Reynolds was the Shadow Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government from May to September 2015.
Reynolds was educated at Codsall High School, near Wolverhampton, followed by Wulfrun Further Education College. She studied at Wadham College at the University of Oxford, where she read Politics, Philosophy and Economics. Her father Kevin is a teacher at Concord College, a boarding independent school set in the grounds of Acton Burnell Castle, near Shrewsbury.
Reynolds set up a lobbying business in Brussels to help British companies that wished to influence EU laws.
From 2001 to 2004, Reynolds worked in Brussels as a political adviser to Robin Cook then President of the Party of European Socialists. She later worked in Downing Street and the House of Commons as a special advisor to then Minister for Europe and Labour Chief Whip Geoff Hoon.
In January 2009, Reynolds joined commercial public affairs consultancy Cogitamus, which gives advice to companies.
Reynolds was selected as the Labour candidate for the 2010 general election for Wolverhampton North East in September 2008. Despite a 9% swing to the Conservatives and a reduction in majority of more than 6,000 she held the seat for Labour.
Reynolds has spoken on many issues in the House of Commons since being elected including questions on Building Schools for the Future, free school meals, human trafficking, cuts to police numbers and Mental Health Services. In the summer of 2010 Reynolds was also elected to the Foreign Affairs Select Committee of the House of Commons.
In October 2010, Reynolds was promoted by Labour's new leader, Ed Miliband, to the opposition frontbench, as a shadow junior Foreign Office Minister under the then Shadow Foreign Secretary, Yvette Cooper. After the resignation of the Shadow Chancellor Alan Johnson and resulting mini-reshuffle of posts, Reynolds continued working in her post under the new Shadow Foreign Secretary, Douglas Alexander. In October 2011, Emma Reynolds was promoted by Labour leader, Ed Miliband, to the position of Shadow Europe Minister. In October 2013, Reynolds was promoted by Ed Miliband to the position of Shadow Housing Minister, replacing Jack Dromey.
Reynolds is former Treasurer of the All-Party Parliamentary China Group and Vice Chair for the All-Party Parliamentary Group for British Sikhs, as well as Secretary of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Human Trafficking.
Reynolds resigned as Shadow Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government following the election of Jeremy Corbyn as leader of the Labour Party.
In an online article for the New Labour ginger group Progress, Reynolds asserted that "Britain's membership of the European Union is in our national interest".
In an 1 October 2012 interview with the Total Politics website, Reynolds called for the eurozone countries to integrate more closely. She also said she had differing opinions with Jon Cruddas, Labour's policy review chief, on whether having a referendum on the EU was a priority.
Reynolds participates in sports such as running and used to play football. She also enjoys pubs and going to the cinema.
She gave birth to Theo 14 April 2017.