Jason McCartney (politician)

Jason Alexander McCartney[3] (born 29 January 1968) is a British Conservative Party politician who has been the Member of Parliament (MP) for Colne Valley in West Yorkshire since 2019, and from 2010 to 2017. He is a former TV sports reporter.[4]

Jason McCartney

McCartney in 2020
Member of Parliament
for Colne Valley
Assumed office
12 December 2019
Preceded byThelma Walker
Majority5,103 (8.4%)
In office
6 May 2010  3 May 2017
Preceded byKali Mountford
Succeeded byThelma Walker
Personal details
Born (1968-01-29) 29 January 1968 (age 53)
Harrogate, West Riding of Yorkshire, England[1]
Political partyConservative
Liberal Democrat (until 2006)
ResidenceHonley, West Yorkshire
Alma materLeeds Trinity & All Saints[2]
ProfessionJournalist, broadcaster, RAF officer
Military service
Allegiance United Kingdom
Branch/service Royal Air Force
Years of service1988–1997
RankFlight lieutenant

Early life and career

McCartney was born in January 1968 in Harrogate, West Riding of Yorkshire to Wing Commander Robert McCartney and Jean McCartney. He was educated at Lancaster Royal Grammar School and RAF College, Cranwell. McCartney went on to serve as an officer in the Royal Air Force for nine years, fulfilling tours in Las Vegas, Turkey and Iraq. After reaching the rank of Flight Lieutenant, he resigned his commission in 1997.[5][6] In 2011, he became Honorary President of the Huddersfield Branch of the RAF Association.[4]

After studying for a postgraduate diploma in broadcast journalism at Leeds Trinity University College,[2] McCartney worked as a reporter for BBC Radio Leeds, notably interviewing Northern Ireland Secretary Mo Mowlam in 1997.[5] From 1998 until 2007, he worked as a presenter for ITV Yorkshire, most notable on the regional Calendar news programme.[7][4]

McCartney unsuccessfully stood as a Liberal Democrat candidate for the Pudsey ward of Leeds City Council in 2006.[8]

He then changed party affiliation, and was selected as the Conservative prospective parliamentary candidate for Colne Valley in March 2007.[9] From 2008 to 2010, he was a senior lecturer at Leeds Metropolitan University.

Member of Parliament


McCartney stood in the 2010 general election, taking the Colne Valley seat with a majority of 4,837[10] and replacing Labour's incumbent Kali Mountford. He gave his maiden speech on 17 June 2010 in a debate on the economy, expressing his support for local rural Post Offices.[11]

In November 2010, William Hague appointed McCartney to the NATO Parliamentary Assembly UK Delegation.[12] McCartney served on the Transport Committee between 2013 and 2015.[13] He was also a member of the 1922 Committee's Executive Committee from 2013 to 2017.[4]

He was one of the few Conservative Members of Parliament who voted against an increase to the cap on university tuition fees.[14] and supported the need for a referendum on the EU.[15] McCartney holds strong views on welfare, and consistently voted to reduce housing benefit, and generally voted against raising welfare benefits in line with prices.[16] In the run up to the 2015 general election, McCartney took the unusual step of replying to a constituent who disagreed with the Coalition's austerity plan with a letter recommending they backed the Green Party candidate instead. McCartney told the constituent he respected their differences of opinion but the Green Party candidate was "the only candidate who matches what you believe". Labour accused him of trying to split the left wing vote, whilst McCartney said he often put constituents in touch with political rivals if he believed it could help.[17]

McCartney supported Brexit in the 2016 European Union membership referendum.[18] He voted to reject an amendment to the Brexit bill which demanded an analysis of the impact of exiting the EU on the NHS.[19]

McCartney was defeated by the Labour Party candidate, Thelma Walker, in the 2017 general election. After the loss he revealed that the Prime Minister, Theresa May, contacted him to apologise and accept responsibility for his defeat.[20]


McCartney returned to parliament in the 2019 general election, winning back Colne Valley with a majority of 5,103. In May 2020, McCartney called for the resignation of government Chief Advisor Dominic Cummings.[21]

In October 2020, McCartney was one of five Conservative MPs who broke the whip to vote for a Labour opposition day motion to extend the provision of free school meals during school holidays until Easter 2021.[22]

Outside Parliament

From 2017 to 2019, McCartney was Head of Public Affairs at Huddersfield University. In 2018, he became a director of fairandfunky, a community interest company in Yorkshire.[23] He was a member of the One Community Foundation Trust from 2017 to 2019, and on the Board of the Mid Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce from 2018 to 2019.[4]

Personal life

McCartney lives in Honley, West Yorkshire, and has two children.[7] He is a member of the Royal Air Force Club, and lists his recreations as "Huddersfield Town AFC, Huddersfield Giants RLFC, Yorkshire CCC, tennis".[4]

Electoral history

General election 2019: Colne Valley[24]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Jason McCartney 29,482 48.4 +2.22
Labour Thelma Walker 24,379 40.0 −7.67
Liberal Democrats Cahal Burke 3,815 6.3 +2.14
Brexit Party Sue Harrison 1,286 2.1 N/A
Green Darryl Gould 1,068 1.7 +0.28
Yorkshire Owen Aspinall 548 0.9 N/A
UKIP Melanie Roberts 230 0.38 N/A
Independent Colin Peel 102 0.17 N/A
Majority 5,103 8.4 N/A
Turnout 60,910
Conservative gain from Labour Swing +4.9
General election 2017: Colne Valley[25]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Labour Thelma Walker 28,818 47.8 +12.8
Conservative Jason McCartney 27,903 46.1 +1.7
Liberal Democrats Cahal Burke 2,494 4.1 −1.9
Green Sonia King 892 1.5 −1.9
Independent Patricia Sadio 313 0.5 N/A
Majority 915 1.7 N/A
Turnout 60,420 71.6 +2.8
Labour gain from Conservative Swing +5.54
General election 2015: Colne Valley[26][27]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Jason McCartney 25,246 44.4 +7.5
Labour Jane East 19,868 35.0 +8.6
UKIP Melanie Roberts 5,734 10.1 +8.0
Liberal Democrats Cahal Burke 3,407 6.0 −22.2
Green Chas Ball 1,919 3.4 +1.8
Yorkshire First Paul Salveson 572 1.0 N/A
Independent Melodie Staniforth 54 0.1 N/A
Majority 5,378 9.5 +0.8
Turnout 56,800 68.8 −0.3
Conservative hold Swing −0.6
General election 2010: Colne Valley[28][10]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Jason McCartney 20,440 37.0 +4.1
Liberal Democrats Nicola Turner 15,603 28.2 +3.7
Labour Debbie Abrahams 14,589 26.4 −9.0
BNP Barry Fowler 1,893 3.4 +0.6
UKIP Melanie Roberts 1,163 2.1 +2.1
Green Chas Ball 867 1.6 −1.2
TUSC Jackie Grunsell 741 1.3 +1.3
Majority 4,837 8.7 −6.5
Turnout 55,296 69.1 +3.8
Conservative gain from Labour Swing +6.6


  1. "Who's Who". www.ukwhoswho.com.
  2. "Jason McCartney – Leeds Metropolitan University – Faculty of Business and Law". Archived from the original on 10 December 2010.
  3. "No. 59418". The London Gazette. 13 May 2010. p. 8739.
  4. "McCartney, Jason Alexander, (born 29 Jan. 1968), MP (C) Colne Valley, 2010–17 and since 2019". WHO'S WHO & WHO WAS WHO. doi:10.1093/ww/9780199540884.013.u251128. Retrieved 29 April 2021.
  5. "Jason McCartney". Archived from the original on 3 January 2013. Retrieved 24 May 2010.
  6. "No. 54726". The London Gazette (Supplement). 7 April 1997. p. 4176.
  7. "General Election 2010: Colne Valley Conservative candidate Jason McCartney". Huddersfield Daily Examiner.
  8. John Roberts (6 March 2007). "TV sports presenter is Tory candidate". Yorkshire Post.
  9. "Tories' election choice". Huddersfield Daily Examiner. 2 March 2007. Archived from the original on 20 March 2012.
  10. "UK > England > Yorkshire & the Humber > Colne Valley". Election 2010. BBC. 7 May 2010. Retrieved 11 May 2010.
  11. "Building a High-Skilled Economy: 17 Jun 2010: House of Commons debates - TheyWorkForYou". TheyWorkForYou.
  12. "NATO Parliamentary Assembly (New UK Delegation): 8 Nov 2010: Hansard Written Answers - TheyWorkForYou". TheyWorkForYou.
  13. "Jason McCartney". Parliament UK. Retrieved 5 April 2015.
  14. "Voting Record – Jason McCartney MP, Colne Valley (24887) — The Public Whip". www.publicwhip.org.uk.
  15. "Colne Valley MP Jason McCartney backs call for referendum on Britain's membership of the European Union". Huddersfield Daily Examiner. 19 October 2011.
  16. "Voting record - Jason McCartney, former MP, Colne Valley - TheyWorkForYou". TheyWorkForYou.
  17. Holehouse, Matthew (16 January 2015). "Is this evidence of a Tory plot to split Labour's vote? MP tells voter to back the Greens". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 5 April 2015.
  18. "Which Tory MPs back Brexit, who doesn't and who is still on the fence? - Coffee House". 16 February 2016.
  19. "These are the MPs who voted against giving £350m to the NHS but for Brexit". 9 February 2017.
  20. Lavigueur, Nick (7 March 2019). "Former Colne Valley MP Jason McCartney to make comeback bid". YorkshireLive. Retrieved 17 March 2020.
  21. "Every Conservative MP who has condemned Dominic Cummings as lockdown row escalates". Politics Home. 25 May 2020. Retrieved 30 July 2020.
  22. Rogers, Alexandra (22 October 2020). "Colne Valley Tory MP rebels against government over free school meals". Yorkshire Live. Retrieved 18 November 2020.
  23. "fairandfunky Fairtrade products, recycled & organic gifts, shop online". fairandfunky - fairtrade products. Retrieved 29 April 2021.
  24. https://www.kirklees.gov.uk/beta/voting-and-elections/pdf/statement-of-persons-nominated-parliamentary-colne-Valley.pdf
  25. "Colne Valley parliamentary constituency". BBC News.
  26. "Election Data 2015". Electoral Calculus. Archived from the original on 17 October 2015. Retrieved 17 October 2015.
  27. "Colne Valley". BBC News. Retrieved 13 May 2015.
  28. "Election Data 2010". Electoral Calculus. Archived from the original on 26 July 2013. Retrieved 17 October 2015.