Monday News Review

Ed Balls: I’m a fighter

Ed Balls: Fighting to the end

Ed Balls confirmed today that he was “fighting to win” the Labour leadership contest, as his campaign suffered a major blow when he failed to secure the backing of the Unite union. The decision by the political committee of Unite to back Ed Miliband means the shadow climate change secretary enters the summer recess with the backing of Britain’s three largest trade unions. Unison and the GMB have also endorsed Miliband. – The Guardian

Ed Balls has rejected speculation that he is considering quitting the Labour leadership contest. The shadow education secretary told the BBC Radio 4’s The World This Weekend he was “fighting to the end and I’m fighting to win”. Speculation about his leadership bid came after he failed to win the backing of the Unite union, which gave its endorsement to Ed Miliband. – The BBC

The former schools secretary was forced to re-state his commitment to the contest after reports suggested he was stepping aside in the wake of his failure to secure the backing of Unite union. Mr Balls was overlooked by the union in favour of Ed Miliband, who has now secured the endorsement of three out of the four major UK trade unions after Unison and the GMB also pledged their support. Mr Balls was believed to be considering his candidacy, but came out fighting to deny the reports. – The Scotsman

The one that got away

Earlier in the month on BBC1’s “This Week” Ed Balls revealed that if his wife, the former Work and Pensions Secretary, Yvette Cooper, had wanted to run for the Labour leadership then he would have stood aside for her. So I wonder how the couple will feel when, later today, UNITE the biggest union with nearly a million potential voters in this leadership race, announces formally that Ed Miliband is being endorsed and not Ed Balls? Will they reflect on whether Yvette would have fared better if it had been her rather than her husband who had put his hat into the ring? Would the outcome have been different? In my view she would have given the Milibands a run for their money and would have had a good chance of taking the prize. – Political Betting

Mrs Duffy & David

Mr Miliband dropped in on Gillian Duffy at her Rochdale home for a cup of tea and left with her full support. Mrs Duffy said she found him “very intelligent but also down to earth” and told the Daily Mirror: “I think he would be a great Prime Minister.” Mr Miliband said: “We need to win the confidence of many more voters like Mrs Duffy if we are to be serious about winning the next election.”This new Government is not on the side of people like Gillian Duffy. I am determined that the Labour Party will be.” – Sky News

The woman branded a “bigot” by Gordon Brown during his general election campaign has backed David Miliband to be his successor. Gillian Duffy, 65, came to symbolise how Labour had lost touch with its voters when a TV microphone picked up the prime minister criticising her after their meeting. The life-long supporter was devastated by Mr Brown’s remarks and had threatened to turn her back on the party. But after meeting Mr Miliband she said she was coming back to the fold – and was happy to back the shadow foreign secretary to be Labour leader with her union vote. – The Mirror

The clash

David Miliband has called on Nick Clegg to drop the date of the referendum on a British voting system, which clashes with next year’s Scottish elections, branding the move “high-handed and arrogant”. The favourite to succeed Gordon Brown as Labour leader has also described Michael Moore, the Scottish Secretary, as “patronising” due to his plan to offer Holyrood powers to move the Scottish parliamentary poll six months in order to avoid a clash in 2015 with the General Election. – The Herald

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