About Dan

Dan grew up in Nottingham and went to Rushcliffe Comprehensive School. He graduated from Aberystwyth University with a degree in International Politics and Strategic Studies before attending the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst. From Sandhurst he was commissioned into The Parachute Regiment and subsequently deployed to Kosovo, Northern Ireland, briefly to Sierra Leone, and on numerous occasions to Iraq and Afghanistan. His service included: Platoon Commander with 1 Para, Aide de Camp to General Sir Mike Jackson, Adjutant of 3 Para, and on promotion to Major he worked as a staff planner in the Permanent Joint Headquarters (Northwood) and then at the Army’s Headquarters (Salisbury). He also served as a Company Commander in the Special Forces Support Group (St Athan).

In January 2011 he became the first person since World War Two to resign his commission in order to contest a parliamentary by-election. He was elected to Parliament on 3 March 2011, increasing the majority despite the reduced turn out that comes from a by-election. He was subsequently awarded the MBE for his service in the Army, which made him the first serving MP to be decorated for military service in many years.

On entering Parliament, Dan sat on the Business, Innovation and Skills Select Committee before being made a shadow minister for the Department of Culture, Media and Sport> In October 2013 he was appointed as shadow minister for Justice. In June 2015, having been re-elected, again with an increased majority he was made a shadow minister for Foreign Affairs. Throughout the last parliament Dan served as the Labour party’s lead for the 100th anniversary commemoration of World War One.

Dan now serves on the back benches and takes an interest in a broad range of issues in Parliament, including: Defence and Security, International Development, Child poverty, Gender equality, Education and skills, Cancer, Care for the elderly and vulnerable, Volunteering, Excess Winter Deaths, Culture, Heritage, Sport and the Countryside. He is the lead MP for the Speakers’ Parliamentary placement scheme.

In Barnsley, Dan is a very active constituency MP and has worked hard to develop the profile of Barnsley. This has included working with businesses and stakeholders to support and develop the Barnsley economy – creating jobs for Barnsley people. Dan also campaigns to raise aspiration amongst young people, and to support skills and adult literacy programmes. Though not originally from Barnsley, Dan is passionate about the town. Shortly after being elected, he launched the “Proud of Barnsley” campaign. He is a vice-president of Kexborough Cricket Club, an honorary patron of the Barnsley Youth Choir and a member of the Barnsley Harriers.

In his very limited spare time, the Yorkshire MP enjoys reading, running, hill walking, cycling and supporting Barnsley FC – all of which can be hard work at times! In 2013, 2014 and 2015 he ran the London marathon to raise money for Cancer Research UK. He is running again in 2016. He has previously led mountaineering expeditions in the Himalayas.

He lives in Barnsley with his wife and three children and their dog, Pip – a mostly friendly Jack Russell Patterdale terrier cross.

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