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Education: Children, Schools and Families - Ed Balls

Gordon Brown's closest political ally, Ed Balls was appointed to the newly-created position of schools and children secretary in June 2007 at the age of 40.

He spent years as Gordon Brown's right-hand man as his chief economics adviser at the Treasury, entering Parliament as MP for Normanton at the 2005 general election.

He won his first ministerial post at the reshuffle in 2006, when he was made economic secretary to the Treasury.

It is the first Cabinet with a married couple, as Mr Balls's wife, Yvette Cooper, is also serving as minister for housing and will attend meetings.

Ed Balls

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