Leeds MP Bags Top Labour Job

7 October 2011, 14:15 | Updated: 30 March 2016, 13:50

Ex Bank of England economist and Leeds West MP Rachel Reeves is the fastest-rising star of Labour's intake of new MPs from last year's general election.

She was appointed pensions spokeswoman less than six months after entering Parliament as MP for Leeds West, and her elevation to the post of shadow chief secretary to the Treasury confirms her as a key member of Ed Miliband's top team in a role which is at the heart of some of the fiercest debates of modern politics.

The 32-year-old will shadow the Liberal Democrat Chief Treasury Danny Alexander in a post which involves crucial responsibilities for state spending cuts, welfare reform and public sector pay and pensions.

Ms Reeves worked as an economist at the Bank of England, the British Embassy in the US and Halifax Bank of Scotland before entering Parliament in May last year.

Mr Miliband brought her onto the Labour frontbenches at the first opportunity after he secured the leadership last October.

As shadow pensions minister, she has challenged the Government over its plans to accelerate the increase in the state pension age.

Born in Lewisham, south-east London, to Labour-supporting parents, she was educated at the local state school Cator Park and Oxford University, where she read philosophy, politics and economics before gaining a masters degree at the London School of Economics.