Rachel Reeves: Britain’s First Female Chancellor of the Exchequer

Following her election as the MP for Leeds West and Pudsey in July 2024, Rt Hon. Rachel Reeves was appointed Chancellor of the Exchequer on 5 July 2024 to become the first ever female Chancellor of the Exchequer.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer is the government’s chief financial minister and as such is responsible for raising revenue through taxation or borrowing and for controlling public spending. She has overall responsibility for the work of the Treasury.

The Chancellor’s responsibilities cover:

  • fiscal policy (including the presenting of the annual Budget)
  • monetary policy, setting inflation targets
  • ministerial arrangements (in her role as Second Lord of the Treasury)
  • overall responsibility for the Treasury’s response to COVID-19

Who Is Rachel Reeves?

Born in Lewisham, South-east London, Rachel, 45, boasts an impressive academic background, having graduated from New College, Oxford and the London School of Economics.

She is happily married to Nicholas Joicey, a dedicated senior civil servant and former speechwriter for Gordon Brown during his tenure as chancellor. Together, they are proud parents of two wonderful children.
Rachel Reeves has been Member of Parliament (MP) for Leeds West and Pudsey, previously Leeds West, since 2010. Her parents were both teachers. Her sister, Ellie Reeves is also a Labour MP, further strengthening their family’s commitment to public service.

After graduating, Rachel embarked on a promising career as an economist at the Bank of England. She thrived on the central bank’s Japan desk, analysing the country’s efforts to overcome stagnation in the 1990s. During a vibrant secondment to the UK’s embassy in Washington DC, she met her future husband Nicholas Joicey, who brought his diverse experiences as a film critic for newspapers and a speechwriter to then-Chancellor Gordon Brown.

Reeves’ path to Parliament was filled with determination. Despite two early campaigns for the former seat of Bromley and Chislehurst, traditionally a safe seat for the Conservatives, her resolve never wavered.
Before becoming an MP for Leeds West in 2010, she embraced the city of Leeds and contributed her talents at the Halifax Bank of Scotland.