U.K. Opposition's Ed Balls Dismisses Speculation Over His Job

Ed Balls, economic spokesman for the U.K.’s opposition Labour Party, dismissed speculation he may be fired from his role after his response to Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne’s Autumn statement was ridiculed.

Balls, who had to shout to be heard over jeering in the House of Commons, was criticized by members of his own party because of his difficulty relaying Labour’s position on the economy, according to the Daily Mail and other newspapers.

“The nature of politics is you either spend your time in the bubble, obsessed, reading the diary columns, worried about the Daily Mail, or you think, actually, in the real world, let’s go and talk to people about what’s happening in their lives,” Balls said in an interview with Sky News. “I’ve been doing this for 20 years and I’ve never been less bothered about the gossip and the tittle tattle, it doesn’t matter at all.”

Balls said the speculation was a distraction from the issues facing voters. He reiterated his party’s position that there is a cost of living crisis and most people are not sharing in the benefits of economic growth as the gap between wages and prices has grown.

“What I’m worried about is that in my constituency people are in real trouble,” Balls said. “The Daily Mail would love me and Ed Miliband out because they want to keep in an out of touch Tory government.”

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