Ed Balls was a driving force in British politics for many years and held the position of UK Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer from 2011-2015 — serving in the UK Cabinet as Secretary for Children, Schools and Families.
He was also the UK Minister for Financial Services (2006-2007) and the Chief Economic Adviser to the UK Treasury (1997-2004) during which time, on the international stage, he was Chair of the IMFC Deputies and UK G20 Deputy.
Ed was the Labour & Co-operative Member of Parliament for Morley and Outwood (2010-2015) and MP for Normanton (2005-2010). While Shadow Chancellor, he was co-Chair with Larry Summers of the Center for American Progress Inclusive Prosperity Commission. He served as a member of the Prime Minister’s Holocaust Commission and is now a member of the Holocaust Memorial Foundation Board.
As Chief Economic Adviser to the Treasury (1997-2004), Ed Balls led the design of policies including independence of the Bank of England, the New Deal jobs programme, the Five Tests Euro assessment, Sure Start, tax credits and the national minimum wage. As a Treasury Minister, he was commissioned by the G7 Finance Ministers to prepare a report with Sir Jon Cunliffe (now deputy Governor of the Bank of England) on Economic Aspects of the Israel-Palestine conflict.
At the Department for Children, Schools and Families, Ed brought together schools and children's policy for the first time in the Children's Plan and pushed through radical and progressive policies including raising the education and training age to 18, reform of the social work profession, establishing the support staff negotiating body and extra investment in youth services and short breaks for disabled children and their families.
As Shadow Chancellor, Ed was awarded the Spectator Parliamentarian of the Year and the Political Studies Association Politician of the Year.
Ed Balls is a Senior Fellow at The Harvard Kennedy School, Visiting Professor at King’s College London and former Chairman of Norwich City Football Club. Ed was a Teaching Fellow in the Department of Economics, Harvard University (1989-90) and a leader writer and columnist at the Financial Times (1990-94).
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 best seller Speaking Out: Lessons in Life and Politics. He studied economics and philosophy at Keble College, Oxford and economics and politics (MPA) at the John F Kennedy School of Government, Harvard, where he was a Kennedy Scholar.
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 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.