Rachel Reeves

Rachel Jane Reeves (born 13 February 1979) is a British Labour Party politician serving as Shadow Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Shadow Minister for the Cabinet Office since 2020. She has been the Member of Parliament for Leeds West since 2010.

Rachel Reeves

Official portrait of Rachel Reeves crop 2.jpg
Reeves in 2017
Shadow Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
Assumed office
5 April 2020
LeaderKeir Starmer
Preceded byFrancis Maude (2010)
Shadow Minister for the Cabinet Office
Assumed office
5 April 2020
LeaderKeir Starmer
Preceded byJon Trickett
Chair of the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Select Committee
In office
12 July 2017 – 6 May 2020
Preceded byIain Wright
Succeeded byDarren Jones
Shadow Secretary of State for Work and Pensions
In office
7 October 2013 – 8 June 2015
LeaderEd Miliband
Harriet Harman (Acting)
Preceded byLiam Byrne
Succeeded byStephen Timms (Acting)
Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury
In office
7 October 2011 – 7 October 2013
LeaderEd Miliband
Preceded byAngela Eagle
Succeeded byChris Leslie
Member of Parliament
for Leeds West
Assumed office
6 May 2010
Preceded byJohn Battle
Majority10,564 (26.2%)
Personal details
Born
Rachel Jane Reeves

(1979-02-13) 13 February 1979 (age 41)
Lewisham, England
Political partyLabour
Spouse(s)Nicholas Joicey
RelationsEllie Reeves (sister)
Children2
Alma materNew College, Oxford
London School of Economics
WebsiteOfficial website

Reeves served in Ed Miliband's Shadow Cabinet as Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury from 2011 to 2013 and Shadow Secretary of State for Work and Pensions from 2013 to 2015. In 2013, as Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary, Reeves announced that Labour would be tougher than the Conservatives in reducing the benefits bill.[1]

Following Jeremy Corbyn's election as leader in 2015, Reeves did not return to the Shadow Cabinet after her maternity leave. Reeves also served as Chair of the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee from 2017 to 2020.[2]

Early life and careerEdit

The daughter of Graham and Sally Reeves of Lewisham, South East London,[3][4] Reeves was educated at Cator Park School for Girls in Bromley.[5] At school, she won a British Under-14 girls chess championship title in a tournament organised by the now-defunct British Women's Chess Association.[6]

After sitting A-Levels in Politics, Economics, Mathematics and Further Mathematics, she read Philosophy, Politics and Economics at New College, Oxford (MA), followed by graduating as MSc in Economics from the London School of Economics.[7]

She worked as an economist at the Bank of England and British Embassy in Washington, D.C. between 2000 and 2006.[8]

PoliticsEdit

Reeves cites the influence of her father on her and her sister Ellie Reeves, in leaning towards socially democratic policies. She recalls how, when she was eight years old, her father, Graham, pointed out the then-Labour leader Neil Kinnock on the television and "told us that was who we voted for". Reeves says she and her sister have "both known we were Labour since then".[9] She joined the Labour Party at the age of sixteen.[10]

Reeves stood as the Labour Party parliamentary candidate in the Conservative safe seat of Bromley and Chislehurst at the 2005 general election, finishing second.[11] She also contested the 2006 by-election in the same constituency, following the death of sitting Conservative Member of Parliament (MP) Eric Forth, and finished in fourth place. Labour support fell from 10,241 votes to 1,925, in what was described as a "humiliation" for Labour.[12][13] The result was the worst performance for a governing party since 1991[14]

Reeves moved to Leeds in 2006 to work for HBOS.[15] She was once interviewed for a job at Goldman Sachs, but turned it down, despite claiming that the job could have made her "a lot richer".[16] She later sought nomination for the Leeds West seat at the 2010 general election,[17] seeking to replace John Battle, who had chosen to retire.[18] She was selected to contest the seat from an all-women shortlist of Labour Party prospective parliamentary candidates.[3]

Echoing similar titles of publications by Roy Jenkins in 1959 and Tony Wright in 1997, Reeves wrote the new edition of Why Vote Labour? in the run-up to the 2010 general election, as part of a series giving the case for each of the main political parties.[19]

Parliamentary careerEdit

 
Reeves in 2010

Reeves was elected with a majority of 7,016 on 6 May 2010 – a 5,794 reduction in the majority enjoyed by Battle – [20] and became only the second woman to represent a Leeds constituency. In early 2017, she completed and published a biography of Alice Bacon,[7][21] who was the first such woman (having represented Leeds North East and then Leeds South East between 1945 and 1970).[22]

In her maiden speech, delivered on 8 June 2010,[23] Reeves praised the work of her predecessor John Battle, and pledged to fight for jobs, growth and prosperity for Leeds West.[23] She also pledged to follow in Battle's footsteps and fight for justice for the victims of the Armley asbestos disaster and their families. In a series of questions in Parliament, she enquired whether the government would honour promises by the previous government to compensate victims of asbestos diagnosed with pleural plaques, and bring legislation into force making it easier to pursue claims against insurers.[24]

Following the 2010 election, she supported Ed Miliband for the Labour leadership, because she felt he was the candidate most willing to listen to what the voters were saying about where the party went wrong.[25] After becoming an MP, Reeves was appointed to the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills Select Committee[26] then as Shadow Pensions Minister in October 2010.[27] In her role as Shadow Pensions Minister, she campaigned against the Government's proposed acceleration of equalising state pensions ages for men and women.[28] She was promoted to the post of Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury in October 2011.[29][30] She caused controversy in early 2015 by stating "We [Labour] don’t want to be seen, and we're not, the party to represent those who are out of work".[31]

Reeves was named in 2011 by The Guardian newspaper as being one of several MPs who employ unpaid interns, a practice that some maintain may breach the National Minimum Wage Act 1998.[32] The same year, The Independent named Reeves as a member of a group of new Labour MPs known as the "Nando's Five", the others being Luciana Berger, Jonathan Reynolds, Emma Reynolds and Chuka Umunna.[33]

In 2013, she caused controversy, especially among the left-wing members of the Labour Party, by stating that they would be 'tougher' than the Conservative Party on slashing benefits.[34]

She supported Owen Smith in the 2016 Labour leadership election.[35] In September 2016, Reeves described her constituency as being "like a tinderbox" that could explode if immigration was not curbed.[36]

In September 2017, the conservative commentator Iain Dale placed Reeves at Number 94 on his list of the '100 most influential people on the Left', down ten places on the previous year.[37]

Policy stancesEdit

Reeves has written a study on the financial crisis of 2007–2010 for the Fabian Review, Institute of Public Policy Research,[38] Socialist Environment and Resources Association,[39] and the European Journal of Political Economy.[40] Following her election as MP, Reeves wrote about the direction of UK government fiscal policy in Renewal. In an article entitled "The Politics of Deficit Reduction",[41] Reeves offers her critique of the then-current financial situation and efforts to bring down the budget deficit.[citation needed]

Reeves is a proponent of quantitative easing[42] to alleviate the late-2000s recession, having studied the effects of the policy on Japan in the early 2000s.[43]

In 2013, on becoming Shadow Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, she announced that Labour would be tougher than the Conservatives in reducing the benefits bill, with the long-term unemployed having to take a guaranteed job offer or lose benefits. The proposal was that anyone unemployed for two years, or one year if under 25 years old, would be required to take a job.[1]

Reeves supports the High Speed 2 rail project,[44] and raised the issue in the House of Commons,[45] as well as campaigning for the proposed Kirkstall Forge railway station.[46] She is also involved in the campaign to save the historic Bramley Baths[47][48] and the campaign to save the children's heart unit at Leeds General Infirmary.[49]

Reeves is a vice-chair of Labour Friends of Israel,[50] contributed a chapter to a book about Israeli politics and society,[51] and supports the Auschwitz-Birkenau Foundation.[52][53]

Reeves has been a long standing admirer of Nancy Astor and has frequently praised her actions as an MP. [54]

ExpensesEdit

Reeves' Parliamentary credit card was stopped at the start of 2015, owing to a debt of £4,033.63, which she subsequently repaid.[55] In 2018, she claimed £188,686 in expenses, £30,422 more than the average parliamentary claim of £158,264.[56]

WritingEdit

Reeves' biography of the Labour politician Alice Bacon, Baroness Bacon (1909–1993), titled Alice in Westminster: The Political Life of Alice Bacon, was published in 2017.[57]

She regularly contributes to The Guardian newspaper,[58] as well as the websites LabourList[59] and Progress.[60]

Personal lifeEdit

Reeves is married to Nicholas Joicey,[61] a civil servant and Gordon Brown's former private secretary and speech writer.[62] The couple have homes in Bramley in Leeds and London.[63][64] Reeves announced her first pregnancy on 20 September 2012, giving birth to a daughter.[65][66] She subsequently gave birth to a son in 2015.[64]

Reeves' younger sister, Ellie Reeves, is the Labour MP for Lewisham West and Penge and is married to John Cryer, Labour MP for Leyton and Wanstead.[67][68]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b Helm, Toby (12 October 2013). "Labour will be tougher than Tories on benefits, promises new welfare chief". The Guardian. Retrieved 19 June 2019.
  2. ^ "Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee". parliament.uk. UK Parliament. 12 July 2017. Archived from the original on 16 August 2017. Retrieved 12 July 2017.[failed verification]
  3. ^ a b Thorpe, John (23 August 2007). "The legal eagle who left sisters scuppered". Yorkshire Evening Post. Archived from the original on 28 April 2016. Retrieved 9 June 2011.
  4. ^ "Who's Who". ukwhoswho.com. Retrieved 20 November 2011.
  5. ^ "Latest News". Cator Park School for Girls. Archived from the original on 29 April 2010. Retrieved 5 October 2010.
  6. ^ Peterson, Macauley (10 August 2018). "Nine-year-old talent gets to stay in the UK". ChessBase. Retrieved 12 August 2018.
  7. ^ a b Reeves, Rachel. "About Rachel". rachelreeves.net. Rachel Reeves. Archived from the original on 23 April 2010. Retrieved 30 July 2010.
  8. ^ Stratton, Allegra (19 March 2009). "Waiting in the Wings". The Guardian. London. Archived from the original on 3 January 2014. Retrieved 10 September 2009.
  9. ^ "PPC Profile: Rachel Reeves". labourlist.org. LabourList. Archived from the original on 7 February 2011. Retrieved 8 August 2011.
  10. ^ Staff writer (2 June 2010). "Leeds West MP: Rachel Reeves interview". Yorkshire Evening Post. Archived from the original on 3 June 2010. Retrieved 30 July 2010.
  11. ^ "Voting begins in Bromley and Chislehurst by-election". This is Local London. 29 June 2006. Archived from the original on 3 October 2012. Retrieved 9 June 2011.
  12. ^ Staff writer (30 June 2006). "Labour and Tories suffer at polls". BBC News. Archived from the original on 22 February 2007. Retrieved 9 June 2011.
  13. ^ Assinder, Nick (30 June 2006). "Blair to count cost of poor night". BBC News. Archived from the original on 5 July 2006. Retrieved 5 August 2011.
  14. ^ Freedland, Jonathan (30 June 2006). "Way off base". The Guardian. London. Archived from the original on 13 February 2014. Retrieved 17 August 2011.
  15. ^ Staff writer (15 September 2007). "Battle lines drawn in Leeds West". Yorkshire Evening Post. p. 7. Archived from the original on 15 August 2017. Retrieved 10 September 2009.
  16. ^ Admin (24 November 2011). "Interview with Rachel Reeves". Investors Fresh News. Archived from the original on 26 April 2012. Retrieved 3 December 2011.
  17. ^ "Women at war". Yorkshire Evening Post.
  18. ^ Stoddard, Katy (7 April 2010). "General Election 2010: Safe and marginal seats". The Guardian. London. Archived from the original on 3 March 2016. Retrieved 9 June 2011.
  19. ^ Reeves, Rachel (2010). Why Vote Labour?. London: Biteback Publishing. ISBN 9781849540193.[permanent dead link]
  20. ^ Staff writer (7 May 2010). "Election 2010". BBC News. Archived from the original on 23 August 2017. Retrieved 24 June 2011.
  21. ^ Hookham, Mark (2 June 2010). "Leeds West MP: Rachel Reeves interview". Yorkshire Evening Post. Archived from the original on 12 April 2016. Retrieved 30 July 2010.
  22. ^ Staff writer (6 May 2010). "Election reaction: Rachel is Leeds West's first lady". Yorkshire Evening Post. Archived from the original on 4 June 2016. Retrieved 29 July 2011.
  23. ^ a b "Economic Affairs and Work and Pensions". TheyWorkForYou. 8 June 2010. Archived from the original on 25 October 2012. Retrieved 29 July 2011.
  24. ^ Jackson, Leigh (8 June 2010). "MP takes up asbestos battle". Insurance Post. Archived from the original on 21 July 2011. Retrieved 29 July 2011.
  25. ^ Sparrow, Andrew (February 2012). "Rachel Reeves, rising star". Ethos. Archived from the original on 18 February 2012. Retrieved 20 February 2012.
  26. ^ Staff writer (24 June 2010). "New MPs elected to select committees". PoliticsHome. Archived from the original on 28 June 2010. Retrieved 30 July 2010.
  27. ^ Selby, Thomas (14 October 2010). "Rachel Reeves takes Shadow pensions role". Money Marketing. Archived from the original on 30 October 2010. Retrieved 24 November 2010.
  28. ^ Reeves, Rachel (8 June 2011). "Don't turn back the clock for women". The Guardian. London. Archived from the original on 30 September 2013. Retrieved 29 July 2011.
  29. ^ Selby, Thomas (7 October 2011). "Miliband promotes Rachel Reeves to Shadow cabinet". Money Marketing. Archived from the original on 14 October 2011. Retrieved 7 October 2011.
  30. ^ Staff writer (7 October 2011). "Ed Miliband promotes fresh faces to Labour top team". Archived from the original on 7 October 2011. Retrieved 7 October 2011.
  31. ^ O'Connor, Roisin (17 March 2015). "Rachel Reeves says Labour does not want to represent people out of work". The Independent. London. Archived from the original on 17 August 2015. Retrieved 12 September 2015.
  32. ^ Malik, Shiv (27 November 2011). "MPs may be breaking law in offering work to unpaid interns". The Guardian. London. Archived from the original on 13 February 2014. Retrieved 3 December 2011.
  33. ^ Walker, Tim (12 November 2011). "'Don't compare me to Obama': Is Chuka Umunna Britain's first black PM?". The Independent. London. Archived from the original on 17 December 2011. Retrieved 4 December 2011.
  34. ^ Helm, Toby (12 October 2013). "Labour will be tougher than Tories on benefits, promises new welfare chief". The Observer. London. Archived from the original on 4 January 2014. Retrieved 5 April 2020.
  35. ^ Smith, Mikey; Bloom, Dan (20 July 2016). "Which MPs are nominating Owen Smith in the Labour leadership contest?". Mirror. Retrieved 10 November 2018.
  36. ^ "Jeremy Corbyn rules out pledge to cut immigration". The Guardian. 28 September 2016. Archived from the original on 27 September 2016. Retrieved 28 September 2016.
  37. ^ Dale, Iain (25 September 2017). "The 100 Most Influential People On The Left: Iain Dale's 2017 List". LBC. Archived from the original on 25 September 2017. Retrieved 30 October 2017.
  38. ^ Reeves, Rachel; Dolphin, Tony; Clifton, Jonathan (15 July 2009). Building a Better Balanced UK Economy. Institute for Public Policy Research. Archived from the original on 15 August 2017. Retrieved 10 September 2009.
  39. ^ Reeves, Rachel; Pakes, Andrew. The Road to Copenhagen (PDF). Socialist Environment and Resources Association (SERA). Archived (PDF) from the original on 15 August 2017. Retrieved 30 December 2009.
  40. ^ Reeves, Rachel; Sawicki, Michael (March 2007). "Do financial markets react to Bank of England communication?". European Journal of Political Economy. Elsevier. 23 (1): 207–227. doi:10.1016/j.ejpoleco.2006.09.018. hdl:10419/84696.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link) Pdf. Archived 15 August 2017 at the Wayback Machine
  41. ^ Reeves, Rachel (2010). "The politics of deficit reduction". Renewal. Lawrence and Wishart. 18 (3–4). Archived from the original on 16 July 2011.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
  42. ^ Reeves, Rachel (5 March 2009). "Labour must challenge the Tories on quantitative easing". LabourList. Archived from the original on 3 June 2012. Retrieved 3 December 2011.
  43. ^ Staff writer (9 October 2011). "Rachel Reeves: can she save the Labour Party?". The Independent. London. Archived from the original on 12 December 2011. Retrieved 3 December 2011.
  44. ^ Reed, Jonathan (30 March 2011). "Transport Minister reacts to today's demand from 90 regional leaders for high-speed rail link". Yorkshire Evening Post. Archived from the original on 7 March 2016. Retrieved 29 July 2011.
  45. ^ Staff writer (29 October 2010). "Minister 'shrugs off' Leeds MP's transport questions". Yorkshire Evening Post. Retrieved 29 July 2011.
  46. ^ Staff writer (30 June 2011). "Leeds: MP calls for end to railway station 'limbo'". Yorkshire Evening Post. Archived from the original on 4 June 2016. Retrieved 29 July 2011.
  47. ^ Staff writer (25 July 2008). "Bramley baths, Leeds". victoriansociety.org.uk. Victorian Society. Archived from the original on 15 July 2014. Retrieved 26 February 2015.
  48. ^ Staff writer (21 July 2011). "Leeds West MP makes a splash for Bramley Baths". Yorkshire Evening Post. Archived from the original on 25 April 2016. Retrieved 29 July 2011.
  49. ^ "Oral Answers to Questions — Health". theyworkforyou.com. TheyWorkForYou. 12 July 2011. Archived from the original on 25 October 2012. Retrieved 29 July 2011.
  50. ^ Wright, Oliver (10 October 2014). "Anger grows within Labour over forced Palestinian vote". The Independent. Retrieved 11 October 2014.
  51. ^ Richards, Paul (18 November 2011). "Like Ed, we should all be friends of Israel". Progress. Archived from the original on 20 November 2011. Retrieved 3 December 2011.
  52. ^ Reeves, Rachel (6 August 2011). "Preserving Auschwitz-Birkenau". The Jerusalem Post. Archived from the original on 10 June 2011. Retrieved 3 December 2011.
  53. ^ Harpin, Lee (7 August 2019). "Dame Louise Ellman becomes new Labour Friends of Israel chair". Jewish Chronicle. Retrieved 7 August 2019.
  54. ^ https://twitter.com/rachelreevesmp/status/1231886779982151680?lang=en
  55. ^ Staff writer (1 July 2015). "Watchdog admits Duncan Smith's credit card blocked in error". BBC News. Archived from the original on 4 July 2015. Retrieved 1 July 2015.
  56. ^ Johnson, Kristian (10 May 2019). "This is how much your Leeds MP claimed in expenses last year". leedslive. Retrieved 14 May 2019.
  57. ^ Kynaston, David (22 January 2017) Alice in Westminster: The Political Life of Alice Bacon by Rachel Reeves – review in TheGuardian.com. Retrieved 10 October 2018
  58. ^ The Guardian. Rachel Reeves profile. Retrieved 11 October 2018
  59. ^ "Rachel Reeves". LabourList. Archived from the original on 21 July 2011. Retrieved 29 July 2011.
  60. ^ "Articles by Rachel Reeves". Progress. Archived from the original on 24 June 2017.
  61. ^ See the following:
  62. ^ "Who's new in the new Who's Who?". Grimsby Telegraph. Archived from the original on 9 June 2012. Retrieved 21 November 2011.
  63. ^ Staff writer. "Rachel Reeves". Daily Telegraph. London. Archived from the original on 27 August 2010. Retrieved 20 November 2011.
  64. ^ a b Mikhailova, Anna (29 May 2016). "Fame & Fortune: I said no to a Goldman Sachs job". The Times. Retrieved 15 September 2016.
  65. ^ Bowyer, Laura (20 September 2012). "Baby joy for Leeds West Labour MP Rachel Reeves". Yorkshire Evening Post. Archived from the original on 20 September 2012. Retrieved 21 September 2012.
  66. ^ Riddell, Mary (21 February 2015). "I'll end the bedroom tax then have a new baby, says Rachel Reeves". Daily Telegraph. Archived from the original on 11 September 2015. Retrieved 12 September 2015.
  67. ^ Staff writer (9 August 2016). "Clean sweep for Corbyn supporters in Labour NEC election". BBC News. Archived from the original on 28 May 2017. Retrieved 26 April 2017.
  68. ^ Greatex, Jonny (26 August 2012). "MP Tom Watson finds new love after break up of marriage". Birmingham Mail. Archived from the original on 14 October 2014. Retrieved 27 August 2014.

External linksEdit

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
John Battle
Member of Parliament for Leeds West
2010–present
Incumbent
Political offices
Preceded by
Angela Eagle
Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury
2011–2013
Succeeded by
Chris Leslie
Preceded by
Liam Byrne
Shadow Secretary of State for Work and Pensions
2013–2015
Succeeded by
Stephen Timms
Acting
Vacant
Title last held by
Francis Maude
Shadow Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
2020–present
Incumbent
Preceded by
Jon Trickett
Shadow Minister for the Cabinet Office
2020–present