Dan Jarvis

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Dan Jarvis
Member of Parliament
for Barnsley Central
In office
3 March 2011 – 3 May 2017
Preceded by Eric Illsley
Succeeded by Election in progress
Majority 12,435 (34%)
Personal details
Born Daniel Owen Woolgar Jarvis
(1972-11-30) 30 November 1972 (age 44)
Nottingham, England
Political party Labour
Spouse(s) Caroline Jarvis (2000–2010, her death)
Rachel Jarvis (2013–present)
Children 3
Alma mater Aberystwyth University
Royal Military Academy Sandhurst
King's College London
Military service
Allegiance  United Kingdom
Service/branch  British Army
Rank Major
Unit Parachute Regiment
Battles/wars Operation Banner
Kosovo War
Operation Telic
Operation Herrick

Daniel Owen Woolgar Jarvis MBE (born 30 November 1972) is a British Labour Party politician and former British Army Major. From 1997 to 2011, he served in the Parachute Regiment of the British Army, before being elected as the Member of Parliament (MP) for Barnsley Central in a by-election.

Early life[edit]

Jarvis was born on 30 November 1972[1] in Nottingham, the son of a lecturer at a teacher-training college and a probation officer, both Labour Party members.[2] He attended Lady Bay Primary School and then went on to study at Rushcliffe School.

He and his brother Rob Jarvis are fans of Nottingham Forest, with both as children failing to gain tickets in the ballot for the 1989 F.A. Cup semi-final between Forest and Liverpool at which the Hillsborough disaster took place.[3]

He studied international politics at Aberystwyth University.[4] He graduated in 1996 with a Bachelor of Science degree in International Politics and Strategic Studies.[5] He graduated with an MA in Conflict, Security & Development from King's College London in 2011.

Military career: 1994–2011[edit]

Jarvis attended the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst as an officer cadet. On 9 August 1997, he was given a short service commission into the Parachute Regiment as a second lieutenant with seniority from 9 July 1994. On the same day he was promoted to lieutenant with seniority from 9 July 1996.[6] He then joined the 1st Battalion, Parachute Regiment. On 4 October 2000, he transferred to an intermediate regular commission. At the time he was an acting captain.[7] He was promoted to captain on 10 October 2001.[8]

Having attended the Intermediate Command and Staff Course at the Joint Services Command and Staff College, he was promoted to major on 31 July 2003.[9] He transferred to a regular commission on 9 February 2004.[10] In the later part of his army career he was stationed at HQ Land Forces in Wilton, and lived in Salisbury.[11]

During his time in the Parachute Regiment, Jarvis was a platoon commander with 3 Para in Kosovo in 1999, and was with General Sir Mike Jackson during the Pristina Airport incident when Jackson refused the suggestion of his American NATO superior to confront Russian forces. Jarvis later described Jackson's comment to Wesley Clark that he was "not going to start World War Three for you" as a "very surreal moment in my life". Jarvis then served as Jackson's personal staff officer. In 2000 he was deployed to Sierra Leone in the aftermath of Operation Barras to help the Army learn the lessons of the kidnap of a group of troops by an armed rebel group.[4]

Jarvis served in Iraq during Operation Telic and in Afghanistan during Operation Herrick.[12] He was deployed to Afghanistan twice, first as a member of the team making the first reconnaissance trips to Helmand Province in 2005 to 2006 in preparation for a decision on whether to commit British troops there. The second deployment was a six-month tour as a company commander with the Special Forces Support Group, leading a company of 100 troops.[4] He was also deployed to Northern Ireland.[13]

He resigned his commission on 3 March 2011.[14] In the 2011 Queen's Birthday Honours, he was made a Member of the Order of the British Empire (Military division).[15]

Political career: 2011-Present[edit]

Although his military service had precluded political activity, Jarvis had joined the Labour Party at the age of 18[16] while at university.[17] Shortly before the 2010 general election, Jarvis was shortlisted for the Labour Party selection in the South Wales seat of Islwyn.[18] He picked up support from one local would-be candidate who had not made the shortlist,[19] but he was not selected.

Jarvis was selected as the Labour candidate for Barnsley Central on 27 January 2011 following the resignation of Eric Illsley, who stood down after being convicted of fraud for his part in the United Kingdom parliamentary expenses scandal. An eliminating ballot was held and at the penultimate stage Jarvis was tied with local councillor Linda Burgess, each several votes behind Richard Burgon. London Regional Director, Ken Clark, put two pieces of paper into Press Officer Phil Dilks's hat. One that said "Loser" and one that said "Winner" and Burgess went first picking out the paper that said "loser", and Jarvis won; in the final stage he picked up most of Burgess' votes to win selection.[1] He became the first Labour candidate for the Barnsley Central seat since 1938 who was not born in Yorkshire.[20]

On his selection he resigned his commission to stand in the by-election,[4] and gave his campaign the codename 'Operation Honey Badger', referring to a famously fierce animal and signifying his determination to fight for the people of Barnsley.[16] Jarvis found that his Nottingham origins put off some Barnsley voters who remembered the fact that Nottinghamshire miners did not join the 1984–85 miners' strike, although he had been 12 at the time.[17] He was elected with a 60.8% share of the vote on a turnout of 36.5% in the by-election held on 3 March 2011.[21]

During his maiden speech on the 2011 budget, Jarvis called for a change in economic policy including "a plan to get jobs and to help families feeling the squeeze". He also referred to Parachute Regiment colleagues who had been killed in action and argued that the UK and US should put forward reconciliation in Afghanistan.[22] He joined the Business, Innovation and Skills Select Committee on 21 March.[23] Jarvis spoke in a debate about NHS reforms in May 2011, paying emotional tribute to the doctors and nurses who cared for his wife, who had died the previous year, and feared an "ideological free-market agenda" which he said would undermine “all that is great about the NHS”.[24]

In October 2011, Jarvis was appointed Shadow Arts and Culture Minister, part of the Shadow Culture, Media and Sport team led by Harriet Harman, moving to become Shadow Youth Justice and Victims Minister in Labour leader Ed Miliband's October 2013 shadow cabinet reshuffle.

Following the Labour Party's defeat in the 2015 general election, and the resignation of Ed Miliband, media speculation about candidates for the party's leadership election included Dan Jarvis alongside several other MPs.[25] However, he quickly announced that he was not going to run, saying that he needed to put his young family first; he had recently remarried after losing his first wife to cancer.[26]

For the Labour Party (UK) leadership election, 2015 Jarvis endorsed and supported Andy Burnham.

Dan Jarvis voted along with 66 other Labour MPs for military action in Syria against ISIL in December 2015 arguing that the decision was "finely balanced" but that he did not believe the UK could pursue existing operations against ISIS without being able to attack ISIS' command centres on the other side of the Syrian border.[27][28] He had previously opposed military action against the Assad regime in Syria in 2013.[29]

For the Labour Party (UK) leadership election, 2016 Jarvis endorsed and supported Owen Smith challenge to party leader Jeremy Corbyn.

Personal life[edit]

Jarvis met his first wife Caroline in 2000 when she was working as a personal chef for the family of General Sir Mike Jackson. Their first child was born in 2003, three days before Jarvis was deployed to Iraq; a second child was born in 2005. Caroline Jarvis was diagnosed with bowel cancer in 2006 and died in July 2010 at the age of 43.[2][17] Jarvis married a freelance graphic designer in 2013 and the couple had a child in 2015.[2]


Order of the British Empire (Military) Ribbon.png Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE)
NATO Medal w Służbie Pokoju i Wolności BAR.svg NATO Medal for Kosovo
General Service Medal 1962 BAR.svg General Service Medal
Iraq Medal BAR.svg Iraq Medal
OSM for Afghanistan BAR.svg OSM for Afghanistan
Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal ribbon.png Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal 2002


  1. ^ a b Profile, The House Magazine, 2 May 2011, p. 26)
  2. ^ a b c Rice, Xan (9 March 2015). "From war to Westminster: is Labour's Dan Jarvis a future Prime Minister?". New Statesman. London. 
  3. ^ "House of Commons Official Report" (PDF). House of Commons. 17 October 2011. pp. 698–699. 
  4. ^ a b c d "Labour victor Dan Jarvis is former Parachute Regiment officer". The Daily Telegraph. London. 4 March 2011. Retrieved 5 March 2011. 
  5. ^ "People". Archived from the original on 11 October 2012. Retrieved 29 September 2012. 
  6. ^ "No. 54899". The London Gazette (Supplement). 22 September 1997. p. 10725. 
  7. ^ "No. 56152". The London Gazette (Supplement). 20 March 2001. p. 3406. 
  8. ^ "No. 56446". The London Gazette (Supplement). 8 January 2002. p. 173. 
  9. ^ "No. 57018". The London Gazette (Supplement). 5 August 2003. pp. 9722–9725. 
  10. ^ "No. 57359". The London Gazette (Supplement). 20 July 2004. p. 9029. 
  11. ^ Blake, Morwenna (4 March 2011). "Former soldier from Salisbury elected as Barnsley MP". Salisbury Journal. Retrieved 5 March 2011. 
  12. ^ "Hero soldier tells of the family tragedy which spurred on election attempt". Sheffield Star. 24 February 2011. Retrieved 4 March 2011. 
  13. ^ "War hero Dan Jarvis is Labour candidate for by-election". Metro. 29 January 2011. 
  14. ^ "No. 59749". The London Gazette (Supplement). 5 April 2011. p. 6389. 
  15. ^ "No. 59808". The London Gazette (Supplement). 11 June 2011. p. 6. 
  16. ^ a b Wainwright, Martin (4 March 2011). "Dan Jarvis a dream candidate, say Barnsley's Labour activists". The Guardian. London. 
  17. ^ a b c "The grieving soldier on a quick march to the Commons". The Sunday Times. London. 6 March 2011. p. 5. 
  18. ^ "Islwyn councillors quit Labour over shortlist". South Wales Argus. Newport. 1 March 2010. Retrieved 4 March 2011. 
  19. ^ "'I'm backing Labour' – shortlist hopeful". South Wales Argus. Newport. 6 March 2010. Retrieved 4 March 2011. 
  20. ^ "Dan Jarvis – a surprise choice for Labour in Barnsley". BBC News. 28 January 2011. Retrieved 22 February 2011. 
  21. ^ "Labour win Barnsley Central by-election". BBC News. 4 March 2011. 
  22. ^ "Maiden speech of Dan Jarvis MP – in full". Barnsley Chronicle. 24 March 2011. Retrieved 30 May 2011. 
  23. ^ "Votes and Proceedings" (PDF). House of Commons. 21 March 2011. p. 852. 
  24. ^ Casci, Mark (10 May 2011). "Lansley defiant over NHS reforms". Yorkshire Post. Leeds. Retrieved 30 May 2011. 
  25. ^ Wintour, Patrick (8 May 2015). "Ed Miliband resigns as Labour leader". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 10 May 2015. 
  26. ^ "Dan Jarvis says he won't run". Daily Mirror. London. 10 May 2015. Retrieved 10 May 2015. 
  27. ^ Jarvis, Dan (1 December 2015). "The case for action against Isil in Syria outweighs the case for inaction". New Statesman. London. Retrieved 16 December 2015. 
  28. ^ Stone, Jon (3 December 2015). "The 66 Labour MPs who voted for bombing in Syria listed". The Independent. London. Retrieved 16 December 2015. 
  29. ^ "Syria debate: how did your MP vote?". The Daily Telegraph. London. 30 August 2013. Retrieved 16 December 2015. 

External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Eric Illsley
Member of Parliament for
Barnsley Central

Succeeded by
Election in progress