Yorkshire's Shadow Cabinet Members


Ed Miliband – Leader


Ed Miliband became leader of the Labour Party in September 2010. He has been MP for Doncaster North since 2005.


Ed served in the government of then-Prime Minister Gordon Brown, firstly as Minister for the Cabinet Office and then as Energy & Climate Change Secretary.


He attended Haverstock Comprehensive School in London before studying Philosophy, Politics & Economics at Oxford.


His political career started in 1993, working for Harriet Harman for a year, before joining Gordon Brown ‘s team. Following Labour’s famous 1997 election victory, Ed was appointed as one of Gordon’s special advisors.


In 2011 Ed married his long-term partner Justine, with whom he has two sons.


Ed Balls – Shadow Chancellor


Ed Balls joined the House of Commons as MP for Normanton in 2005. After boundary review changes in 2010, Ed is now MP for Morley & Outwood.


Born in Norwich, Ed then spent his later childhood years in Nottinghamshire, and joined the Labour Party aged 16 after seeing the hugely damaging impact Margaret Thatcher’s government had on the region.


He gained a first in Philosophy, Politics and Economics at Oxford before going to Harvard as a Kennedy Scholar where he specialised in Economics.


After four years writing for the Financial Times, Ed was appointed as an economics advisor to Gordon Brown. From 1999 to 2004 he was the chief economic advisor to HM Treasury.


Ed became a junior minister in Tony Blair’s government in 2006 as Economic Treasury to the Secretary, before being appointed Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families the following year by new Prime Minister Gordon Brown.


Ed is married to fellow Yorkshire MP Yvette Cooper, the Shadow Home Secretary, with whom he has three children. They were the first married couple ever to serve together in the cabinet.


Yvette Cooper – Shadow Home Secretary


Yvette Cooper entered the House of Commons in Labour’s landslide victory of 1997 as MP for Pontefract and Castleford. Following boundary changes in 2010, she is now MP for Pontefract, Castleford and Normanton.


Yvette studied PPE at Oxford, undertook a Kennedy Scholarship at Harvard and then gained an MSc in Economics from the London School of Economics.


In 1990 she became an economics advisor to then shadow chancellor and future Labour leader John Smith, before going to Arkansas in the USA in 1992 to work for Bill Clinton.  On returning to the UK she was appointed by Harriet Harman as a policy advisor, then worked for the Independent as their economic correspondent for the two years leading up to her election to parliament.


Yvette held three positions in Gordon Brown’s government – firstly Housing Minister, then Chief Secretary to the Treasury, and finally Work & Pensions Secretary.


She is now Labour’s shadow Home Secretary and Shadow Minister for Women and Equalities.


Rachel Reeves - Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury 


Rachel was elected as MP for Leeds West at the 2010 general election. She is only the second ever woman MP to represent a Leeds constiuency (the other was Alice Bacon).


Rachel grew up in South East London and joined the Labour Party aged 16, citing the lack of resources and extra curricular cuts at her school as her biggest issue with the Conservative government.


She has a PPE degree from Oxford and an Economics masters from the London School of Economics.


Rachel worked at the Bank of England, the British Embassy in Washington, and for Halifax Bank of Scotland.


Ed Miliband made her Shadow Pensions Minister before she was promoted to the shadow cabinet in her present post in October 2011, just 18 months after becoming an MP. 


Caroline Flint – Shadow Energy and Climate Change Secretary


Caroline Flint entered parliament in Labour’s landslide victory of 1997 as MP for Don Valley, a seat she has held since.


She was born and grew up in South-West London, and went to the University of East Anglia where she gained a degree in American Literature & History combined with Film Studies.


She was a party member by the age of 17 and was Women’s Officer of the National Organisation of Labour Students from 1982 to 84.


In 1994, Caroline and her partner Phil foiled an armed bank robbery.


Caroline proudly states that there’s hardly a role in the Labour Party she hasn’t done at some point, including chairing a CLP and an LGC, co-ordinating numerous campaigns and as a National Policy Forum participant.


Caroline held a number of ministerial roles under Tony Blair, and served in Gordon Brown’s government first as Housing Minister and then Minister for Europe.


Rosie Winterton – Chief Whip


Rosie Winterton was one of the several hundred new Labour MPs in the landslide victory of 1997, representing Doncaster Central.


She went to school in Doncaster before completing a degree in History at the University of Hull.


Rosie worked for John Prescott from 1980 to 1986 before working as a parliamentary officer for Southwark Council then the Royal College of Nursing.


After four years as MD of a communications company, she returned to work for John Prescott in 1994, by now Labour’s Deputy Leader, as his Head of Office, until she herself was elected to the Commons.


Rosie held ministerial roles in the governments of both Tony Blair and Gordon Brown, including Pensions Minister and Minister for Yorkshire and the Humber.



Hilary Benn – Shadow DCLG Secretary 


Hilary Benn, son of Tony, has been MP for Leeds Central since 1999. He is the fourth successive generation of his family to be an MP, following in the footsteps of his dad Tony, granddad William Wedgwood Benn and great-granddad John Benn.


Hilary grew up in London before undertaking a degree in Russian and Eastern European Studies from Sussex University.


He served for a number of years on Ealing Borough Council, where he was Deputy Leader from 1986 until 1990.


After Labour came to power in 1997 Hilary became a special advisor to then-Education Secretary David Blunkett. He was selected to fight the Leeds Central seat in a by-election two years later.


In government,  Hilary served under Tony Blair as International Development Secretary, and under Gordon Brown as DEFRA Secretary.


Hilary is a vegetarian and teetotaller.


Mary Creagh – Shadow DEFRA Secretary


Mary Creagh entered the Commons at the 2005 election as MP for Wakefield.


She was brought up in Coventry where her dad worked in a car factory and her mum was a primary school teacher. She went to school in Coventry then won a scholarship to Oxford where she studied Modern Languages. She followed this with an MSc in Economics from the London School of European Studies.


She has worked with the European Parliament and the European Youth Forum, and taught entrepreneurship at Cranford University School of Management from 1997 until her election to parliament.


Mary is fluent in French and Italian.



Michael Dugher - Shadow Cabinet Office Minister without Portfolio


Michael Dugher has been MP for Barnsley East since May 2010.


He was born and raised in Edlington in South Yorkshire, going to school in Doncaster before gaining a degree from the University of Nottingham.



Prior to his election to parliament, Michael worked in Downing Street as Chief Political Spokesman for the Prime Minister, Gordon Brown.


He has worked as an advisor in a number of government departments as well as a stint as Head of Policy for the trade union AEEU.


Ed Miliband appointed him as a shadow defence minister before promoting him to the cabinet in his present role in October 2011, just 18 months after he became an MP.  


 John Trickett - Shadow Minister for the Cabinet Office


Jon Trickett entered parliament as MP for Hemsworth in a 1996 by-election.


Born and brought up in Leeds, Jon joined the Labour Party in the late 60's and has been an active campaigner, election agent, activist and contributer to the Labour Leader newspaper.


He worked as a builder and plumber before gaining a BA in Politics from Hull University and an MA in Political Sociology from the University of Leeds. He also served as a councillor on Leeds City Council.


In 2008 Jon became PPS to then Prime Minister Gordon Brown, and he was appointed to his current post by Ed Miliband in October 2010.


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