Labour's young ones on the move: 10 names to watch

Being a 'star of the future' can be the kiss of death for a promising career. But history shows that would-be Prime Ministers are far from the spotlight when their party first loses office. Matt Chorley scans the horizon

Sunday 23 October 2011 02:42

1. Chuka Umunna Elected to represent Streatham in May, his name is never far from lists of MPs to watch. With a Nigerian, Irish and English background, the lawyer is one of the most articulate newcomers to Parliament. He challenged ex-Sun editor Kelvin MacKenzie over anti-Scottish comments on Question Time.

2. Emma Reynolds Fluent in French, Spanish and Italian, the new MP for Wolverhampton North-east plays up her role representing her home town. A former special adviser to Geoff Hoon, she also worked for Robin Cook. Reynolds worked part-time for a small public affairs company before being elected.

3. Rachel Reeves The MP for Leeds West is a former economist at the Bank of England and British embassy in Washington, DC. Her impressive CV also includes stints at Halifax Bank of Scotland and work for a number of left-wing think-tanks. Claims to have joined Labour at 16 because of Thatcher.

4. Bridget Phillipson Elected to Parliament as MP for Houghton and Sunderland at the age of 26, the one-time president of the Oxford University Labour Club was brought up by a single mother in a council house. She ran a charity refuge for victims of domestic violence before entering politics.

5. Rushanara Ali Born in a Bangladeshi village in 1975, Ali attended Oxford before working at the Young Foundation and for Oona King, whose old seat she now represents. The new MP for Bethnal Green and Bow has been described as one of the most powerful Muslim women in Britain. A regular on TV and radio.

6. Wes Streeting A modernising ex-president of the National Union of Students and staunch campaigner against tuition fees, he faced accusations of being too close to Brown's government. Now a Labour councillor in Redbridge, he has been listed as one of the top 40 most powerful gay politicians in the UK.

7. Ellie Gellard The self-styled Stilettoed Socialist who has almost 6,000 followers on her BevaniteEllie Twitter profile was catapulted on to the front pages when she introduced Gordon Brown at Labour's manifesto launch, despite once telling him to "get your coat: time's up" when the party was crushed in local elections.

8. Luke Pollard A prolific blogger and ardent campaigner, Pollard fought the rock-solid safe Tory seat of South-west Devon with enthusiasm making his Tory rival, Gary Streeter, admit that he was being kept on his toes. He is adept at combining online video campaigning with old-fashioned door knocking.

9. Jessica Asato "Social media lead" on David Miliband's campaign, Asato is an Islington councillor and vice-chair of the Fabian Society. She warned party members to "get real" about the election defeat and not "proceed by the same old, same old command and control method of party selection and organisation".

10. David Chaplin The chairman of the Young Fabians has cited Blair as his hero and worked with Ed Miliband on his election manifesto surgeries. Another frequent blogger, he has worked in Parliament for several MPs and in Canada for the New Democrat Party.

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