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Additional Senior UK Lawmakers Announce Intentions to Resign as Members of Parliament

Credits: The Washington Post

Two senior lawmakers from the ruling Conservative Party in the UK have announced their decision to stand down at the next election, adding to a growing list of departures as the party faces the possibility of defeat.

Armed Forces minister James Heappey and former chairman of the Tories, Brandon Lewis, both revealed their intentions not to contest their seats in the upcoming nationwide vote, expected in the second half of this year.

Heappey described his decision as “painful,” emphasizing that he prioritized his family and a new career path over continuing as a Member of Parliament (MP). Lewis, who previously held positions including Northern Ireland and justice secretary, also opted out of candidacy.

Lawmakers (Credits: The Nevada Independent)

Their departures contribute to a significant exodus from the Conservative Party, with at least 66 current or former Conservatives having announced their intention to leave parliament at the upcoming election—the highest number since Labour’s landslide victory under Tony Blair in 1997.

Among the notable figures stepping down is former Prime Minister Theresa May, who announced her retirement after 27 years as an MP.

The wave of retirements reflects a prevailing sentiment in Westminster that the Tories are facing an uphill battle in the upcoming election, with polls consistently showing Labour, led by Keir Starmer, in the lead since October 2022.

Despite attempts by Rishi Sunak, the current Prime Minister, to reinvigorate support for the party, including multiple policy resets, the Conservatives have struggled to regain ground.

Law Makers (Credits: BBC)

However, the outcome of the election remains uncertain, as Labour would require a significant vote swing to secure an overall majority in the House of Commons. The narrowing of the polls as the election approaches adds further unpredictability to the political landscape.

Heappey’s resignation as an MP reportedly stems from discontent over government spending on defence, with his departure from ministerial duties expected by the end of the month. He emphasized his commitment to supporting Sunak until his own departure.

With nearly 100 MPs out of 650 indicating they will not seek re-election, the upcoming election is set to witness significant turnover in parliament.

Despite speculation about the timing of the election, Sunak has ruled out calling it to coincide with local polls in May, with expectations pointing towards the second half of the year for the nationwide vote.

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