Labour’s new shadow chancellor calmly handled her first big test in the role when her young daughter burst into the room during a live interview.
Anneliese Dodds argued on Monday that the coronavirus crisis has further exposed the need to properly fund public services and rebalance the economy.
And said she wants to work “constructively” with Chancellor Rishi Sunak in improving the Government’s emergency packages, warning against any “partisan knockabout” during the time of crisis.
However, she endured a tense moment when she was interrupted during her first round of broadcast appearances after being promoted by Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer.
"We need to get to the best possible situation for dealing with the virus, and then ensuring we have that economic support there for businesses and individuals" – Shadow Chancellor @AnnelieseDodds..#KayBurley
— Sky News (@SkyNews) April 6, 2020
Appearing on Sky News on a video link from home in Oxford, the mother-of-two coolly smiled and continued with barely any sign of disturbance when young Isabella burst into the room.
“I thought she was going to stay asleep, sorry… so embarrassing,” Ms Dodds said, when asked about the moment at the interview’s close.
“She’s thankfully under the chair now.”
Only elected to Parliament in 2017, the Oxford East MP leapt from the role of a junior shadow Treasury minister to one of the most senior roles in politics after Sir Keir succeeded Jeremy Corbyn over the weekend.
The 42-year-old former academic warned the necessity of many Labour policies was being desperately highlighted by the Covid-19 outbreak, but said the public did not trust the party to implement them under the previous leadership.
“When we look at Labour’s policies around areas like properly funding public services, having a fair economy, a labour market that actually works for people, I think, sadly, we can see as a result of this crisis that many of those policies are really needed but clearly the British public in the last election didn’t trust us to deliver those policies,” she told BBC Breakfast.
She said she would be speaking with her counterpart in Government later on Monday, saying she would press ministers on improving the emergency package to shore up the economy.
And as the world faces economic uncertainty not seen since the financial crisis in 2008, she praised former Labour chancellor and prime minister Gordon Brown as an inspiration.
“I was very engaged in politics at the time when Gordon Brown led that international response to the financial crisis that occurred back in 2008-9 and I was inspired by his international leadership back then,” she told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.
“I think we need to have that kind of approach coming from the UK now as well, so certainly that’s something that I’ll be pushing as hard as I possibly can.”