LABOUR MP Dan Jarvis has accepted a five-figure donation, fuelling suggestions yesterday that he is set to challenge Jeremy Corbyn for the party leadership.
The updated register of MPs’ interests reveals that hedge fund manager Martin Taylor gave Mr Jarvis £16,800 on February 4. The Barnsley Central MP states in the register that he will use the cash to “support my office and my work as an MP.”
But many in Westminster believe it is part of a war chest being built by Mr Jarvis for a coup attempt against Mr Corbyn.
The former paratrooper turned politician is the rising star of the Labour right and at 4/1 is the bookies’ second favourite, behind Hilary Benn, to be the next Labour leader.
Peter Mandelson was among rightwingers urging Mr Jarvis to stand in last year’s leadership contest, but the widower ruled himself out for family reasons.
In his most recent interview, he said: “I do regret that I didn’t give it more thought.”
In January, he received £12,500 from recruitment firm chairman Peter Hearn, who gave £75,000 to Yvette Cooper in the last leadership battle.
It has been suggested that the donation to Mr Jarvis is the first instalment of money that will be used to provide him with a political adviser.
A source close to Mr Corbyn told the Star last night that the Labour leader’s camp were “not surprised” by the Blairite manoeuvres.
“We know they’re going to come for Jeremy at some point,” the source said. “If they challenge, we’ll give them a good run for their money and I’m pretty confident we’ll win.”
Mr Jarvis did not respond to a request for comment.