Claire Ainsley

Office of the Leader of the Opposition

Director of policy unit

As Labour’s director of policy, Claire Ainsley is Keir Starmer’s thinker-in-chief, and the person leading Labour’s drive to win back the red wall. It’s a mission she has been ruminating on for some years as the author of The New Working Class, a well-received academic piece on class, nation and belonging that has won more plaudits on the right than the left. She’s been called “pretty clear-eyed about the political shift away from economic and social liberalism, and the new centrality of social, culture and identity issues in British politics”. Ainsley is a former senior executive at the Joseph Rowntree Foundation.