Conservative MP Craig Mackinlay becomes the latest in a post-war record number of Tory MPs to be standing down.

House of Commons and Palace of Westminster next to Thames river in London.
Is your MP standing down at the next election? (Stock image: Getty)

The Conservative MP who lost all his limbs to sepsis will not run for his South Thanet seat in the upcoming general election, he has announced.

Craig Mackinlay said in a Facebook post that after “36 hrs of intense soul searching” following the snap election announcement he had decided it would be “difficult to withstand the rigours of an all-out election campaign”.

Mackinlay is one of three high-profile Conservative MPs who have announced today that they plan to quit ahead of the 4 July general election and are among a post-war record number of Tory MPs standing down.


Earlier, former business minister Greg Clark and veteran MP Sir John Redwood also confirmed plans to quit.

By Friday afternoon (24 May), the total number of Tory MPs not seeking re-election stood at 75 – surpassing the previous record of 72 who quit before the 1997 election that saw a Labour landslide under Tony Blair.

Former prime minister Theresa May and former chancellor Nadhim Zahawi had already announced they would not be standing again, while Matt Hancock and Bob Stewart, who also said they were stepping down before the election date was announced, have both had the party whip restored.

It is thought that Rishi Sunak’s surprise election announcement has left many Tory MPs fearful of losing their jobs, with many – including Cabinet ministers – concerned by his decision.

Channel 4 political correspondent Paul McNamara shared an email from Conservative HQ calling for candidates in nearly 100 seats – saying local Conservative associations had been left “livid” at only having 48 hours to find candidates.

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