With 36 year-old Tory Chris Kelly quitting parliament after just one term, a parliamentary counterpart has observed he is among nine 2010 intake MPs to jump.
While Kelly has declined to offer a reason — a lack of advancement in the Commons and a considerable salary boost on offer at his dad’s truck company, for which he was moonlighting while MP, may be factors — what excuses have his colleagues given? We’ve included Labour’s official target seat numbers to give you a massive clue:
- Dan Byles (North Warwickshire, #1) — No reason given.
- Jonathan Evans (Cardiff North, #4) — Despite uber-marginal seat, the 62 year-old claimed he feared serving until 2020 if he stood again.
- Louise Mensch (Corby) — Prefers New York City to the the East Midlands. Though it would have made an appearance, Mensch quit her 1,951 majority seat so early that Labour hadn’t even released an official target seat list.
- Mike Weatherley (Hove, #28) — Understandable re-assessment of personal priorities after a battle with cancer while in office.
- Aidan Burley (Cannock, #50) — Minor issue relating to Nazi uniforms.
- Chris Kelly (Dudley South, #74) — No reason given.
Then there are the trio of women whose resignations have become a shorthand for the challenges faced by female MPs in general and Tory ones in particular.
- Jessica Lee (Erewash, #42) — “personal circumstances and responsibilities”
- Lorraine Fullbrook (South Ribble, #77) — “Personal reasons”.
- Laura Sandys (Thanet South) — Blamed “a wide range of family demands.” With a 7,617 majority, Sandys is the only 2010 intake quitter with anything approaching a safe seat
While some of the MPs above have offered genuine reasons, others clearly lack the stomach for a fight they suspect they will lose.