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Who’ll win the “Battle of the Balls?”

September 30th, 2010


Daily Mail

Could Labour be heading for a second family crisis?

After Labour’s conference in Manchester was overshadowed by the aftermath of the battle of the brothers the media are now turning their attention to another potential family drama at the top of the party – which of husband & wife, Ed Balls and Yvette Cooper, will end up as shadow chancellor?

For it’s not so long ago that Yvette was being strongly tipped as a leadership contender and she’s reported to have stepped aside to let her husband, Ed, take on the fight. Now the two are the leading contenders and betting favourites for the key shadow chancellor’s role.

Here, though, the choice is for the party leader, Ed Miliband, provided the two both win places in the elections for Labour’s shadow cabinet.

According to the Mail a ” source close to Ed Miliband last night said the new leader was leaning heavily towards appointing Miss Cooper…” Certainly that seems to make a lot of sense and if the EdM’s speech is anything to go by there is a policy difference between him and the shadow schools secretary.

Placing Ed Balls is going to be tricky for the last thing EdM wants is a rival power force to his leadership at the top of the party. He knows only too well what Ed Balls can be like.

After having had their appetites whetted by the Miliband vs Miliband saga parts of the media would love to develop a second family drama – this morning’s Mail coverage is a case in point. It’s report suggests that Yvette might once again step aside.

My money’s on Ed Balls not getting it.

  • The General Election of 2010. The book by Dennis Kavanagh and Philip Cowley, the eighteenth in a series going back to 1945, is published today and I’m planning a review over the weekend. I got an advance copy on Wednesday and it’s a riveting read offering detailed analysis, new insights and information about what happened. Forget the Blair and Mandelson works – this is easily the best political book of the year.
  • Mike Smithson