Dan Jarvis MP plays down leadership ambition

Barnsley Central MP Dan Jarvis
Barnsley Central MP Dan Jarvis

Dan Jarvis has played down that comments made in an exclusive piece with The Yorkshire Post were a hint at his leadership ambition.

The former paratrooper used a piece with the paper to challenge his party to embrace ‘fundamental change’ if they want to win another General Election.

He said policy should be focused around family, work and community, and that voters have said to him that the party has stopped talking about the ‘things that matter to them’.

While the Barnsley Central MP decided not to stand in the Labour party leadership election in the summer, Mr Jarvis remains an influential voice after various spells in the shadow cabinet and most recently as shadow foreign office minister.

He was purged from the front-bench alongside other Labour moderates when leader Jeremy Corbyn took control in September.

However he denied that his Yorkshire Post piece was a signal to Mr Corbyn that he intends on challenging him on the leadership later this year.

A spokesperson for the MP said: “Dan is making a contribution to the debate on Labour’s future policy direction; a debate which Jeremy Corbyn has said he wants to take place.

“Dan is fully focused on the important elections in May and the EU referendum in June.

“Any suggestion otherwise is nonsense and an unwelcome distraction from the challenges Labour has ahead.”

Labour backers are flocking to suport Mr Jarvis amid growing speculation of his future potential within the party with hedge fund manager Martin Taylor donating £16,800 on February 4.

In January, recruitment consultancy owner Peter Hearn donated £12,500, and is also understood to have donated £75,000 previously to Yvette Cooper last summer.

Last night Mr Jarvis attended a fundraising event in Barnsley, and next week will be speaking in Central London on Labour’s economic agenda.