Shadow Chancellor

Who is the current Shadow Chancellor?

Rachel Reeves MP is the current Shadow Chancellor, having been appointed to the role in May 2021 by the Leader of the Opposition, Sir Keir Starmer.

Ms Reeves was Chair of the Commons Business Select Committee between 2017 and 2020. Before being elected as a Labour MP for Leeds West, Reeves spent her professional career as an economist working for the Bank of England, the British Embassy in Washington and at Halifax Bank of Scotland.

Rachel Reeves holds a Master’s degree from the London School of Economics and a degree in Philosophy, Politics and Economics from New College, Oxford. Her husband, Nicholas Joicey, was formerly a speech writer to Gordon Brown, when he was the actual Chancellor of the Exchequer.

Reeves replaced Anneliese Dodds, who held the position during the first twelve months of Keir Starmer’s leadership.   Ms Dodds has now taken on responsibility for the labour policy review.  Reeves is the second ever woman Shadow Chancellor. Dodds was the first.

Before Dodds, the post of Shadow Chancellor was held for five years by close Jeremy Corbyn ally, John McDonnell.  Before him it was held by Ed Balls.

What does the Shadow Chancellor do?

The Shadow Chancellor is the Official Opposition’s lead spokesperson on the Economy.

The Shadow Chancellor’s role is to critique and hold Chancellor Rishi Sunak to account, both within Parliament and on the media. The job also involves developing the Labour Party’s economic policies in preparation for a future Labour government.

The Shadow Chancellor is a key figure within the Shadow Cabinet, and a senior figure in both the Labour Party and Opposition politics.

Is the Shadow Chancellor paid?

Whilst Sir Keir Starmer receives an additional salary in his capacity as Leader of the Opposition, other members of the Shadow Cabinet do not receive additional remuneration.

Shadow Chancellor Rachel Reeves does not thus earn an additional salary for her specific role.

Traditionally the Shadow Chancellor has though received extra support to cover the additional office expenses and travel that go with the role.

How often does the Shadow Chancellor become Chancellor?

Historically, serving as Shadow Chancellor has been no guarantee of moving into Number 11 Downing Street any time in the near future.

In the last 50 years, only 4 out of the last 18 Shadow Chancellors (and excluding those ex Chancellors continuing immediately after an election) have actually gone on to become Chancellor of the Exchequer (Geoffrey Howe, Denis Healey, Gordon Brown, and George Osborne).

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Reeves, Rachel