Ed Balls is a broadcaster, writer and economist. He is a Research Fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School and Visiting Professor at King’s College London, co-Chair of the UK Holocaust Memorial Foundation and Chairman of Norwich City Football Club. His BBC TV series ‘Travels in Trumpland: with Ed Balls’ is broadcast this summer.
Ed was UK Shadow Chancellor from 2011 to 2015 and co-chaired the Center for American Progress Inclusive Prosperity Commission with former US Treasury Secretary, Larry Summers, which reported in January 2015. Ed served in the British Cabinet as Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families (2007-2010). He was previously the UK Minister for Financial Services (2006-2007), Chief Economic Adviser to the UK Treasury (1999-2004), during which time he was the Chair of the IMFC Deputies and UK G20 Deputy, and Economic Adviser to the Chancellor (1997-99).
Ed was the Labour & Co-operative Member of Parliament for Morley and Outwood (2010-2015) and MP for Normanton (2005-2010).
As Chief Economic Adviser to the Treasury (1997-2004), Ed led the design of policies including
independence of the Bank of England, the UK Fiscal Code and the introduction of performance budgeting, 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. He served as a member of the Prime Minister’s Holocaust Commission and the Holocaust Memorial Foundation Board.
At Harvard, Ed has led a project on the evolution of central banking post-financial crisis and collaborated with Peter Sands and a team of graduate students on the impact of Brexit on British business, publishing three working papers. He has given seminars at Harvard, Yale, NYU and USC. At King’s College he is in his fourth year co-teaching a graduate class on The Treasury Since 1945 with Professor Jon Davis and Sir Nick MacPherson. He has also been a consultant at the International Monetary Fund, serving on missions to Iceland and Greece where he has advised on fiscal frameworks and performance budgeting.
Ed was a contestant on Strictly Come Dancing 2016 and was nominated for a Bafta for TV moment of the year in 2016 and as part of the ITN General Election team in 2017. A regular guest on This Week, Peston on Sunday, Ed has also appeared on Sport Relief Celebrity Bake-off, been a guest chair on Have I Got New for You and made guest appearances on Would I Lie to You, Insert Name Here and the Michael McIntyre show. He also performed with Frank Skinner and Harry Hill at the Queen’s 92nd birthday concert at the Royal Albert Hall.
Born in Norwich in 1967, his family moved to Nottingham when Ed was 8. He attended Crossdale Drive primary school and then Nottingham High School. Ed went on to study economics and philosophy at Keble College, Oxford, and economics and politics (MPA) at the John F Kennedy School of Government, Harvard. Ed was a teaching fellow in the Department of Economics, Harvard (1988-90) and a leader writer and columnist at the Financial Times (1990-94) where he was the Wincott Young Financial Journalist of the Year. He has also written regularly for the Guardian, New Statesman and Tribune and co-authored a number of books, papers, articles and pamphlets.
Ed is Vice President of Action for Stammering Children, a Patron of the British Stammering Association and a Patron of Whizz-Kidz. He has run the London Marathon three times since 2011, raising over £160,000 for WhizzKidz and Action for Stammering Children. He is a member of the Privy Council and an Honorary Fellow of Keble College, Oxford.
Ed is married to Yvette Cooper MP. They have three children and live in London and Castleford. His interests include learning the piano, marathon running, cooking, sailing and supporting Norwich City.