A former Carlisle MP is involved in a new mentoring scheme offering support to MPs as they grapple with losing their seat and navigating life outside the halls of Parliament.

Eric Martlew, who represented the city from 1987-2010, is chairman of the Association of Former Members of Parliament which has just launched the scheme to help politicians manage the practicalities of no longer being an MP. 

While Cabinet members may get taken on by a large company, backbench MPs could find it more difficult to find work.

"What the mentoring scheme is, it's not just a shoulder to cry on, but to tell you the practicalities of how to sort it all out," said Mr Martlew.

"It's about giving guidance to people about where to look for a job, where to look for retraining.

"And the people who are doing it know from experience what it's like because they will be the ones who have lost the seat."

Post-General Election is an exciting time for newly selected MPs but for those they have replaced, it's a very different experience, according to Mr Martlew.

People lose their jobs in a very public way and they're then expected to wrap things up within days. 

"It's not like making people redundant," he said.

"It's much more brutal than that because it's not as though the jobs are done and somebody's taking your place.

"The counts are probably the nearest thing we've got to a blood sport left in this country.

"What we've got is people lose their seat and other people in the audience cheer."

They're not sure how many people will seek support from the scheme as sometimes former politicians "just want to go away."

But, although this is the first time that the scheme is running, Mr Martlew doesn't think it'll be the last.