ED BALLS, Chief Economic Adviser to the Treasury, has joined the Co-operative Party's list of Parliamentary candidates and will now seek selection as a Labour and Co-operative candidate at the next general election.
Mr Balls, 37, has worked closely with the Chancellor, Gordon Brown, on all aspects of the Government's economic policy, and has played a key role in developing Labour reforms such as the introduction of the minimum wage and the drive to eradicate child poverty. Prior to joining Gordon Brown's team in 1994 he was a writer and columnist on the Financial Times.
Mr Balls is likely to be selected for a safe Labour seat, and has expressed an interest in Normanton, West Yorkshire ? where he is an active Co-operative Party member ? following the announcement that the veteran MP Bill O'Brien is to retire at the next election.
Co-operative Party National Secretary Peter Hunt said: "That someone of Ed Balls's stature wishes to join our Parliamentary team says a great deal about how the Co-operative Party is regarded at the highest levels of Government. Ed is a powerful voice for co-operative socialism and deserves the full support of our movement."