Stephen Timms was first elected to the Commons in a 1994 by-election, but has risen quickly within the Labour ranks.
Stephen Timms is a member of the Christian Socialist movement
He joined the government in 1997 when he became parliamentary private secretary (PPS) to Andrew Smith and has gained some of the widest experience across government among junior ministers.
Besides also serving briefly as PPS to Mo Mowlam, he has held ministerial positions in a number of different departments.
In the summer 2002 reshuffle, he became a minister of state in the Department of Trade and Industry.
In Tony Blair's September 2004 reshuffle he became financial secretary to the treasury giving him valuable experience for his new role as the department's chief secretary.
In May 2005, following the general election, Mr Timms was appointed pensions minister.
Just a month into that role, he was booed and slow handclapped by angry OAPs during a speech to the 13th annual pensioners' parliament in Blackpool.
That followed the publication of a report suggesting one in five OAPs lived below the poverty line.
Before his election to the Commons, Mr Timms had strong political experience, having been leader of Newham Council for four years, in which time he spearheaded the regeneration of the area.
He remains an advocate of community-led economic development.
An IT specialist by profession, he is also a supporter of the wide application of new communication technologies.
Mr Timms is a member of the Christian Socialist movement and a committed pro-European.