Former 'Blair Babe' rises to key Labour post

Yvette Cooper is one of the most powerful women in British politics and was once tipped to become Labour's first female prime minister.

Just as her seemingly effortless rise to power in Parliament after entering the Commons as a 1997 Blair Babe appeared to be losing momentum a few years ago, the arrival of Gordon Brown at 10 Downing Street revitalised the career of this amiable, yet ambitious woman.



As shadow home secretary, she now has less than a week before playing a key role in Labour's response to the Government's plans for the future of controversial control orders, a key plank in the UK's counter-terrorism armoury.



She succeeds her husband Ed Balls, whom she married within a year of entering the House of Commons, and whom she beat into third place in the shadow cabinet contest last year. They have three children.



Born on March 20, 1969, in Inverness, Scotland, her father Tony Cooper was a trade unionist and her mother June was a maths teacher.



She was educated at the Eggars Comprehensive School, Alton, before studying at Balliol College, Oxford, Harvard University and the London School of Economics.



Ms Cooper began her career as an economics researcher to the then shadow chancellor, the late John Smith, and then worked in Arkansas in Bill Clinton's presidential candidate's team. She was later to become a policy adviser at the Treasury under Mr Brown.



In the two years before the 1997 election, she also worked as an economics columnist and leader writer for The Independent newspaper.



After her election as MP for Pontefract and Castleford in 1997, she spent two years on the education and employment select committee before becoming a junior health minister. Later she moved to the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister.



After the 2005 general election, she became minister of state at the Department of Communities and Local Government. Her last job under the Blair regime was as minister of housing and planning, with the right to attend Cabinet.



Mr Brown took her into the Cabinet proper in 2008, first as chief secretary to the Treasury and then a year later as work and pensions secretary.



Labour leader Ed Balls appointed her shadow foreign secretary last October and her popularity among Labour MPs means she seems set to be on the party's front bench in Opposition, or government, for many years to come.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Personal Tax Senior

£28000 - £37000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join ...

Recruitment Genius: Customer and Markets Development Executive

£22000 - £29000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company's mission is to ma...

Recruitment Genius: Guest Services Assistant

£13832 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This 5 star leisure destination on the w...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Account Manager

£20000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Sales Account Manager is requ...

Day In a Page

A nap a day could save your life - and here's why

A nap a day could save your life

A midday nap is 'associated with reduced blood pressure'
If men are so obsessed by sex, why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?

If men are so obsessed by sex...

...why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?
The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3

Jon Thoday and Richard Allen-Turner

The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3
The bathing machine is back... but with a difference

Rolling in the deep

The bathing machine is back but with a difference
Part-privatised tests, new age limits, driverless cars: Tories plot motoring revolution

Conservatives plot a motoring revolution

Draft report reveals biggest reform to regulations since driving test introduced in 1935
The Silk Roads that trace civilisation: Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation

Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places
House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled

The honours that shame Britain

Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled
When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race

'When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race'

Why are black men living the stereotypes and why are we letting them get away with it?
International Tap Festival: Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic

International Tap Festival comes to the UK

Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic
War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Turkey's buffer zone in Syria: self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border
Doris Lessing: Acclaimed novelist was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show

'A subversive brothel keeper and Communist'

Acclaimed novelist Doris Lessing was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show
Big Blue Live: BBC's Springwatch offshoot swaps back gardens for California's Monterey Bay

BBC heads to the Californian coast

The Big Blue Live crew is preparing for the first of three episodes on Sunday night, filming from boats, planes and an aquarium studio
Austin Bidwell: The Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England with the most daring forgery the world had known

Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England

Conman Austin Bidwell. was a heartless cad who carried out the most daring forgery the world had known
Car hacking scandal: Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked

Car hacking scandal

Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked
10 best placemats

Take your seat: 10 best placemats

Protect your table and dine in style with a bold new accessory