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Rachel Reeves: Britain’s first girl finance chief

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Britain’s first girl finance minister Rachel Reeves.
| Photo Credit: AP

Rachel Reeves, Britain’s first girl finance minister, is a former little one chess champion and Bank of England economist who has pledged to develop the nation’s financial system whereas displaying sturdy fiscal self-discipline.

Reeves, 45, turns into chancellor of the exchequer after her centre-left Labour occasion gained Thursday’s U.Okay. normal election by a landslide, ending 14 years of rule by the right-wing Conservatives.


Also Read :Landslide win for Labour; Keir Starmer appointed new PM

“It is the honour of my life to have been appointed chancellor of the exchequer,” Ms. Reeves wrote on social media platform X after her appointment by new Prime Minister Keir Starmer.

“To every young girl and woman reading this, let today show that there should be no limits on your ambitions.”

Labour had put the financial system on the coronary heart of its election manifesto, concentrating on development and wealth creation as key priorities in authorities, whereas its emphasis on the latter just isn’t usually related to the occasion’s historically leftist insurance policies.

“Economic growth was the Labour Party’s mission,” Ms. Reeves added on Friday.

“It is now a national mission. Let’s get to work,” mentioned the married mom of two kids.

‘Iron chancellor’

Ms. Reeves lately advised firm bosses that Labour had turn into “the natural party of British business”, including that the occasion would present “iron discipline” over public funds.

The feedback drew comparisons with ‘Iron Lady’ Margaret Thatcher, Britain’s first girl prime minister.

Unlike Conservative chief Thatcher, who privatised key sectors after turning into prime minister in 1979, Ms. Reeves desires a type of renationalisation, notably for power, as she takes inspiration from coverage enacted by US President Joe Biden.

Labour has pledged to create Great British Energy, a publicly owned firm that will spearhead funding, alongside the personal sector, for the “green” transition away from fossil fuels.

James Wood, senior educating affiliate in political financial system on the University of Cambridge, mentioned Labour and Reeves had been searching for a “responsible” strategy to the general public purse.

“When she talks about being an iron chancellor, I think what she means is: we’re going to balance the books and we’re going to be responsible — and we’re going to try and get Britain’s economy running… in a responsible way,” he advised AFP.

London-born Ms. Reeves tapped into public anger over Mr. Sunak’s predecessor Liz Truss, whose unfunded 2022 mini-budget crashed the pound and despatched mortgage charges hovering, worsening a cost-of-living disaster.

“They want to distance themselves from fiscal irresponsibility, not making big promises about spending that they can’t possibly keep,” Wood added.

Banking profession

Ms. Reeves, whose dad and mom had been lecturers, isn’t any stranger to outmanoeuvring opponents.

She grew to become British women’ chess champion aged 14 earlier than learning philosophy, politics and economics on the University of Oxford, which was adopted by a Master’s diploma on the London School of Economics.

After graduating, she labored as an economist for a decade, first on the Bank of England earlier than switching to the personal sector.

While working for British retail financial institution HBOS, the worldwide monetary disaster struck in 2008, leading to her employer receiving an enormous bailout, together with different lenders, from Gordon Brown’s Labour authorities.

In 2010, when the Conservatives entered energy in a coalition with the Liberal Democrats, Reeves was elected Labour MP for Leeds West in northern England.

Eleven years later, Starmer appointed her as Labour’s finance spokesperson. Her sister Ellie Reeves can be a Labour MP.

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