MP for Leeds West
Rachel is the Member of Parliament for Leeds West and Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury. Elected in May 2010. She is the first female MP to represent a seat in Leeds since Alice Bacon, who served between 1945 and 1970.
Rachel was previously Shadow Pensions Minister, from October 2010 – October 2011. In this role she led a campaign against the Government’s plans to accelerate the increase in the State Pension Age.
In Leeds West, Rachel has worked hard to continue the community work pioneered by her predecessor, John Battle MP. She has led the fight to save local swimming pool Bramley Baths, successfully argued for better bus services in the constituency and lobbied for the future of Kirkstall Forge.
Prior to her front bench appointment, Rachel sat on the Business, Innovation and Skills Select Committee, where she took a lead role in criticising the Government’s decision to cancel a loan to Sheffield Forgemasters.
Rachel 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 holds a Master’s degree from the London School of Economics, and a degree in Philosophy, Politics and Economics from New College, Oxford. Prior to her election, Rachel also served as a governor at two West Leeds schools.
Rachel lives in Kirkstall, Leeds. When not campaigning, she relaxes by swimming, reading and walking, and is known to enjoy a picnic in the grounds of Kirkstall Abbey. Rachel is also currently writing a biography of Alice Bacon.
Environmental Law Barrister
Professor of Journalism
Journalist & Life Peer
Paralympian & Crossbench Peer
President & Deputy Chair, John Lewis Partnership Council & Deputy Chairman, National Equality Standard