Sir Trevor Chinn becomes latest Labour donor to fund the Dan Jarvis machine
Dan Jarvis has been given £2,500 by a former backer of Tony Blair, as the Labour MP continues to be seen as a potential successor to Jeremy Corbyn.
Sir Trevor Chinn is a renowned philanthropist and the former boss of the RAC. He was knighted by the Conservatives but has been a Labour donor for many years and in 1996 was named as one of the “multi-millionaires who keep Blair in his office”.
Sir Trevor also backed Liz Kendall in her unsuccessful campaign to be Labour leader last year and he donated to Tom Watson's successful deputy leadership bid.
He is the third businessman to hand over money to Jarvis this year, following in the footsteps of hedge fund guru Martin Taylor and recruitment firm boss Peter Hearn. However Sir Trevor’s donation is relatively small beer compared to the £16,800 donated by Taylor and the £12,500 invested by Hearn.
The donation from Chinn was recieved on 29 March, according to the most recent Register of Members' Interests. It is understood to be the latest instalment of a sum of money to pay for Jarvis to take on two political advisers to help him develop a strategy. Or as one pro-Jarvis Labour insider put it:
"This is about getting long returns. It’s about the intellectual renewal of the party."
Jarvis gave the first clues as to his fledgling strategy in an article for the Yorkshire Post last month.
He followed it up a week later by laying out his vision for the future of Britain’s economy in a speech which mentioned Tony Blair, Gordon Brown and Ed Miliband – but contained no references to Jeremy Corbyn.
The financial interest in Jarvis from a third big donor will be seen in Labour circles as the latest sign that the highly-rated MP is being groomed as a challenger to replace Corbyn.
After his speech last month, Jarvis sidestepped questions about his leadership ambitions, stating:
"The public will frankly have very little sympathy with those people within the Labour party who are focused on anything other than trying to secure a Labour win in May and a referendum win in June. I can absolutely tell you that’s what 100% of my focus will be on."