THE decision to hold a pre-Christmas general election has so far prompted 54 MPs - a seventh of the total - to announce their retirement.

Nineteen of these are Labour MPs and include failed leadership challenger Owen Smith, Liverpool Riverside Labour MP Louise Ellman, Jim Fitzpatrick, Kevin Barron, Kate Hoey and other right-wingers who have consistently opposed Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership of the Labour Party.

The Commons speaker, John Bercow, is among those waving goodbye to the House of Commons, a departure that will be welcomed by far-right Tory Brexiteers, who accused him of favouring Remain MPs.

It has been revealed that Johnson's Bill for the December 12 Election saw 117 Labour MPs either abstain or vote against, even though the Labour front bench instructed them to support it.

This shows the scale of the right-wing, Blairite opposition within the outgoing Parliamentary Labour Party to Corbyn’s leadership.

They simply do not want their own leader to enter Number 10, and will play the role of an anti-Labour Government fifth-column if Labour wins.

Unlike workers who retire or lose their jobs, however, departing MPs will receive a very generous package of pension, resettlement grant, winding-up allowance, and severance pay.

It is easy to see why the Parliamentary gravy train is so attractive to prospective candidates for the 650 seats up for grabs.

The trouble is the financial rewards on offer tend to attract exactly the wrong sort of person, namely, gold-diggers and careerists, more interested in their wallets than their principles.

James Roberts, Wallasey