As political director to opposition leader Keir Starmer, Jenny Chapman is one of his gatekeepers who is never far from the Labour leader’s side. That much became clear when Starmer acrimoniously sacked Angela Rayner as Labour party chair; the two reportedly don’t get on. A former MP herself for nine years – she lost her Darlington seat in the 2019 election – Chapman has always seen herself as Starmer’s link with backbench Labour MPs. She also worked with Starmer as a shadow minister on his Brexit team. Chapman is married to Nick Smith, Labour MP for Blaenau Gwent.