UK & World News

  • 9 December 2013, 0:31

Balls 'Couldn't Give A T***' About Criticism

Shadow chancellor Ed Balls has told Sky News he "couldn't give a t***" about speculation by newspapers and bookmakers about his future after stinging criticism of his Autumn Statement speech.

On Sky News' Murnaghan show, Mr Balls insisted he had "never been less bothered" about "gossip and tittle tattle" on his Commons performance following George Osborne's update on the economy.

Despite receiving flak for failing to provide a convincing response to improved economic figures, Mr Balls told the show that Labour is still winning the argument over the economy.

Mr Balls said the massed ranks of Tory MPs were always going to try to shout down his message, adding many people had in fact congratulated him on his performance in the following days.

He said: "(We have) a really strong economic argument and that's why 300 Tory MPs were going to shout really loudly from the very beginning.

"I decided I was going to take the argument back to them and say no, there is not a recovery for most working people, living standards are falling."

The shadow chancellor questioned why David Cameron and Mr Osborne were laughing on the front bench as he made his case on Thursday, and added: "I have had people coming to me and saying, keep up the fight, because we need a Labour government because we're getting worse off."

And when challenged on people making judgments on his performance and questioning his future, he added: "I'm not complaining at all - what I want to talk about is what is happening in our country.

"The Daily Mail would love me and Ed Miliband out because they want to keep in an out-of-touch Tory Government which is cutting tax at the top.

"That's the nature of politics ... they're betting on David Cameron and George Osborne and Ed Miliband. It's just the way it is ... frankly, I couldn't give a t***"

Grant Shapps, Chairman of the Conservative Party said in reaction to the interview: "Ed Balls remains in deep denial, unable to accept the severity of the economic mess Labour left behind.

"All Ed Balls offers is the same old Labour answer of more spending, more borrowing and higher taxes.

"In four days Balls has sped from a car crash Commons performance to another one on TV.  And he's made clear that Labour can't be trusted behind the wheel of the British economy."