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Dan Jarvis MBE (left - official parliament photo, right - serving in Afghanistan)

Dan Jarvis MBE MP

After graduating from Aberystwyth University, I attended the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst and was then commissioned into The Parachute Regiment.

I subsequently deployed to Kosovo, Northern Ireland, briefly to Sierra Leone, and on numerous occasions to Iraq and Afghanistan where I served as a Company Commander with the Special Forces Support Group.

On 3rd March 2011, I was elected as the MP for Barnsley Central – becoming the first person since World War Two to resign a commission to contest a parliamentary by-election.

My politics are rooted in a simple belief in Britain and the huge potential in front of our country and its people. I believe that we can be a prosperous, innovative, successful, fair-minded, and tolerant society – the sort of place where we all want to live, work and bring up our children; a country respected around the world with as bright a future as proud as its past.

Since entering the House of Commons, I’ve sat on the Joint Committee on the National Security Strategy and the Business, Innovation and Skills Select Committee, and held several shadow ministerial roles.

I also served as the Labour Party’s lead for the 100th anniversary World War One commemorations and passed a Private Members’ Bill that changed the law on organ donation.

In 2018, I was elected as the inaugural South Yorkshire Mayor.

My book Long Way Home was published in 2020.

A collection of photos of Cllr Owen Pritchard. On the left he is in military combats with a camouflage face, on the right in working dress addressing a group of civilians and inset in a suit on a bridge

Councillor Owen Pritchard

After growing up in Aberdare, South Wales, and attending university in Bristol, Owen served in the infantry for just over 16 years, including on multiple tours of Iraq and Kosovo.

At regimental duty – first with the Royal Regiment of Wales then latterly with the Royal Welsh – Owen served in a number of posts including Company Commander, Operations Officer, and Intelligence Officer. Outside of Regimental duty, Owen served as an instructor at the Infantry Battle School, a policy advisor for the Chief of the General Staff, and a counter-terrorism programme manager.

After seeing the impact of the early years of austerity, and having been a member of the party for a number of years, Owen left the Army in 2016 to become more involved in Labour Party politics, and to begin three years of working for Dan Jarvis MP. During the time he worked for Dan – where amongst other things he managed Dan’s mayoral election campaign and the parliamentary campaign to change the organ donation law – Owen learned more about Local Government and its importance to all our communities. This is what motivated him to stand for office himself.

In 2018 Owen was elected as a councillor in the London Borough of Merton, where he is currently Joint Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Performance, Recovery, and the Local Economy.

As well as being actively involved in Labour Friends of the Forces, Owen is also a member of the Co-operative Party, GMB, Unison, and the Fabian Society.


Councillor Nadia Martin

I am a Labour Councillor in Aldershot, Home of the British Army.

My husband was posted here in 2015 and a year later, I joined the Labour Party.

At our CLP, I am the Military families and Veterans Coordinator and on the Council, I am the Shadow Military Champion.

I am continuing to work for better living conditions in Army Accommodation and have previously been able to get parking permits implemented on some of the estates.

Working for the Armed Forces Community on the Council can be a challenge at times but it is a real privilege and hugely rewarding as they need someone who can represent them and knows what challenges they face.

Pictures of Councillor Alasdair Ross. On the left talking into a microphone at a rally, on the right in combat uniform with 2 military colleagues

Councillor Alasdair Ross

Politics has always been part of my life as both my parents had been Labour councillors in Ipswich and I had spent most elections before I left school delivering leaflets and collecting polling numbers at the polling station.

At 16, I left to join the Army, starting as a Junior leader followed by a further 24 years in the Royal Green Jackets, leaving as a Warrant Officer Class 2 – after operational tours in Northern Ireland, Cyprus, Bosnia, and Kosovo.

On leaving the Army in 2002, I returned to Ipswich and started a job in education, but within a few months, I lost my mum. I then decided I wanted to follow her example and give something back to my community.

I joined the Labour Party in 2002 and then stood in my own ward, eventually winning it on my third attempt by just 13 votes! Within 4 years my majority was over 500. I won again this year and I am now on the executive at Ipswich Borough Council and my portfolio is Public Protection.

In 2009, I was asked to go back to the Army so took a year out and returned to 2 Rifles, where I was the Operations Warrant Officer in Afghanistan, stationed in Sangin, a tour where we lost over 20 riflemen.

On top of my portfolio, I am also the Ipswich Borough Armed Forces Champion.


Councillor Andy Newman

I joined the 1st Battalion Coldstream guards in 2001 at the age of 17.

During my time in the Army, I was deployed on operations to Northern Ireland in 2001, Iraq in 2005, and Afghanistan in 2007/8. As well as deploying on operations I also performed ceremonial duties in London. My final posting was to the Infantry Training School in Catterick where I was injured on a training exercise that led to my discharge on medical grounds.

Getting involved in politics was, for me, something I felt I needed to do. While serving, many soldiers are discouraged from politics, however, I have always been a Labour supporter. Growing up in poverty was hard but when Labour came to power I saw real improvements to my family’s daily lives.

When I was discharged from the Army I was very aware that the Conservatives, who claim to be the party of veterans, used their time in government to enact huge cuts to the military. Whilst I was discharged on medical grounds several of my comrades who had sacrificed so much for this nation, enduring hardships that are hard to imagine found themselves callously cast out in a wave of redundancies. I had a desire to challenge not only the Tories claimed monopoly of support within the military but also their hijacking and warping of patriotism. I believe it’s time for Labour to retake and redefine progressive patriotism.

As an elected councillor I feel that veterans can bring a number of attributes to local office. The core values of the British Army: selfless commitment, respect for others, loyalty, integrity, discipline, and courage (both physical and moral) form the core values of what we would expect from our elected representatives. As a veteran, I found that I was able to break down barriers and open up great conversations with residents who are normally not Labour supporters. As the Party seeks to reverse the recent defeats, I’m positive veterans can form a valuable part of the Labour movement

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