Yvette Cooper is a British politician who has been a Member of Parliament (MP) since 1997. She is a member of the Labour Party and currently represents the constituency of Normanton, Pontefract, and Castleford. Since 2008 she is serving in several high-profile positions in government, including serving as Chief Secretary to the Treasury under Gordon Brown.
Moreover, she also served as Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, Shadow Foreign Secretary, and Shadow Home Secretary. Cooper has been a prominent advocate for social justice issues, including gender equality and refugee rights. In 2018, she co-founded the cross-party parliamentary group More United, which aims to promote progressive values in politics.
Early Life & Bio
Yvette Cooper was born on 20th March 1969 in Scotland. Her father is Tony Cooper who has worked as a General Secretary of the Prospect trade union. Moreover, he has been the former non-executive director of the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority. Her mother June worked as a Math teacher. Yvette has been a bright student. She got her education from Eggars School.
If this isn’t enough she got her philosophy, economics, and politics degrees from Balliol College. As she got a scholarship in 1991, she attended Harvard University. She completed her postgraduate studies with MSC in Economics from the London School of Economics.
Yvette Cooper was first elected to Parliament in 1997 as the MP for Pontefract and Castleford. Luckily she has been re-elected in every subsequent election. She has held several government positions during her political tenure. It includes the Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, and Shadow Home Secretary.
Cooper has been an advocate for women’s rights and has worked on issues related to domestic violence, rape, and sexual harassment. She has been a strong supporter of LGBT+ rights and was instrumental in the successful campaign to legalize same-sex marriage.
In addition to her political career, Cooper is also a writer and journalist. She has written for The Guardian and The Observer. Moreover, she has authored several books, including a biography of Barbara Castle, a prominent Labour politician.
Blair and Brown Government: 1999–2010
Yvette Cooper was a member of the UK Parliament during the Blair and Brown governments from 1999 to 2010. She served in various ministerial roles during this time. In 1999, Cooper was appointed as a Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State in the Department of Health. This is where she worked on policies related to public health, mental health, and social care. In 2003, she became a Minister of State in the same department, with responsibility for public health and the NHS.
In 2005, Cooper was appointed as Minister for Housing and Planning in the Department for Communities and Local Government. This is how she worked on policies to improve the availability and affordability of housing. She was also responsible for planning and regeneration, including the creation of new eco-towns.
In 2007, Cooper became Chief Secretary to the Treasury, the second most senior position in the Treasury. In this role, she was responsible for managing the government’s budget and public finances.
From 2008 to 2009, Cooper served as Secretary of State for Work and Pensions. In this position, she was responsible for welfare reform and the administration of the social security system. She also introduced the Child Poverty Act, which set targets for reducing child poverty in the UK.
Allegations over Expenses
Yvette Cooper was among a group of MPs who were accused of misusing parliamentary expenses. The allegations stemmed from a scandal that erupted in 2009. It was revealed that many UK MPs had claimed expenses for items such as second homes, furniture, and even moat cleaning. The revelations caused public outrage and led to a major overhaul of the parliamentary expenses system.
She was accused of claiming £10,000 in expenses for a second home that she shared with her husband. He is a fellow Labour MP Ed Balls. Critics argued that the arrangement was a breach of parliamentary rules. It prohibited MPs from claiming expenses for properties that they shared with family members. However, an independent review later found that Cooper had not broken any rules. She acted within the guidelines set by the parliamentary expenses system.
Net Worth & Personal Life
Yvette Cooper got married to Ed Balls who is a fellow Labour MP. He served as the Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer from 2011 to 2015. The couple has three children together. As for her net worth, it is not publicly available as MPs in the UK do not typically disclose their wealth.