London Daily

Focus on the big picture.
Wednesday, Feb 01, 2023

Tory MPs are fleeing the sinking ship. Will anyone give them a job?

Tory MPs are fleeing the sinking ship. Will anyone give them a job?

A relatively young cohort of Conservative lawmakers is heading for the exit — but what will they do next?

Thanks, but no thanks: That’s the conclusion of a growing number of young Conservative MPs asked whether they fancy slugging it out for another five years in the Westminster maelstrom.

The Tory Party has given its MPs until Monday to decide whether they intend to stand for Parliament again at the next U.K. general election, expected in 2024.

The deadline has already proved a convenient jumping-off point for more than a dozen Conservative lawmakers — many still in the prime of their working lives — who have seen their party battered by tanking poll ratings for the past 12 months, and staring straight into the economic abyss.

Some in marginal seats may feel they were facing defeat anyway. But what exactly these young, retiring MPs do next is an open question. The list of departures includes several whose CVs aren’t exactly brimming with real-world experience.

There are “no good options” for those facing electoral defeat, one former Tory MP said, warning they either contest their seat anyway and be remembered as “literally a loser” — or else face accusations of cowardice for standing down.

While a proportion of MPs inevitably retire ahead of any election, what’s striking about the latest class of Tory quitters is that many appeared to have long political careers still ahead of them.

So far the average age of the 13 Conservatives standing down is just 49, compared to 69 for the 12 Labour MPs who have said they won’t run again.

One of the most eye-catching departures is Sajid Javid, who at the age of 52 is a veteran of several high-profile ministerial jobs including chancellor and home secretary, and who was widely seen as a possible candidate for a Cabinet return in the months ahead.

Others heading for the door are significantly younger, including Dehenna Davison, a star of the 2019 intake aged just 29; William Wragg, a 34-year-old backbencher who established himself as an authoritative critic of Boris Johnson; and Chris Skidmore and Chloe Smith, two former Cabinet ministers still in their early 40s.

The reasons behind the exodus are multiple, with the Tories fearful of dire poll ratings and braced for further voter anger over the soaring cost of living. Complicating matters further is a planned shake-up of parliamentary constituencies, making a number of safe-ish Tory seats less secure than they were before.

One former minister summarized the mood as “a fed-upness… People are starting to ask what they are doing here.”

‘People don’t like MPs’

The public perception is that MPs will not struggle for post-Parliamentary work. Forty-eight percent of the British public assume former MPs will find it easy to find a job after quitting, according to polling by Redfield and Wilton for POLITICO, while only 4 percent think they will find it difficult.

But those who’ve built a new life on the outside believe it may not be so straightforward.

Tom Blenkinsop, the former Labour MP for Middlesbrough South, quit ahead of the 2017 election after just seven years in the job over his unhappiness at Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership.

“The assumption is that you will walk into a CEO role — but it doesn’t work like that. People don’t like MPs,” Tom Blenkinsop, the former Labour MP for Middlesbrough South, said

Blenkinsop went on to work for the Community trade union and the lobbying group the Federation of Small Businesses. He says working out his next move after Westminster was no stroll in the park.

“The assumption is that you will walk into a CEO role — but it doesn’t work like that. People don’t like MPs,” he said. “They like ex-MPs even less.”

Support in finding work from powerful ex-colleagues is far from guaranteed. Those walking out rather than fighting for a marginal seat are robbing their party of an often-crucial incumbency factor, potentially making defeat more likely. This is hardly likely to foster goodwill among party bosses.

Party allegiances also factor into an MPs’ potential employability after Westminster, Blenkinsop points out.

At the time he stood down, the Labour Party was seen as being a long way off a return to power, and the promise of having a former opposition MP on the books was not especially tantalizing for public affairs consultancies or lobbyists hoping to influence a Tory government. Now, with the Labour Party on the up, outgoing Tory MPs may find their own currencies devalued. 

Experience essential

One former Labour MP suggested it was no accident many of the Tories departing through choice are those who had distinguished themselves in some way in Westminster, and are therefore seen as having decent post-Parliament career prospects.

Javid, Smith and Skidmore all have ministerial experience, with Javid already one of the highest-earning MPs thanks to lucrative side hustles in banking and tech. Davison is already a media personality, with her own show on GB News.

It is those MPs with thinner CVs, including some who never expected to be elected in the now-distant 2019 election surge for the Conservatives in so-called Red Wall seats, who will have less to fall back on.

“The Tories standing down are the ones who have a portfolio behind them which they can use in the private sector, whereas some of the Red Wall lot, this would be the best job they’ve ever had,” said the former Labour MP quoted above.

Yet while it might not be all plain sailing, there are still plenty of attractions for ex-MPs on the outside.

Beyond public affairs, lobbying and directorships of NGOs or public bodies, there’s always local politics. Several former MPs, including Labour’s one-time leadership hopeful Andy Burnham, have returned as regional mayors or even councillors.

Virginia Bottomley, a Tory peer who became a headhunter for Odgers Berndtson after she left the House of Commons, said MPs shouldn’t feel too downbeat about their prospects.

Several former MPs, including Labour’s one-time leadership hopeful Andy Burnham, have returned as regional mayors or even councillors

“There’s a great demand for good people to do jobs,” she said. “MPs have great skills. They are intellectually entrepreneurial, they’re self-starters, they know how to manage stakeholders.”

And the rewards of civilian life can stretch beyond the financial.

“Getting to your family and friends again is incredible,” said ex-Labour MP Natascha Engel. “Just being normal again feels like a luxury. Suddenly what you’ve got in your shopping basket in the supermarket is no one else’s business.”


Related Articles

London Daily
WARNING GRAPHIC CONTENT - US Memphis Police murdering innocent Tyre Nichols
You're Beautiful - James Blunt (Boyce Avenue acoustic cover)
Almost 30% of professionals say they've tried ChatGPT at work
You Are So Beautiful
Interpol seeks woman who ran elaborate exam cheating scam in Singapore
Postmodern Jukebox European Tour Version
What is ChatGPT?
An old French tune (by Georges Brassens) Pomplamoose ft. John Schroeder
Bill Gates is ‘very optimistic’ about the future: ‘Better to be born 20 years from now...than any time in the past’
Sattahip Motor Show 20
China is opening up for foreign investors.
SONATE AU CLAIR DE LUNE - Moonlight sonata
Tesla reported record profits and record revenues for 2022
A kiss to build a dream on
Germany confirms it will provide Ukraine with Leopard 2 tanks
Wiz Khalifa - See You Again ft. Charlie Puth, Furious
Prince Andrew and Virginia Giuffre Photo Is Fake: Ghislaine Maxwell
Wonderful Tonight - Eric Clapton (Boyce Avenue acoustic cover)
Opinion | Israel’s Supreme Court Claims a Veto on Democracy
Mean Blues
Moonwalker Buzz Aldrin Gets Married On His 93rd Birthday
La Chansonnette
Who’s Threatening Israeli Democracy?
Pattaya Addicts
Federal Reserve Probes Goldman’s Consumer Business
Franz Liszt - Liebestraum - Love Dream
China's first population drop in six decades
Dream a little dream of me
Microsoft is finalising plans to become the latest technology giant to reduce its workforce during a global economic slowdown
Tu Vuo' Fa' L'Americano - Hetty & the Jazzato Band
Israelis rally in three cities against Netanyahu legal reforms
Unchained Melody sung like you've NEVER heard!
China's foreign ministry branch in Hong Kong urges British gov't to stop the biased and double standards Hong Kong report
Dave Brubeck - Take Five
Tesla slashes prices globally by as much as 20 percent
Édith Piaf - Non, Je Ne Regrette Rien (Sofie)
Japan prosecutors indict man for ex-PM Shinzo Abe murder
Rondo Alla Turca
1.4 Million Copies Of Prince Harry's Memoir 'Spare' Sold On 1st Day In UK
Kiss of fire
After Failing To Pay Office Rent, Twitter May Sell User Names
Ed Sheeran - Perfect (Amadeus violin cover instrumental)
Lisa Marie Presley, singer and daughter of Elvis, dies aged 54
Tom Jones - I´ll Never Fall In Love Again 1967, 1989, 2001
FIFA president questioned by prosecutors
Israel Cachao López - Guajira Clásica
Britain's Sunak breaks silence and admits using private healthcare
Edward Maya - Stereo Love (feat. Vika Jigulina) (Extended Mix)
Dirty bomb fears as URANIUM is found in cargo at Heathrow
Strauss - Radetzky March - Karajan
Hype and backlash as Harry's memoir goes on sale. Unnamed royal source says prince 'kidnapped by cult of psychotherapy and Meghan'
La vie en rose
Saudi Arabia set to overtake India as fastest-growing major economy this year 
Despacito (Piano Cover) - Peter Bence
Google and Facebook’s dominance in digital ads challenged by rapid ascent of Amazon and TikTok
The Temptations - My Girl (Smokey Robinson Tribute) 2006 Kennedy Cent
FTX fraud investigators are digging deeper into Sam Bankman-Fried's inner circle – and reportedly have ex-engineer Nishad Singh in their sights
Orlando Cachaito Lopez Redencion
TikTok CEO Plans to Meet European Union Regulators
UK chaos: Hong Kong emigrants duped by false prospectus
RADETZKY MARCH-2008-Wien, New Year Concert
France has banned the online sale of paracetamol until February, citing ongoing supply issues
Only you (And you alone)
Japan reportedly to give families 1 million yen per child to move out of Tokyo
Beautiful in White x Canon in D (Piano Cover by Riyandi Kusuma)
Saudi Arabia’s female ambassadors: Who are the five women representing the Kingdom?
Strangers In The Night
Will Canada ever become a real democracy?
Charles Aznavour - La Boheme
Hong Kong property brokerages slash payrolls in choppy market
Summer time
U.S. Moves to Seize Robinhood Shares, Silvergate Accounts Tied to FTX
Sting and Stevie Wonder - Fragile (from Sting's 60th birthday concert)
Effect of EU sanctions on Moscow is ‘less than zero’ – Belgian MEP
Aux Champs Elysees
Coinbase to Pay $100 Million in Settlement With New York Regulator
Stand By Me - Ben E. King (Boyce Avenue acoustic cover)
FTX assets worth $3.5bn held by Bahamas securities regulator
La Mer (Beyond the Sea) – Avalon Jazz Band
A Republican congressman-elect is under investigation in New York after he admitted he lied about his education and work experience.
Brazilian football legend Pele, arguably the greatest player ever, has died at the age of 82.
Nathalie Song by Enzo Petrachi Stjepan Hauser Cello
Hong Kong to scrap almost all its Covid rules
Shape of My Heart - Sting (Boyce Avenue acoustic cover)
EU calls screening of travellers from China unjustified
Radiohead - Creep
US imposes Covid testing for visitors from China
Quizás,Quizás,Quizás - Andrea Bocelli - Jennifer Lopez
Clashes erupt in central Paris after shooting at a Kurdish cultural center
Perhaps, Perhaps, Perhaps - Multi-Couples
Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy Addresses Joint Session of Congress - FULL SPEECH
Pentatonix Havana
If a country is denied the right to independence by another, it is not in a union. It is in a dictatorship.
Paula Cole - Autumn Leaves
Where is Rishi? Chancellor Jeremy Hunt's excuses about the UK's economic challenges just don't make sense
Oscar Benton Bensonhurst Blues
Former FTX CEO Bankman-Fried finally arrested in Bahamas after U.S. files charges
Nina Simone - ”I Put A Spell On You”. Vezi aici cum cântă Jeremy Ragsd
NIGHTWISH - The Phantom Of The Opera
Motorshow 2016 Tanjay Negros Oriental
Monica Bellucci - Ti Amo
Michael Jackson - Billie Jean Milena The Voice France 2018
Michael Buble (Help Me Make It Through The Night) feat Loren Allred
Memories Canon In D - Maroon 5 (Boyce Avenue piano acoustic cover)
Matteo Simoni - Marina
Maroon 5 - One More Night
Maroon 5 - Memories
Mark Knopfler - Brothers In Arms (Berlin 2007 Live)
Mark Knopfler & Emmylou Harris - Romeo And Juliet (Real Live Roadrunni
Marina, Marina - The LUCKY DUCKIES intimist live concert at Guimarães
Major Lazer & DJ Snake – Lean On Mauranne The Voice France 2016
Love Theme from Romeo and Juliet - Joslin - Henri Mancini, Nino Rota
LoLa & Hauser - Love Story
Linkin Park Jay-Z - Numb Encore (Live 8 2005)
Hallelujah Mennel Ibtissem, The Voice France Leonard Cohen
Leonard Cohen - Dance Me to the End of Love
Leonard Cohen & Natasha Rostova - Dance me to the end of love
La casa de papel - Bella Ciao
La Camisa Negra
L'italiano (Toto Cutugno) - The Gypsy Queens
Juanes - La Camisa Negra
Jonathan and Charlotte - Britain's Got Talent 2012 Live Semi Final - U
John Powell - Assassin's Tango
Joe Cocker - You Can Leave Your Hat On (LIVE in Dortmund)
Joe Cocker - Unchain My Heart 2002 Live
Joe Cocker - A Whiter Shade Of Pale
Jay Z & Alicia Keys - Empire State of Mind LIVE
Jason Mraz - Im Yours (live)
Jarrod Radnich - Bohemian Rhapsody - Virtuosic Piano Solo
James Blunt - You're Beautiful
James Blunt - You're Beautiful & Bonfire Heart (Live at The Nobel Peac)
If You Go Away - Helen Merrill & Stan Getz (Tribute to Virna Lisi)
I Say a Little Prayer
Hotel California ( Eagles ) 1994 Live
Historia de un amor - Luz Casal. Vezi interpretarea Biancăi Sumanariu
Here Comes The Sun - The Beatles (Boyce Avenue acoustic cover) on Spot
Heart - Stairway to Heaven Led Zeppelin - Kennedy Center Honors
HAVANA by Camila Cabello Zumba Pre Cooldown TML Crew Kramer Pastra
HAUSER and Señorita - I Will Always Love You
HAUSER - Waka Waka
HAUSER - Lambada
HAUSER - Historia de un Amor
HAUSER - Despacito
Great Pretender
Georgia May Foote & Giovanni Pernice Samba to 'Volare' - Strictly Come
Gary Moore - Still Got The Blues
Fugees - Killing Me Softly With His Song
French Latino - Historia de un Amor
For A Few Dollars More The Danish National Symphony Orchestra (Live)
Flashdance • What a Feeling • Irene Cara
Filip Rudan - “Someone You Loved” Audicija 4 The Voice Hrvatska Sez
Eric Clapton - Wonderful Tonight
Enya - Only Time
Enrique Iglesias - Bailando (English Version) ft. Sean Paul
Enrique Iglesias - Bailamos
Elena Yerevan Historia de un amor
Ed Sheeran - Shape of You (Official Music Video)
Ed Sheeran - Perfect Symphony [with Andrea Bocelli]
Ed Sheeran - Perfect (Official Music Video)
Easy On Me - Adele (Boyce Avenue 90’s style piano acoustic cover) on S
ERA - Ameno
ELENA YEREVAN- Cancion Del Mariachi-IN STUDIO-2017 DPR
Dust In The Wind - Kansas (Boyce Avenue acoustic cover)
Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood
Despacito x Shape Of You - Pentatonix
Deep Purple - Child In Time - Live (1970)
David Foster When A Man Loves A WomanIt's A Mans World (SealMichael Bo
Dance me to the end of Love ( Pi-Air Design )
Coolio - Gangsta's Paradise (feat. L.V.) [Official Music Video]
Conquest Of Paradise (Vangelis), played on Böhm Emporio organ
Cielito Lindo
Chico & The Gypsies - Bamboleo
Canción Del Mariachi - Antonio Banderas, Los Lobos • Desperado
Camila Cabello - Havana (Audio) ft. Young Thug
Camila Cabello - Havana ( cover by J.Fla )
California Dreamin' - The Mamas & The Papas José Feliciano (Boyce Ave
Buster Benton - Money Is The Name of The Game
Hallelujah Pentatonix
Bobby McFerrin - Don't Worry Be Happy (Official Music Video)
Bob Dylan - Knockin' On Heaven's Door Emilia The Voice Kids France
Besame Mucho - Cesaria Evora
Ben E. King - Stand by Me Sax Cover Alexandra Ilieva Thomann
Bella Ciao
Beautiful in White x Canon in D (Piano Cover by Riyandi Kusuma)
Bad Romance - Vintage 1920's Gatsby Style Lady Gaga Cover ft. Ariana Savalas & Sarah Reich(1)
BAMBOLEO - Gipsy Kings • Antonio Banderas, Katya Virshilas
BAILANDO (original)
Awesome Ukrainian yodeler - SOFIA SHKIDCHENKO (with English subtitles)
Avicii - The Nights
Atom - The Great Gig in the Sky
Aretha Franklin - (You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman (Official Ly
Antonio Banderas - Cancion del Mariachi (Desperado)
André Rieu - Zorba's Dance (Sirtaki)
André Rieu - Can't Help Falling In Love
André Rieu & Mirusia - Ave Maria
Andrew Reyes Elton John - Don't Let The Sun Go Down The Voice 2020 (
Andreas Kümmert Whiter Shade Of Pale The Voice of Germany 2013 Showd
And I Love You So
All About That Bass - Postmodern Jukebox European Tour Version
Alan Walker - Faded (Piano Cover)
Ain't No Sunshine -- Bill Withers (cover by Canen 12 y.o.)
African music
Adriana Vidović - “Creep” Audicija 4 The Voice Hrvatska Sezona 3
Adriana Vidović - “Believer” Nokaut 3 The Voice Hrvatska Sezona 3
A Fistful of Dollars - The Danish National Symphony Orchestra and Tuva
4 Beautiful Soundtracks Relaxing Piano [10min]
2CELLOS - Whole Lotta Love vs. Beethoven 5th Symphony [OFFICIAL VIDEO]
2CELLOS - Smooth Criminal (Live at Suntory Hall, Tokyo)
2CELLOS - Smells Like Teen Spirit [Live at Sydney Opera House]
13 Year Old Girl Playing Il Silenzio (The Silence) - André Rieu
094.All About That Bass
(Ghost) Riders In the Sky (American Outlaws Live at Nassau Coliseum, 1
(Everything I Do) I Do It For You - Bryan Adams (Boyce Avenue ft. Conn
What a wonderful world
Moon river