Shadow Chancellor Concedes ‘Mistakes’ Amid Wikipedia Plagiarism Accusations

Shadow Chancellor Rachel Reeves has acknowledged her errors and taken responsibility in response to allegations of plagiarism in her recent book, ‘The Women Who Made Modern Economics.’

It has been claimed that substantial portions of the book were copied and pasted from sources like Wikipedia, Metro reports.

“I should’ve done better”

Ms Reeves, who hopes to be the next chancellor, admitted her mistake today, stating: “It is true that there were some sentences in the book that were not properly referenced in the bibliography.

‘I’m the author of that book, I hold my hands up and say I should’ve done better.”

When asked if the ‘mistakes’ were made because she was too busy, she replied: “Obviously I had research assistants on the book but I take responsibility for everything that is in that book.

‘What I wanted to do was to bring together the stories of these women, and if I’m guilty of copying and pasting some facts about some amazing women and turning it into a book that gets read, then I’m really proud of that.”

“I will put this right because in any future reprints, I will make sure that everything is properly referenced in the bibliography, that is important to me and I will put right those mistakes.”

Copycat Chronicles: The Plagiarism Exposed

The allegations of plagiarism were initially raised by the Financial Times when their reporters discovered substantial unattributed sections borrowed from various sources.

The FT reported that Ms Reeves’ book, which explores the impact of women’s ideas on modern economics, contained unacknowledged and duplicated content from Wikipedia, The Guardian, and comments made by Labour MP Hilary Benn.

To take one example, a sentence on the relationship between the economist Beatrice Webb and HG Wells is a replica from the Wikipedia quote, which reads: ‘He responded by lampooning the couple in his 1911 novel The New Machiavelli as Altiora and Oscar Bailey, a pair of short-sighted, bourgeois manipulators.’

Furthermore, elsewhere in the book, Mr Reeves wrote: ‘When Labour was elected in 1997, the amount of aid the UK gave as a proportion of our national income had halved over the preceding 18 years and stood at just 0.26%.

‘By the end of Labour’s time in office, in 2010, we were on our way to achieving the 0.7% cent target.

‘This was down to the political leadership of Blair and Gordon Brown – and their first Secretary of State for International Development from 1997 to 2002, Clare Short, who brought the lives of the world’s poorest people into the heart of government.’

This excerpt mirrors (almost word for word) the foreword from a report on international development by Hilary Benn, published on the Tony Blair Institute for Global Change website.

In response to the FT’s report, Conservative Party chairman Greg Hands has described Ms Reeves as a ‘copy and paste shadow chancellor’.

Mr Hands wrote on X, formerly Twitter, that the situation was ‘potentially very serious’, using numerous resignations by German ministers over plagiarism accusations since 2011 as an ‘example; of what can happen’.

Basic Books, the publisher of Ms Reeves’ book, said in a statement that: ‘at no point did Rachel seek to present these facts as original research’.

‘There is an extensive and selective bibliography of over 200 books, articles and interviews’

‘Where facts are taken from multiple sources, no author would be expected to reference each and every one’

However, the statement admitted that: ‘When factual sentences were taken from primary sources, they should have been rewritten and properly referenced.’

‘We acknowledge this did not happen in every case’, Basic Books confessed.

All sources in the book will be reviewed, with any omissions rectified in future reprints, the publishers has reassured.