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Labour’s Rachel Reeves on her strict home budget – ‘nails are my biggest luxury’


The Shadow Chancellor opens up to Political Editor Pippa Crerar – and insists she’ll be a firm hand on the tiller in 11 Downing Street

Rachel Reeves tonight insisted the public can trust her to run the economy – as she revealed her biggest luxury is getting her nails done.

The shadow chancellor told the Mirror she would be as prudent with the nation’s finances as she is with her own domestic budget.

“I believe in getting value for money, I don’t like to waste money,” she insisted.

She admitted that rebuilding economic credibility was “not an easy task” for Labour but the public were now willing to give the party a hearing.

“I’m determined to do anything I can to end losing Labour’s losing streak,” she added.

“We must never go into an election again where people felt they couldn’t trust us with spending commitments that we couldn’t explain where the money was coming from.”

Shadow Chancellor Rachel Reeves with Political Editor Pippa Crerar on Brighton beach


Ian Vogler / Daily Mirror)

Labour leader Keir Starmer understood the importance of public trust in the economy, she said.

But she would no qualms about warning him to spend carefully if he ever does make it to No 10.

Ms Reeves, 42, denied three times she has any leadership ambitions of her own.

“The only thing I don’t like about my job is the word ‘shadow’ in front of it it,” she said.

“I would love to be Labour chancellor. Honestly, the job I want to do more than anything else is to be Chancellor.

“I think I’m well qualified for the job, it’s the part of public policy that I love.”

The former Bank of England economist admitted that her biggest financial luxury was getting her nails done – with them currently shellacked a bright Labour rose red.

“I don’t pay for that out of the joint account!” she laughed.

She told the Mirror she does the family finances at home – leaving her civil servant husband Nick to manage household chores and share the care of their two children.

But in common with families up and down the land, childcare for their two young children is the couple’s biggest expense.

“We have a joint account for household spending and we both pay into that every month,” she said.

“And I’m in charge of paying the mortgage, the childcare, the gas, electricity and water.

“I know most of the bills and who we’re with, so I make sure that adds up every months, the shopping, food deliveries.

“I like to have a bit of control”.

Ms Reeves means for that discipline to extend to shadow cabinet spending pledges, which all have to be signed off by her and Mr Starmer.

“There’s no point having these fiscal rules and then having a free for all in the shadow cabinet,” she said.

She said she and the Labour leader had a “really strong partnership” and that he would follow what she dubbed “Rachel’s rules” as well.

The shadow chancellor has already read Mr Starmer’s conference speech which some claim is his make or break moment as Labour leader.

“There are some people who don’t want to be convinced Labour are back in the game under Keir,” she said.

“We haven’t sealed the deal by any stretch of the imagination with the public but the doors are no longer being slammed in our faces.

“People now want to hear what Labour has to say – and it’s those people needs to speak to this week.”

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