BRADFORD'S departing MPs have revealed what lies on the horizon for them now they have left the Parliamentary benches.

Three new MPs for Bradford were last week officially sworn in at Westminster - Labour's Naz Shah for Bradford West, Imran Hussain for Bradford East and Judith Cummins for Bradford South.

But as they settle into their new high-powered roles, their predecessors have been faced with the task of closing offices, handing over paperwork to their successors and making staff redundant.

They also have to decide what to do next.

Liberal Democrat David Ward, who lost his seat in Bradford East during a calamitous General Election night for his party, is now thinking about his next move.


The former lecturer said he could look to return to academia, to do some sort of research project.

He said: "Or there are plenty of voluntary community groups I can get involved in. I don't really intend to make any quick decisions."

Much of an MP's job involves dealing with issues on behalf of constituents, and Mr Ward and his team have now written to everyone they hold case files on.

People can either pick up the documents or ask for them to be handed on to the new MP, Mr Ward said. Anything left unclaimed will be destroyed.

MPs who lose their seats are given a 'resettlement payment' of up to £33,532, depending on length of service, as they find a new job.

MPs who step down or lose their seats are also entitled to a winding-up budget of £53,950 to close down their offices, and the taxpayer meets staff redundancy costs.

Mr Ward said: "It's all on a strict timetable. By July 8, I have to be out of the premises. Of my staff, some were on short-term contracts and some of them will go through to July 8.

"That's the last day you can employ somebody. After that, it's over."

Gerry Sutcliffe, who had been Labour MP for Bradford South for 20 years, has had longer to plan his next move, as he did not stand for re-election.

Mr Sutcliffe, a former sports minister, said sitting MPs who failed to be re-elected could find the transition tough.

He said: "I would say for the MPs who lost their seats, it's difficult. They have lost their job, they have lost their income.

"At least I had the chance to plan it out and have a smooth handover to Judith."

Mr Sutcliffe has already given up his rented home in London, and will shortly be handing back his keys to his constituency office in Glyde House, Bradford.

His four staff members were finding new jobs and casework was being handed over to Mrs Cummins.

As for his future plans, Mr Sutcliffe hopes to find a role campaigning for greater powers to be devolved from Whitehall to the region - a topic he is passionate about.

He said: "I'm somebody who has ministerial experience and local government experience. I would do it as a Labour Party member but also somebody who is interested in the issues."

Bradford West's former MP George Galloway has yet to reveal his next move, saying it was too early to decide, but has previously hinted he may run for Mayor of London.

Meanwhile, he still retains his position as leader of the Respect Party, and also presents a show called Sputnik for the Russian RT network, with his wife, Gayatri.

He has also called for the result of the Bradford West election to be set aside, alleging electoral malpractice, and his legal challenge is ongoing.