'They know they won't win': Iain Dale and Shelagh Fogarty break down Tory MPs quitting next election

2 December 2022, 18:31

Iain Dale: Tory politicians 'see the writing on the wall'

Melissa Fleur Afshar

By Melissa Fleur Afshar

Shelagh Fogarty and Iain Dale have dissected the growing trend of Tory MPs standing down before the next election.

The former Health Secretary is the latest in a line of Tory MPs to stand down.
The former Health Secretary is the latest in a line of Tory MPs to stand down. Picture: Alamy

"It is that they see the writing on the wall," said Iain after it emerged that Sajid Javid had joined the list of Tory MPs who were abandoning the next election for other pursuits.

The Tory MP for Bromsgrove and former Health Secretary had shared on Twitter that he won't stand at the next general election, which is expected to be held in 2025.

"Some of [the Tory MPs] remember what it was like to be in the opposition and they don't want to do the opposition job again because it's a hard slog," Iain continued.

With Tory MPs standing down one-after-another Shelagh Fogarty and Iain Dale were determined to understand why.

Aside from simply not wanting to be on the losing team, Iain argued that MPs could be standing down for personal reasons and to explore other career avenues.

"Is this a sign that they know they won't win the next election?" asked Shelagh.

"Well, [Mr Javid] has got the time to do something else [with his life], that's what a lot of MPs in their 40s and 50s will be thinking," Iain responded.

"He is at an age where he could still have another career, that's the interesting thing here. Generally, we expect MPs to retire when they hit their mid-60s or 70s. Now, you are seeing a lot of younger MPs stand down," he added.

READ MORE: Sajid Javid becomes highest-profile MP to join Tory exodus with 11 MPs now quitting and party struggling in the polls

Iain went on to reference the former Work and Pensions Secretary, Chloe Smith, who is standing down in Norwich North.

"She's 40, and she's decided that she will go and do something else. That seat could go to Labour, and it will need to if they are going to win an election!"

Iain then told Shelagh that he had "expected [Mr Javid] to stand down."

The broadcaster and political commentator acknowledged that Mr Javid would be keen to take up one of the top three jobs in the cabinet - having already filled two of them - but that he's "unlikely to be in the cabinet in the future", since he's not in the cabinet now.

Ian argued that Mr Javid would've lost his incentive to stand in the next election by knowing that he's unlikely to reach a top spot in parliament.

All Tory MPs have been given a deadline of the 5 December to state whether they will or will not stand in the next election, but more young and prominent MPs have stood down than originally expected.

Shelagh and Iain reached the agreement that this is likely to be down to the Tory MPs knowing that they can't secure the next election, and that instead of spending years in the opposition they could spend the rest of their youth working on something else.

Labour have seen some success recently, having shot ahead of the Tories in opinion polls and beaten the ruling party at the Chester by-election.

To add further fuel to the fire senior Conservatives, like Sir Charles Walker, have expressed their lack of confidence in the party's ability to win in 2025.

Does Sajid Javid's announcement mean Tories 'accept' they won't win?