Kevan Jones

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Kevan Jones
Shadow Minister for Defence
Assumed office
12 May 2010
Leader Harriet Harman
Ed Miliband
Preceded by Andrew Robathan
Minister for Defence
In office
5 October 2008 – 11 May 2010
Prime Minister Gordon Brown
Preceded by Derek Twigg
Succeeded by Andrew Robathan
Member of Parliament
for North Durham
Assumed office
7 June 2001
Preceded by Giles Radice
Majority 12,076 (29.5%)
Personal details
Born (1964-04-25) 25 April 1964 (age 51)
Worksop, Nottinghamshire, England
Nationality British
Political party Labour
Residence Sacriston
Alma mater University of Southern Maine, Newcastle Polytechnic

Kevan David Jones (born 25 April 1964) is a British Labour Party politician, who has been the Member of Parliament (MP) for North Durham since 2001.

Early life[edit]

Jones was born in Nottinghamshire and is the son of a coal miner. He went to Portland Comprehensive School in Worksop and Newcastle Polytechnic and the University of Southern Maine, gaining a BA (Hons) in Government and Public Policy.[citation needed] Before becoming an MP, he was a Newcastle upon Tyne councillor from 1990 to 2001 and Chairman of the Development Committee as well as an elected officer of the GMB Union.

Parliamentary career[edit]

He was a member of the influential Defence Select Committee, and also a member of the Labour Party's Parliamentary Committee. His Private Member's Bill, the Christmas Day (Trading) Act 2004,[1] successfully passed Parliament, and came into force in December 2004. The Act makes it illegal for large shops to open on Christmas Day.

Kevan Jones was re-elected to the North Durham seat in the 2005 general election, with a majority of 16,781. He polled 64.1% of the vote.

In 2011, he was a member of the special Select Committee set up to scrutinise the Bill that became the Armed Forces Act 2011.[2] He was also a member of the Public Bill Committee for the Defence Reform Act 2014[3]

Ministerial career[edit]

In October 2008 he was appointed Parliamentary Under Secretary of State and Minister for Veterans at the Ministry of Defence.[4]

Jones described Joanna Lumley's behaviour following her fight for Gurkha rights as 'irritating'. Mr Jones said that, having raised the issue and forced the change, Miss Lumley had a responsibility to help explain the new rules to the Gurkhas. She had not done so, he said. Ms Lumley refused to comment.[5]


In August 2009 he was accused of briefing against the Chief of the General Staff, General Sir Richard Dannatt.[6] General Dannatt had already made himself deeply unpopular with the Labour government over repeated calls for increased funding and support for British troops serving in Afghanistan.[7] Nearing the end of his military service a series of FOI requests were made[8][9] concerning his expenses and Guido Fawkes 'outed' Jones as the culprit, despite Defence Ministers have been ordered by Secretary of State Bob Ainsworth not to brief against CGS. A furious response from the British military community followed particularly on its unofficial discussion website ARRSE[10] and there was also a backlash from some in the tabloid media.[11][12] Jones denied the allegations [13] despite calls for him to resign.[14] Jones caused further controversy when describing Joanna Lumley's behaviour following her fight for Gurkha rights as 'irritating'.[15] He apologised, stating that "I apologise unreservedly for any offence caused to Joanna Lumley by my remarks to the Home Affairs Committee - this was not intended.[16]


  1. ^ "Opposing shops opening on Christmas Day in 2004". BBC News. 15 October 2004. 
  2. ^ "Select Committee on the Armed Forces Bill". Retrieved 20 Sep 2013. 
  3. ^ "House of Commons Public Bill Committee on the Defence Reform Bill 2013-14". Retrieved 17 September 2013. 
  4. ^ "MOD - 2008-2009 annual report and accounts - (Minister for Veterans). Mr Kevan Jones MP. (appointed 5 October 2008)" (PDF). MOD uk. Retrieved 1 August 2010. 
  5. ^ Kirkup, James (9 March 2010). "Joanna Lumley 'irritates' minister over Gurkhas". The Daily Telegraph (London). Retrieved 7 May 2010. 
  6. ^ Brady, Brian (23 August 2009). "An unpleasant skirmish at the ministry". The Independent (London). Retrieved 7 May 2010. 
  7. ^ TOM NEWTON DUNN Defence Editor (2009-08-20). "Sir Richard Dannatt smear plot storm | The Sun |News|Campaigns|Our Boys". The Sun. Retrieved 2010-05-27. 
  8. ^ TOM NEWTON DUNNDefence Editor (2009-08-19). "Labour plot to smear General Sir Richard Dannatt | The Sun |News|Campaigns|Our Boys". The Sun. Retrieved 2010-05-27. 
  9. ^ Kite, Melissa; Leach, Ben (22 August 2009). "Help for Heroes dragged into General Sir Richard Dannatt 'smear campaign'". The Daily Telegraph (London). Retrieved 7 May 2010. 
  10. ^ "Army Rumour Service > > Forums > > The Serious Bit > > Current Affairs, News and Analysis > > The 'smearing' of General Dannatt". Retrieved 2010-05-27. 
  11. ^ Basnett, Guy (2009-08-23). "Champagne general? He drinks £1.49 plonk and shops at Lidl | Richard Dannatt". News Of The World. Retrieved 2010-05-27. 
  12. ^ Christopher Leake (2009-08-23). "Anatomy of a smear: How General Dannatt claimed £19,291... and Bob Ainsworth claimed £394,306 | Mail Online". Retrieved 2010-05-27. 
  13. ^ "Minister denies Army chief 'plot'". BBC News. 19 August 2009. Retrieved 7 May 2010. 
  14. ^ "The loser from the Kevan Jones storm is Gordon Brown". The Spectator. Retrieved 2010-05-27. 
  15. ^
  16. ^

External links[edit]

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News items[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Giles Radice
Member of Parliament for North Durham