The anouncement certainly came as a surprise to SNP activists in Rutherglen and Hamilton West since they've seen McAvoy out and about campaigning for what they assumed was his re-election.
It could of coyrse just be absolute coincidence that his announcement comes after Jim Devine claimed a male Labour whip advised him to claim his expsenses in the way he did. This claim was followed up by the Labour Party launching an internal inquiry to identify the whip whom Jim Devine fingered:
Conciidentally that was also the day (February 10th) that John Ward suggested Tommy McAvoy may be the whip;
"Giving a speech to the Oxford Union a few short years ago, Ken Livingstone told a somewhat different tale. He blithely informed the assembled students that the Labour Whips “encouraged MPs to claim for their second home allowance, and said ‘if you don’t want it – claim it anyway and give it to the Labour Party’”"
Intriguingly such comments echo with THIS article about Tommy McAvoy from 2009:
"McAvoy, a Labour whip since 1997, also claims the second home allowance while acting as a London landlord at the same time. The Rutherglen and Hamilton West MP has billed the taxpayer for around £64,000 in ACA since 2004. His entry on the Commons register shows he has received "rental income" on a residential flat in London since November 2002."
Finally, and as an aside, I've noticed of late that suggestions for friends on Facebook have been throwing up a significant number of Labour MPs. It made me wonder if they were setting up pages as part of their re-election campaigns.
If it is for re-election why did Tommy McAvoy set one up if he was retiring anyway?