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Ed Balls's Biography

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Who is Ed Balls?

Ed Balls was born in Norwich on 25 February 1967, however, his family moved to Nottingham when he was 8 years old.

He joined the Labour Party at 16, partly to vote for his father who was a chairman of the local party.

Ed Balls went to Bawburgh County Primary School, Crossdale Drive Primary School and then Nottingham High School.

His mother took on a job in a pharmacy to pay for the school fees.

He was bullied at school because of his name and stammer.

Ed Balls gained a first in PPE at Keble College, Oxford, and then studied economics and politics at the John F Kennedy School of Government, Harvard.

In 2005, he was elected Labour MP for Normanton and in 2010, he was re-elected, this time for Morley and Outwood.

On 8 May 2015 he lost his Morley and Outwood seat by 422 votes in arguably the greatest upset of the 2015 general election.

When Labour was in power, Ed Balls was the Chief Economic Adviser to the UK Treasury and then the UK Minister for Financial Services.

In 2007 he was promoted to the Cabinet when he was appointed Education Secretary.

In 2010 Labour, under Gordon Brown, lost the election and Brown resigned.

Ed Balls was one of the candidates to become Labour Party leader but the contest was won by Ed Milliband.

Balls became Shadow Chancellor until his failure in 2015 to be re-elected to parliament.

Before his political career, Ed Balls had been a teaching fellow in the Department of Economics, Harvard (1988-90) and then went into journalism where his roles included being a leader writer and columnist at the Financial Times.

Since 2015, Ed Balls has been a Senior Fellow at Harvard University Kennedy School’s Mossavar-Rahmani Center for Business and Government, a Visiting Professor to the Policy Institute at King’s College London, and Chairman of Norwich City Football Club.

In August 2016, Ed Balls was named as one of the celebrities to dance in the new season of Strictly Come Dancing.

He was partnered with Katya Jones.

Ed and Katya surprised many by regularly surviving each week, in spite of being bottom of the leader board after the judges' vote.

However, they eventually became the ninth couple to be voted off Strictly Come Dancing in 2016.

In October 2017, it was announced that Ed Balls would present a three part documentary series for BBC Two entitled My Deep South Road Trip.

In August 2020, it was revealed that Ed Balls would be one of the contestants on Celebrity Best Home Cook.

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