Former Labor MP Ed Balls has tried several roles since losing his Morley and Outwood seat in the 2015 general election because he was unable to run Be sure to come dance at one time as chairman of Norwich City FC.
Party officials hoped he could make a political comeback and bring the “big beast factor” with him if he ran for Labor in the upcoming Wakefield by-election. The seat is likely to be vacated soon by the Conservative MP Imran Ahmad Khan, who was found guilty of child molestation, although no date has been set.
Balls has since said he has “no intention” of introducing himself, but not before a senior Labor source said so Politically that there was “real buzz” in the party about the prospect of a return to the political front.
From politics to entertainment
Balls “credits his political career” to Gordon Brown, who “discovered” Balls as a young journalist working for the Financial Times in the 1990s when he was a shadow Labor Party chancellor, he said BBC.
He initially became a speechwriter for Brown, but by 30 he was “despite an unelected official, effectively second in command at the Treasury Department” and helped “direct” some of Brown’s “greatest political coups” as chancellor. These included “the handover of interest rate control to the Bank of England and the five economic tests that kept the UK off the euro,” the broadcaster said. Together, Balls and Brown have rethought Labour’s economic policies and “worked to forge the party’s ‘New Labour’ identity,” they said Politics.co.uk.
In 2005 Balls was elected Labor MP for Normanton in Yorkshire and in 2006 he was appointed to the Government as Economic Secretary at the Treasury Tony Blair. He then served as Education Secretary under Brown, a position he held until 2010 when Labor was voted out.
After holding his seat for a decade, he lost it in the 2015 general election in what Labor has dubbed Labour’s “Portillo moment”. The guardin reference to the 1997 dethronement of Tory Cabinet Secretary and ‘Big Beast’ Michael Portillo.
But Balls, who is married to Labor MP Yvette Cooper, has become something of a TV favorite in the years since his defeat. He has starred in the hit BBC show Be sure to come danceand in 2016, his Gangnam-style ballroom dancer role was nominated for a Bafta for TV Moment of the Year.
He was also chairman of Norwich City FC from 2015 to 2018, published an autobiographical memoir Pronounce and has appeared in several television programs, including his own documentary series Traveling in Trumpland with Ed Balls and Traveling in Euroland with Ed Balls.
And back again?
Although Balls left politics seven years ago, he has remained popular with the public. Corresponding YouGov, he was the second most popular political figure in the country in the first quarter of 2022, beaten only by Keir Starmer. A return to the green benches would “mark the return of one of New Labor’s leaders to politics,” he said The Telegraph.
Rumors of a return were first touted by Sebastian Payne in the financial timeswho reported Balls’ friends said he “misses Westminster” and “could be persuaded to do another shadow cabinet shot”.
Other senior Labor sources said Balls could indeed be “in maneuvers”, with his former boss Brown particularly pushing for Balls’ comeback, he reported The times’ Patrick Maguire. However, sources nearby Keir Starmer dismissed the rumors as “the most unlikely Easter comeback story since Jesus Christ.”
Other Balls allies said he’s “unlikely to give up his lucrative career in light entertainment to get an unwinnable seat,” Maguire continued.
In fact, on Friday night, he tweeted that he appreciated the news he had received about the Wakefield speculation, “but for the avoidance of doubt, no one has spoken to me about it and I have no intention of introducing myself when the current MP finally resigns!”
https://www.theweek.co.uk/news/people/956520/ed-balls-return-to-politics Will Ed Balls ever return to politics?