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Ed Balls gives "100 per cent" support to Ed Miliband
Ed Balls
Ed Balls said he believed Ed Miliband would be a "very good" party leader

Ed Balls, the West Yorkshire MP who came third in Labour's leadership contest, says he fully supports new party leader Ed Miliband.

Mr Balls, MP for Morley and Outwood, told BBC Radio Leeds that it was too early to say if he would be in the running to become shadow chancellor.

He said he had fought "a good campaign" but it was time for party members to throw their weight behind Mr Miliband.

Mr Balls said: "Ed knows I am going to support him 100 per cent."

Ed Balls was eliminated from the Labour party leadership contest in the third round of voting, leaving the way clear for Ed and David Miliband to go head-to-head in the final round with Ed finally emerging as the winner.

Mr Balls said he had never thought he would win the race to become party leader.

He admitted: "I think I always knew. I came from behind and I was the underdog at the beginning, but I was really pleased with coming in third.

"I am very proud of my campaign team and all my supporters across the region and across the country."

Really proud

He's a great speaker, a good communicator and he's also a team player.
Ed Balls, MP for Morley and Outwood

Mr Balls dismissed claims that it was the unions who had been responsible for Ed Miliband's victory.

He said: "I was really proud to be supported by the CWU - the Communication Workers' Union - and Unite and Unison members in Yorkshire.

"David Miliband was supported by Usdaw - the shop workers' union.

"The fact is that there were 200,000 individual union members who voted. It wasn't 'barons' exercising a bloc vote, it was individual members voting."

Ed Balls told BBC Radio Leeds that now the leadership contest was over, it was time for the Labour party to look to the future.

He said: "The important thing is that Ed is now the leader and we all unite behind him.

"I think MPs and party members as well as trade union members will want to support the new leader."

Shadow cabinet

As for his own prospects, Mr Balls - who is currently shadow education secretary - said he had been to see Ed Miliband on Sunday, but believed it was "much too early" to start talking about who would get what job in the new shadow cabinet.

He said: "In the Labour party we have an election for the shadow cabinet where all the members are elected by the MPs. That happens over the next week.

Ed Miliband
Ed Miliband became party leader after months of campaigning

"I'll be standing for the shadow cabinet so hopefully I will get the support of colleagues to stay in a senior role."

And Mr Balls said he had great confidence in Ed Miliband as Labour leader as he prepared for his first big speech at the party conference later this week.

He said: "Ed will be a very good leader. He's a great speaker, a good communicator and he's also a team player.

"I think he will work closely with all of us to make sure we can really take the argument to David Cameron and Nick Clegg."




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