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Who is the new shadow chancellor Anneliese Dodds?

By Michael Race
BBC News

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image captionAnneliese Dodds has been the MP for Oxford East since 2017.

Anneliese Dodds has become the first woman to be appointed shadow chancellor following Sir Keir Starmer's victory in the Labour leadership contest.

Ms Dodds, MP for Oxford East, told the BBC it was a "surprise" when she received the phone call from the new leader of Opposition and was "delighted" to accept her promotion.

She said it was a "strange kind of celebration" for herself and her supporters due to the current coronavirus crisis.

So what do we know about the new shadow chancellor?

Elected in the 2017 general election, Ms Dodds has risen rapidly through her party's ranks after she succeeded long-serving Labour MP Andrew Smith.

Mr Smith, who served as work and pensions secretary in Tony Blair's government, told the BBC it was "no surprise that she has risen on merit far and fast" following her entrance to the House of Commons.

"She is warm and approachable, very well liked and respected by Labour members and constituents," he added.

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image captionAnneliese Dodds with her children at a child's playground in Rose Hill, Oxford, accompanied by Jeremy Corbyn during the 2017 election campaign

Ms Dodds, who served as shadow Treasury minister under Jeremy Corbyn, represented the South East as a member of the European Parliament for three years before becoming an MP, and was on the economic and monetary affairs committee.

She previously contested seats in the 2005 and 2010 general elections for the Billericay and Reading East constituencies, but failed to win.

After being re-elected as the MP for Oxford East last year with a majority of 17,832, 5,452 votes less than 2017, she said Labour needed to to take a "long, hard look at itself".

In her life before politics, Ms Dodds, who was born and raised in Aberdeen, moved in 1996 and studied politics, philosophy and economics at Oxford University's St Hilda's College.

She then worked as an academic and her research focused on public policy and healthcare in different industries, sectors and nations, before she began her political career.

Ms Dodds told the Today programme that she was "very engaged" in politics and was "inspired" by Gordon Brown's "international leadership" during the 2008 financial crisis.

Due to the government's coronavirus restrictions, the mother-of-two is working from her home in Rose Hill, Oxford, with her partner Ed Turner, who is currently the deputy leader of Oxford City Council.

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image captionAnneliese Dodds took her baby to a voting session at the European Parliament in Strasbourg as an MEP in 2016

Mr Smith said the "diverse make-up" of the constituency and the fact she lives in Rose Hill, a former council estate, would "keep her in touch with everyday realities".

The veteran politician said a "great thing about working in a leading role from an Oxford constituency" was that there was "advice and support close at hand to match the best in the world".

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