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Page last updated at 08:38 GMT, Friday, 21 January 2011

Harman: Ed Balls 'will be exceptional'

The sudden resignation of Alan Johnson has seen Ed Balls appointed as shadow chancellor.

Political editor Nick Robinson says Mr Balls missed out on the job following the leadership election because he was "regarded as the son of Gordon Brown", but that strong parliamentary performances following his defeat in the Labour leadership race, had improved his political standing.

"He is regarded as the most effective parliamentary performer of his day," he said.

Deputy Labour leader Harriet Harman said that Ed Balls would take forward the economic policy outlined by Alan Johnson and Ed Miliband.

She told Today presenter James Naughtie that people are looking to Labour to speak up for them in tough times and "Ed Balls will do that exceptionally".

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