Christina Rees
Official portrait, 2020
Shadow Secretary of State for Wales
In office
9 February 2017 – 6 April 2020
LeaderJeremy Corbyn
Preceded byJo Stevens
Succeeded byNia Griffith
Shadow Minister of State for Courts and Legal Aid
In office
10 October 2016 – 9 February 2017
LeaderJeremy Corbyn
In office
19 January 2016 – 28 June 2016
LeaderJeremy Corbyn
Member of Parliament
for Neath
Assumed office
7 May 2015
Preceded byPeter Hain
Majority5,637 (15.3%)
Personal details
Born (1954-02-21) 21 February 1954 (age 67)
Kenfig Hill, Bridgend, Wales
Political partyLabour and Co-operative
Spouse(s)Ron Davies
(div. 1999)
Alma materYstrad Mynach College
University of Wales
Websitewww.christinarees.org

Christina Rees (born 21 February 1954)[1] is a Welsh Labour Co-operative Party politician who served as Shadow Secretary of State for Wales in the Shadow Cabinet of Jeremy Corbyn from 2017 to 2020, and has served as MP for Neath since 2015.[2][3]

Early life

Rees was born in the village of Kenfig Hill in south Wales. Her father died when she was a young teenager and she was brought up by her mother.[4]

Rees became head girl of Cynffig Comprehensive School and excelled at a number of sports. Speaking as an adult, she stated: "I was very shy when I was a child and was bullied, so my mother sent me to judo classes to strengthen me up. I got a black belt first dan when I was 13."[4] Rees represented Wales Schools at tennis, hockey, and athletics. Rees was also a member of the Great Britain Youth Team that competed at the Munich Olympics.[4]

Rees was most successful at squash, a sport for which she has represented Wales over 100 times.[4]

Career

Rees is a qualified barrister.

Rees stood as the Labour candidate for Arfon in the Welsh Assembly elections in May 2011, and was placed fourth on the Labour's Wales wide list for the 2014 European Elections.

Rees first became MP for Neath following the UK general election of 2015.

Rees was appointed Shadow Minister for Courts and Legal Aid in January 2016,[5] but quit her position during the mass resignation of Shadow ministers following the EU referendum.[6] She supported Owen Smith in the 2016 Labour Party (UK) leadership election.[7] She later became one of 33 Labour MPs to return to the front bench, taking the Courts and Legal Aid portfolio once again.[8]

In February 2017, she was appointed to the position of Shadow Secretary of State for Wales.[1]

Rees was re-elected at the 2019 general election but with a majority half of that she had in 2017.[9]

In the 2020 Labour Party leadership election, Rees endorsed Keir Starmer for Labour Leader. She also endorsed Angela Rayner for deputy leader.[10]

In April 2020, Rees announced that she would not be returning to the Official Opposition frontbench under Keir Starmer.[11] Rees was replaced in the new Shadow Cabinet as Shadow Welsh Secretary by Nia Griffith.[12]

Personal life

Rees was married to Welsh politician and former Secretary of State for Wales, Ron Davies. The couple divorced in 1999 and have one daughter.[4]

Rees is a vegan.[13]

References

  1. ^ a b "Christina Rees MP". myparliament.info. MyParliament. Archived from the original on 11 August 2017. Retrieved 11 August 2017.
  2. ^ "Election 2015: Neath parliamentary constituency". BBC News. 8 May 2015. Archived from the original on 30 December 2016. Retrieved 8 May 2015.
  3. ^ "Election 2017: Neath parliamentary constituency". BBC News. 9 June 2017. Retrieved 11 August 2017.
  4. ^ a b c d e "Profile: New Shadow Welsh Secretary Christina Rees". BBC News. 10 February 2017. Retrieved 5 September 2017.
  5. ^ "Labour say Christina Rees, MP for Neath, has been appointed Shadow Minister, Department of Justice (Courts and Legal Aid)".
  6. ^ "Shadow justice minister Christina Rees quits post". ITV News. Retrieved 15 February 2021.
  7. ^ Smith, Mikey; Bloom, Dan (20 July 2016). "Which MPs are nominating Owen Smith in the Labour leadership contest?". Mirror. Retrieved 10 November 2018.
  8. ^ "Shadow Justice Team News". Christina Rees. 11 October 2016. Retrieved 15 February 2021.
  9. ^ Mosalski, Ruth; Bellis, Katie (13 December 2019). "General Election 2019 result for Neath". walesonline. Retrieved 9 April 2020.
  10. ^ "Weekly Round-up". Christina Rees. 10 January 2020. Retrieved 9 April 2020.
  11. ^ Bartlett, Nicola; Bloom, Dan; Milne, Oliver (6 April 2020). "Keir Starmer's new Labour shadow cabinet unveiled LIVE - with Corbyn allies out". mirror. Retrieved 9 April 2020.
  12. ^ "Nia Griffith appointed shadow Welsh secretary". BBC News. 6 April 2020. Retrieved 9 April 2020.
  13. ^ "Jeremy Corbyn and other famous vegetarian politicians". BBC News. 28 November 2019.
Parliament of the United Kingdom Preceded byPeter Hain Member of Parliamentfor Neath 2015–present Incumbent Political offices Preceded byJo Stevens Shadow Secretary of State for Wales 2017–2020 Succeeded byNia Griffith