Rising stars: Labour's class of 2010

Tony Blair, Gordon Brown and Ed Miliband all made a mark within two years of becoming an MP, with roles in the shadow frontbench teams or, in Ed Miliband's case, a cabinet job. Which of Labour's new MPs is on track to follow in their footsteps?

Background Achievements Media profile What people say about them What they say about themselves

Chuka Umunna

Chuka Umunna

This 33-year-old former employment lawyer joined the party in 1997, as New Labour swept to power. He says he once toyed with the idea of becoming a house music DJ but instead settled for being the MP for the constituency where he grew up - Streatham in south London.

A swift rise through the ranks: Mr Umunna served on the Treasury Select Committee where he won plaudits for his tough questioning of bankers. He has served as Ed Miliband's aide, a junior shadow business minister and once shadow cabinet elections were scrapped, he was made shadow business secretary.

Even before he was an MP, Mr Umunna was writing articles for national newspapers outlining his ideas for how the Labour Party could improve. Now one of Labour's most frequent media performers, he is often on our screens talking about banking reform and boosting British business.

As early as 2009, The New Statesman was suggesting Chuka Umunna could be "Britain's Barack Obama" and a future leader of the party. Not many interviews or coverage of Mr Umunna pass without a mention of this and he is widely seen as one of Labour's hottest "rising stars".

"You get lazy journalists and the odd blogger who'll suggest that I fancy myself as 'Britain's Obama', and that I seek to encourage the comparison. It's never been something I've encouraged. I want people to look at me as me, not through the prism of someone else's personality."

Rachel Reeves

Rachel Reeves

The 33-year-old former economist at the Bank of England who said she knew she was a Labour supporter at the age of eight. The daughter of two teachers, her sister Ellie sits on the party's executive. She grew up in London but is MP for Leeds West where she used to work for HBOS.

Rachel Reeves has barely spent any time as a backbencher. Within five months Ed Miliband made her a middle-ranking junior shadow minister in charge of pensions. The next year she was brought into the shadow cabinet as shadow chief secretary to the Treasury.

She is regularly on our screens attacking the government's record on the economy and has written articles for a number of think tanks, and a book called Why Vote Labour, a collection of views from Labour voters published before the last election.

"There is normally a strut, an air of self-confidence, and a hint of ruthlessness around a politician going places. You don't sense that with Rachel Reeves. She looks and acts, instead, quite normally." Ben Duckworth, Total Politics

"I look at the life choices that someone like Ed Miliband must have to make to be leader of a political party and I don't really envy a lot of that. He's got two young children and I think it's an extremely tough job to do."

Margaret Curran

Margaret Curran

A former Glasgow MSP and Scottish minister, 53-year-old Margaret Curran failed at her first attempt to get into Westminster in the 2008 Glasgow East by-election. However, in 2010 she beat her SNP rival to take the seat back for Labour. She is a former community worker and university lecturer.

Not as young as some of her 2010 contemporaries, she was quickly promoted to the frontbench as a shadow minister for disabled people. A year later she was given the crucial role of shadow secretary of state for Scotland - where the party is facing a resurgent SNP and a vote on independence.

A strong performer with a no-nonsense approach, she's better known north of the border. She's appeared in several episodes of Question Time and taken part in televised debates arguing the case against independence. Not afraid to speak her mind, she recently accused BBC Scotland of not giving her enough airtime.

"Curran yaps like a terrier; words tumble from her in a torrent. So much to say about so much injustice and so little time to say it in... She's a fascinating mix of couthie Scots housewife (you can almost see her hanging over the garden fence in a headscarf) and political ideologue." Mandy Rhodes, Holyrood Magazine

"I am that heady mix of Scottish/Irish that I guess means I am just an argumentative person. My school teachers would have probably described me as someone who had her own views and wasn't afraid to ask questions and stand my ground - so no change there then."

Owen Smith

Owen Smith

A former BBC radio producer, Owen Smith worked as a special adviser to former Welsh Secretary Paul Murphy. He failed to win Labour back the seat of Blaenau Gwent in a by-election in 2006 but got his chance in 2010 when he won the seat of Pontypridd. He is the son of Labour historian Dai Smith.

A shadow minister for Wales within five months of being an MP, Owen Smith was then moved to the shadow Treasury team. But he got his big break when Peter Hain stepped down as shadow welsh secretary, Mr Smith was appointed in his place.

As shadow Welsh secretary, Owen Smith's profile at Westminster is lower than some of his shadow cabinet colleagues but he is better known in Wales, where Labour is in government. He was named the "member to watch" by ITV Wales in 2010.

"He's clearly a fast mover. He's clearly somebody [who since] getting the Pontypridd nomination was earmarked for getting a shadow cabinet position."

Laura McAllister, professor of governance at Liverpool University

"I genuinely don't feel particularly interested in raising my profile, but I do feel as a Welshman hugely proud to be asked to do a job to speak for Wales and to speak for Wales on behalf of the Labour Party."

Liz Kendall

Liz Kendall

Liz Kendall, 41, is another former special adviser, having worked for both Harriet Harman and Patricia Hewitt when they were cabinet ministers. She was born and brought up near Watford and has worked for several charities. She is a former director of the Maternity Alliance charity and the Ambulance Service Network.

Despite backing his brother for the leadership, Liz Kendall was made a shadow health minister in Ed Miliband's first frontbench team. She impressed with her handling of Labour's opposition to controversial health reforms and was rewarded with a shadow cabinet seat as shadow minister for care and older people.

Regularly speaks out on her area of care and older people but has a slightly lower media profile than some of the other 2010 rising stars. She is a prolific tweeter and once got into hot water for posting a picture of the state opening of Parliament, which is against parliamentary rules.

"Those who single Kendall out as a high-flier point to her human touch. Besides having an empathy with the older people whose interests she represents she has the rare political quality of not

actually looking, or sounding, like a politician." Mary Riddell, Fabian Review

On being tipped as a future leader: "Oh my God, I've never heard that in my life. That is genuinely horrifying to hear... I've only been an MP for two years. If I can be a good MP, make a difference on the care issue and be as normal a daughter, sister and a friend as I possibly can, that's all I want to do."

Michael Dugher

Michael Dugher

Born and brought up in the former pit village of Edlington, South Yorkshire, Michael Dugher, 37, was a union official before moving into politics. He worked as a special adviser to two Labour cabinet ministers. and before becoming an MP he spent two years as Gordon Brown's political spokesman.

Although he backed Ed Balls for the leadership, Michael Dugher has not been left out in the cold. He was quickly made a shadow defence minister and a few months later became Ed Miliband's aide. Within 18 months, he was brought into the shadow cabinet as shadow minister without portfolio.

Brought in to sharpen up Labour's rebuttal operation, he is often sent out as an attack dog to put the boot in to the Conservatives. He can usually be relied upon to ramp up any whiff of sleaze and is seen as a bit of a "bruiser".

"The karaoke-loving Yorkshireman brings media nous and common sense to Ed Miliband's top team. He declares himself working class and proud of it, but has an intimate knowledge of Westminster from his time serving the Labour Government" Evening Standard

On his Twitter profile he describes himself as: "Husband, Dad, Yorkshireman, Beatlemaniac, footy fan, karaoke king."

Anas Sarwar

Anas Sarwar

The 29-year-old MP for Glasgow Central followed in the footsteps of his father, Mohammad Sarwar, when he won the seat in 2010, following his dad's retirement. A qualified dentist, he started campaigning for the party at the age of 14.

Although Anas Sarwar has not held a shadow frontbench post or made it into the shadow cabinet, after just 18 months as an MP he was elected as the party's deputy leader in Scotland, beating veteran Scottish MP Ian Davidson.

He won the Scottish Sun's best new Scottish politician award in 2009 and since his election as deputy leader he's been out and about raising his profile, some say more than the new Scottish Labour leader Johann Lamont.

"Sarwar has that languid eloquence and elegance that comes as a result of privilege and an expensive private education but more than that, for such a new politician - he was only elected in 2010 - he is a prematurely polished operator." Mandy Rhodes, Holyrood Magazine

"I think if you look at where I am today, it is not because I have gone out there and said who my father is. I am my own man. I never stood as the son of someone. I stood not as Sarwar's boy but as a Glasgow boy."

Stella Creasy

Stella Creasy

A 35-year-old former councillor, feminist and community activist who was briefly mayor of Waltham Forest at the age of 25. She started her career as a TV researcher and went on to work for a number of Labour MPs. Before she became an MP she was working for the Scouts Association. She is MP for Walthamstow in north east London.

Stella Creasy has made a name for herself in Parliament for campaigning for the regulation of "legal loan sharks", although not so well that a Tory MP mistook her for a youthful researcher and refused her entry to the MP only lift. Slower to get into Ed Miliband's shadow team than some of the other career climbers, she is now shadow minister for crime prevention.

Endlessly profiled in newspapers as a a rising star and possibly Labour's first female leader. Feted by the right, she won campaign group The Taxpayer's Alliance's pin-up of the month award for her views on public spending. ConservativeHome called here Labour's most interesting MP. A prolific tweeter, she uses social media to push her campaign agenda.

"I had feared Creasy might be a Lab-bot. Tirelessly on message. Humourless, perhaps. When I found out her Commons nickname — St Ella, apparently — it didn't exactly alleviate those concerns. But I was wrong. She's energetic, witty and articulate, and boy, can she talk."

Rosamund Urwin, Evening Standard

"I absolutely want to change the world, that's why I do politics. That's why I got involved. I say to people in Walthamstow I'm your worst enemy as your MP because I'm going to get you involved. Because that's how we are going to change things."

Dan Jarvis

Dan Jarvis

Not strictly a member of the 2010 intake, former paratrooper Dan Jarvis was elected in the Barnsley Central by-election in March 2011. He spent 15 years in the army and served in Sierra Leone, Iraq, Northern Ireland and Afghanistan.

After only seven months as an MP, Dan Jarvis was made a shadow minister for culture. He was awarded an MBE in the 2011 Birthday Honours list and helped launch Labour's Friends of the Forces group.

He hasn't as high a media profile as those with bigger shadow ministerial jobs, but has written about diverse topics such as creativity in education and aid to India. He was rated the "sexiest MP" in a table devised by Sky News.

"There is a young Labour MP called Dan Jarvis. Although he has only just arrived in Parliament, he exudes class. This might be a Tony Blair with moral depth: a good enough politician to lead his party without solving its basic intellectual difficulties."

Bruce Anderson on ConservativeHome

"The life skills that serving in Afghanistan and commanding soldiers under incredibly difficult circumstances gives you means that I haven't been learning about how to get things done because I know how to get things done. I've been learning about politics; I've been learning about how this place works. I guess that's not something you learn in a month or a year."

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