ED BALLS looks set to become a Labour/Co-op MP at the next general election after being selected as prospective Parliamentary candidate for the safe Labour seat of Normanton in Yorkshire.
Mr Balls, 37, a close ally of Chancellor Gordon Brown has now resigned from his post as Chief Economic Adviser to the Treasury to concentrate on the forthcoming campaign.
His decision to join the Co-operative Party's list of Parliamentary candidates was seen as a major coup for the party earlier this year, with National Secretary Peter Hunt saying: `Ed Balls's wish to join our Parliamentary team says a great deal about how the Co-op Party is regarded at the highest levels of government.
`Ed is a powerful voice for co-operative socialism and will make an excellent MP.`
A former Financial Times journalist, Mr Balls has worked closely with the Gordon Brown on all aspects of the Government's successful 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.
He was nominated for the Normanton seat following the announcement that veteran Labour MP Bill O'Brien is to retire at the next election and won the overwhelming backing of constituency party members at a selection meeting.
Mr Balls's wife, Yvette Cooper, is Labour MP for the adjoining constituency of Pontefract and Castleford.
At the last general election, Mr O'Brien took over 56 per cent of the vote and had a majority of 9,937.