Conservative MPs Huw Merriman, James Grundy, Jo Churchill and Eleanor Laing stand down

Five Conservative MPs announced their departure from political life the day after Rishi Sunak called an election as the party braced for a flood of resignations.

Sir Michael Ellis, MP for Northampton North, Huw Merriman, Minister for Transport, James Grundy, a Red Wall MP who entered Parliament in 2019, Dame Eleanor Laing, Deputy Speaker of the Commons, and Jo Churchill, Minister for Employment, revealed the Thursday they would not participate in the next elections.

Dame Eleanor, MP for Epping Forest, and Churchill, who represents Bury & St Edmunds, became the 66th and 67th Conservative MPs to confirm they will leave the House of Commons after the next national election amid fears of an exodus in the parliamentary party.

Grundy, who represented Leigh, later announced he would not contest the new Leigh and Atherton seat, before Merriman shared a letter on social media thanking his constituents.

He became the 69th Conservative MP to announce they will resign.

Grundy said: “It is fair to say that the last few years have been perhaps the most challenging Parliament since the one that sat during the Second World War.

“There has also been a sad change in the political climate, where politicians, their families and staff are increasingly seen as easy prey for abuse, threats of violence or even death threats.

He added: “This is unhealthy for our national politics and needs to change, and with that in mind I have decided not to seek re-election.”

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