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UK

Factbox - Ed Balls new shadow chancellor

Labour MP Ed Balls launches his party leadership bid at a community centre in Nottingham on May 19, 2010. REUTERS/Toby Melville

(Reuters) -

Here are some key facts on Ed Balls

* Born in February 1967 in Norwich, eastern England, Balls was educated at Oxford and Harvard universities and worked as a leader writer and columnist at the Financial Times. He is married to Yvette Cooper, who was work and pensions secretary under Brown.

* Closely allied to Brown. He worked as Brown’s adviser from 1994 before Labour returned to power in 1997 and was then an economic adviser to the Treasury while Brown was Chancellor.

* Author of a speech by Brown in 1995 which referred to “neo-classical endogenous growth theory.” The convoluted phrase was mocked by senior Conservative politician Michael Heseltine who told his party conference the following month: “It’s not Brown’s, it’s Balls!”

* After being elected to parliament in 2005 Balls was appointed to a junior government post at the Treasury. When Brown succeeded Tony Blair as prime minister, Balls was appointed Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families.

* A legislator branded him a “bully” after he ignored their advice over the appointment of a Children’s Commissioner in 2009. Balls rejected the charge in a BBC radio interview. “I hate bullies ... Believe me, if you have a surname like mine you know what bullying is about,” he said.

Sources: Reuters / “Faces of Labour” by Andy McSmith

Additional writing by David Cutler

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