Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer

The Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer in the British Parliamentary system is the member of the Shadow Cabinet who is responsible for shadowing the Chancellor of the Exchequer. The title is in the gift of the Leader of the Opposition but is informal. The Shadow Chancellor has no constitutional role.

Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer
Incumbent
Rachel Reeves

since 9 May 2021
AppointerLeader of the Opposition
Inaugural holderRab Butler
WebsiteThe Shadow Cabinet

The current Shadow Chancellor is Rachel Reeves, who has held the position since 9 May 2021. She is the second woman to hold the position.

The name for the position has a mixed history. It is used to designate the lead economic spokesman for the Opposition, although some Shadow Cabinets have not used the term (the Thatcher Shadow Cabinet in the Conservative Party Campaign of 1979). The term has been used interchangeably with "economic spokesperson" by the Liberal Democrats as well as the main opposition party.[1]

This was a source of humour for one time Chancellor of the Exchequer Gordon Brown, who in 2005 played the two off against one another in Parliament, saying, "I, too, have a great deal of time for the shadow Chancellor who resides in Twickenham Vince Cable, rather than the shadow Chancellor for the Conservative Party."[2]