter Ainsworth (Con) - East Surrey. The senior former shadow Cabinet minister was criticised for submitting a £957 claim for a 'pewter finish' on radiators, and £8,000 for work on his garden.

Ian Taylor (Con) - Esher and Walton. The backbencher has served for 22 years and was criticised when it was revealed his designated second home was in London, even though his main home is within the commuter belt. He said his departure should cause "tears of regret rather than sighs of relief".

Peter Viggers (Con) - Gosport. Just two words are necessary to explain this MP's decision to step down: duck house.

Ann Widdecombe (Con) - Maidstone and the Weald. Where to start with this notorious former Cabinet minister? Famously describing ex-Tory leader Michael Howard as having "something of the night" about him, she has attracted media attention throughout her 22 years as MP. She once suggested pregnant prisoners should be shackled to their beds whilst giving birth, and claimed gay lifestyles did not have "equal validity" to the "preferred model" of heterosexual marriage.

David Wilshire (Con) - Spelthorne. The Surrey MP referred himself to the parliamentary standards committee after reports he had directed £105,500 of public money towards a research company run by him and his wife. He maintained he had done "nothing wrong".

Humfrey Malins (Con) - Woking. He faced criticism for allowing his children to stay in his London home while claiming expenses for it - but denied he never stayed there himself, saying while he was undertaking front-bench duties, he was there "at least a couple of nights a week".

Michael Mates (Con) - Hampshire East. He served under John Major as Northern Ireland minister but was forced to resign in 1993 over his business links with fugitive tycoon Asil Nadir. He has a majority of 7,195.

Paul Goodman (Con) - Wycombe. Writing in a Daily Mail piece, this MP bemoaned the death of "parliamentary democracy" and the rise of professional politicians, describing the Commons as "sick". His "modest" expenses put him in the bottom 20 per cent of claiming MPs.

Andrew Mackay (Con) - Bracknell. David Cameron's former aide was vilified for claiming thousands of pounds in mortgage interest along with his wife, Julie Kirkbride. After a meeting with his constituents, during which he got heckled, he said he would stand again. However, after a discussion with Cameron, he changed his mind and announced he would step down.

Mark Oaten (LD) - Winchester. The former Lib Dem frontbencher had to resign from the party's leadership contest in 2006 after admitting a relationship with a male prostitute. He said it had stemmed from a mid-life crisis brought on by his rapid hair loss.

Michael Howard (Con) - Folkestone and Hythe. The former Conservative leader made more than £18,000 in one month last year in non-parliamentary business. His expenses included a claim for more than £17,000 in "gardening services" over four years.


Doug Naysmith (Lab) - Bristol North West. Elected to parliament in 1997 and is standing down because of his age. He spent £2,600 on food in 2007/08, and £40 on crockery and glass the previous year.

Michael Wills (Lab) - Swindon North. The justice minister was asked to repay £1,015 in train fares after he submitted receipts after the deadline. He has served the constituency for 13 years.

Michael Ancram (Con) - Devizes. The Tory grandee and Marquess of Lothian had to repay the £98.58 he claimed for swimming pool repairs. He stood for the party leadership in 2001. He entered parliament in 1974 and has a majority of 13,194.

Angela Browning (Con) - Tiverton and Honiton. The Devon MP used almost £7,300 of taxpayers' money to redecorate her second home, and £9,635 to set up and run a website, but said this was "in accordance with the rules".

John Butterfill (Con) - Bournemouth West. The Tory grandee who claimed expenses for renovations to his house, including to the servants' quarters, said he would repay around £40,000 he had saved in capital gains tax. The house was located 80 miles from his constituency and 30 miles from Westminster.

Robert Key (Con) - Salisbury. The defence select committee member is standing down on the advice of his doctor. The MP, who has a majority of 11,142, claimed £1,650 for an oven, but repaid £530 to the Fees Office.

Anthony Steen (Con) - Totnes. The Tory grandee, who has served in the Commons since 1974, claimed tens of thousands of pounds for repairs to his estate, including for a tree expert to inspect around 500 specimens.

Matthew Taylor (LD) - Truro and Falmouth. The one-time youngest MP who entered parliament at the age of 24 said he wanted to spend more time with his family.

Colin Breed (LD) - South East Cornwall. The former shadow Treasury minister has represented the seat since 1997 and has a majority of 6,507.


John Smith (Lab) - Vale of Glamorgan. First elected in 1989, the Welsh MP said he was standing down due to his age and health problems. His replacement will defend a majority of 1,808.

Kim Howells (Lab) - Pontypridd. The former defence minister was a leading figure in the 1984 Welsh miners' strikes, and entered parliament in 1989. He has been outspoken about modern art, leaving a note at a Tate exhibition saying British art was "lost" if this was the best it could produce.

Martyn Jones (Lab) - Clwyd South. He was one of the 98 MPs who voted to exempt themselves from the Freedom of Information Act. He vowed to take the Commons to court if his resettlement grant - the 'golden goodbye' - was slashed.

Betty Williams (Lab) - Aberconwy. The independent-minded backbencher has served since 1997, but significant boundary changes to the seat have made it a Tory target.

Alan Williams (Lab) - Swansea West. The current Father of the House has served the constituency since 1964 and had the fifth-lowest overall expenses claims, despite his seat being almost 200 miles from Westminster.

Adam Price (Plaid Cymru) - Carmarthen East and Dinefwr. The MP is standing down to focus on academia and has accepted a place at a US graduate school. His majority in 2005 was 6,718.

East Anglia

Barbara Follett (Lab) - Stevenage. The former tourism minister claimed more than £25,000 for private security at her London home as she didn't feel safe in the city. Her majority is just 3,000, meaning the seat is vulnerable to Conservative takeover.

Margaret Moran (Lab) - Luton South. The former whip complained the media attention surrounding her £22,500 expense claims to treat dry rot in her partner's house had affected her friends, family and health. The constituency has gone to the winning party in every general election since 1951, making it the country's most reliable bellwether.

Christopher Fraser (Con) - Norfolk South West. The backbencher claimed for more than 200 trees and £70 for the emptying of his septic tank. Despite this, his reasons for standing down are to do with his wife's "ongoing health problems" and not related to the expenses scandal.

John Gummer (Con) - Suffolk Coastal. The ex-environment secretary who fed his daughter a beef burger at the height of the 1990 mad cow disease scare claimed taxpayers' money to rid his estate of moles. He has said he wants to take on an international role in combating climate change.

Michael Lord (Con) - Suffolk Central and Ipswich North. The deputy Speaker entered parliament in 1983 and has a majority of 7,856.

Malcolm Moss (Con) - Cambridgeshire North East. The former culture shadow minister assumed the seat in 1987, replacing writer and broadcaster Clement Freud, and has a current majority of 8,901.

Richard Spring (Con) - West Suffolk. The former shadow minister has served his constituents since 1992 and escaped unscathed from the expenses scandal. He remarked that he had "very mixed feelings" about his decision to stand down.

David Howarth (LD) - Cambridge. He will be returned to his self-confessed "other life" in academia having served one term as MP. Nick Clegg remarked: "Academia's gain is very much politics' loss."

Northern Ireland

Iris Robinson (DUP) - Strangford. The DUP leader's wife resigned after it emerged she had conducted an affair with a 19-year old and had lobbied property developers to put up money for her lover's business venture.

Ian Paisley (DUP) - North Antrim. The former leader is ending a 40-year stint in Westminster at this general election. His son, Ian Paisley Jr, is expected to contest the seat in his place.


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