James Forsyth

Balls takes a beating

Balls takes a beating
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As Pete noted last night, Ed Balls is being drawn into the heart of the row over the political culture of Brown’s inner circle. An editorial in The Sunday Times declares:

“when a senior minister seeks even greater power through being at the heart of a smear campaign, it is time to cut him down – particularly if he is not yet competent to perform the job to which he so desperately aspires. This, in essence, is the case against Ed Balls, the schools secretary”

The Mail on Sunday reports that the infamous Wednesday meeting was a source of tension between Mandelson and Brown.

Unless someone who attended this meeting is prepared to speak out, we will never know what was actually said at them—no civil servant was in attendance so no minutes were taken. But Balls’ role in chairing the meeting is already doing huge harm to his chances of leading the Labour party. Labour making a clean break with a party management style that relies on fear and negative briefings cannot happen with the Wednesday meeting gang in charge.  

Written byJames Forsyth

James Forsyth is Political Editor of the Spectator. He is also a columnist in The Sun.

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