Balls attacks 'Miliband soap opera'

Balls: 'I don't know if there will be enough time for me'
Balls: 'I don't know if there will be enough time for me'

By staff

Ed Balls has lashed out at the Miliband brothers "soap opera" dominating the Labour leadership race.

The shadow education secretary used a comment piece for LabourList to warn that the contest was being enslaved by the media's "obsession" with personality.

"As Labour party members prepare to decide our next leader, too many questions remain unanswered," he wrote.

"The now daily episodes of the Miliband soap opera suit those who want to keep this a two-horse race, but do not do justice to the issues at stake in this election.

"It is wearily familiar of the general election campaign when serious questions went unasked or unanswered as the media obsession with personalities dominated all discussion."

Mr Balls, a long-time ally of Gordon Brown, used the piece to argue for a massive boost to affordable house building programmes and recognised that Labour had given up momentum on the issue, despite repeated promises from Gordon Brown that he would put it at the centre of his agenda when he arrived in Downing Street.

"We were late in recognising the importance of building more homes and more affordable homes," Mr Balls admitted.

"So whilst 2007 saw the highest numbers of homes built for thirty years, progress stalled when the financial crisis struck. By the election, we looked out of touch with voters' aspirations of a secure home for themselves and their children."

In an interview with the Times the shadow education secretary admitted he was running out of time to combat the Miliband brothers' lead in the leadership race.

"I don't know if there will be enough time for me in this contest," he said.

Ed and David Miliband are the two leading contenders in the race with Ed Miliband offering a more left-of-centre vision than his elder brother.


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