Ed was the UK Minister for Financial Services and the Chief Economic Adviser to the UK Treasury during which time he was Chair of the IMFC Deputies and UK G20 Deputy. While Shadow Chancellor he was co-Chair with Larry Summers of the Center for American Progress Inclusive Prosperity Commission.
Ed has also been a Teaching Fellow at Harvard’s Department of Economics, and a writer and columnist at the Financial Times. He has also written for the Guardian, New Statesman and Tribune and co-authored a number of books, papers, articles and pamphlets including the Sunday Times bestseller Speaking Out: Lessons in Life and Politics.
He studied economics at Keble College, Oxford and the Kennedy School of Government (MPA) where he was a Kennedy Scholar.
Ed was dubbed ‘The People’s Champion’ after the extraordinary public response to his dance performances in BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing. His memorable performance of Gangnam style with partner Katya Jones was nominated for the 2017’s Virgin’s Must-See Moment BAFTA award.
Since then, he has presented Ed Balls’ Dream Dinner Party for BBC Radio 4, Have I Got News For You (BBC One) and Ed Balls on Musical Theatre (BBC Radio 2). In 2018 he journeyed to America for Travels in Trumpland with Ed Balls (BBC Two).
This was followed by the series, Travels In EuroLand With Ed Balls -you can see a clip on this bio page.
Ed lives in London and Castleford with his wife, Yvette Cooper MP, and their three children. Ed’s interests include learning the piano, cooking and marathon running. He has run the London Marathon three times, raising over 160,000 for WhizzKidz, a disabled Children’s charity and Action for Stammering Children.
Ed is a Patron of the British Stammering Association and a member of the Holocaust Memorial Foundation Board.
SPEAKING OUT: LESSONS IN LIFE AND POLITICS
Being present at your own funeral isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.
A life in and out of politics – from the despatch box to the stage on Strictly – by one of Britain’s most influential and well-loved political figures.
On the night of 7 May 2015, Ed Balls thought there was a chance he would wake up the next morning as the new Chancellor of the Exchequer. Instead, he woke up without a job.
Twenty-one years earlier he had left a promising career in journalism to work for Labour in opposition. Moving through the ranks, from adviser to Cabinet minister and on to Shadow Chancellor, he occupied a central and influential position in and out of power during a pivotal period in British history.
Speaking Out is a record of a life in politics, but also much more. It is about how power can be used for good, and the lessons to be learned when things go wrong. It is about the mechanics of Westminster, and of government. It is about facing up to your fears and misgivings, and tackling your limitations – on stages public and private. It is about the mistakes made, change delivered and personalities encountered over the course of two decades at the frontline of British politics. It is a unique window into a rarely seen world.
Most importantly, it sets out what politics is about, and why it matters.