Shadow Chancellor's Book Launch Marred by 'Plagiarism' Accusations

Rachel Reeves had reportedly written a book about the women who made modern economics, and the launch party went well. But then this happened...

Dow Jones 26 October, 2023 | 11:43AM
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Rachel Reeves

Shadow Chancellor Rachel Reeves has been forced to defend accusations of plagiarism made against her new book The Women Who Made Modern Economics.

The book, which was launched in Westminster this week at an event attended by several very prominent figures from the New Labour era, contains at least 20 examples where entire sentences and paragraphs were taken from other sources, including Wikipedia and The Guardian newspaper, journalists at the Financial Times allege.

She was also accused of taking content almost verbatim from the writings of shadow Northern Ireland Secretary Hilary Benn, who is the son of the late Tony Benn.

The paper emphasised it had conducted an analysis of the book manually, without needing to use electronic tools such as those deployed by universities to check the provenance of students' work.

A spokesperson for Reeves told the outlet that they were "inadvertent mistakes," and publisher Basic Books said she had not presented facts as original research.

The publisher notes there is a bibliography of over 200 books, articles and interviews, but that they were not rewritten in every case.

The book's main theme is women not receiving credit for their work or ideas, the report says.

Politico's roundup of polls shows the Labour Party currently has a commanding 18-point lead over the incumbent Conservative government, ahead of a general election that must be called no later than January 2025.

Reeves, herself a former Bank of England economist, was endorsed recently by ex-Bank of England chief Mark Carney. She is the MP for Leeds West, and has previously held the position of shadow work and pensions secretary and shadow chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster in the Labour shadow cabinet. 

By Steve Goldstein. This content was created by MarketWatch, which is operated by Dow Jones & Co. MarketWatch is published independently from Dow Jones Newswires and The Wall Street Journal 

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