Newly appointed 45-year-old economist holds a position equivalent to that of Finance Minister in Brazil

Economist Rachel Reeves has been confirmed as UK Chancellor of the Exchequer, becoming the first woman in 800 years to hold the position. The appointment comes after Keir Starmer (centre-left, Labour) took over as Prime Minister on Friday (6 July 2024), in a landslide victory against the Conservative Party (centre-right).

Known in English as “chancellor of the Exchequer” — translated as British Treasury Secretary — the position is equivalent to the Brazilian Finance Minister. The announcement of Reeves’ appointment was made shortly after his appearance at the Prime Minister’s official residence. “There is a long way to go”he declared.

Reeves is 45 years old. She was elected to the British Parliament in 2010, from the city of Leeds, in the north of England. She has often highlighted her training as an economist, acquired during six years at the Bank of England (2000-2006), to try to prove her credibility. She emphasizes the need for stability after a period of economic crises in the United Kingdom, both international and domestic, such as the rise in energy prices.

In 2021, she was tasked by Starmer with rebuilding the Labour Party’s fiscal and economic credibility.

Reeves says the party will inherit the worst economic situation since the end of World War II. She calls her economic agenda: “securonomia”focused on ensuring the country’s economic security and the financial stability of workers. Its policies are inspired by US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen.

Personal life

Rachel Reeves was born in south-east London in 1979, shortly before Margaret Thatcher became prime minister. As a child, the new British minister played chess, learning the key moves from her father and becoming a national champion during high school.

After graduating from Oxford University, she began her career as an economist. During a period at the British Embassy in Washington, DC, she met her husband, Nicholas Joicey, a former film critic and speechwriter for Gordon Brown, the former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.


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