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Balls thinks about bid.

FORMER Cabinet minister Ed Balls is sounding out colleagues over a possible Labour Party leadership bid.

Mr Balls said he would decide "in due course" whether to stand against the only currently declared candidate David Miliband.

Former foreign secretary and South Shields MP Mr Miliband said he hoped as many candidates as possible would stand and indicated his rivals could include his "immensely talented" younger brother Ed.

Mr Balls said the Labour Party wanted a "proper debate" about the lessons which needed to be learned after the election.

The former schools secretary said: "I'm obviously talking to people but I don't want to jump to any quick conclusions."

FIGHT: Mr Miliband Mr Balls, a close ally of former prime minister Gordon Brown, faced a tough fight to win his Morley and Outwood seat in West Yorkshire with a majority of just over 1,000 at last week's general election.

He said: "I think the pretty strong message from the Parliamentary Labour Party was they wanted to make sure that we talk about what's happened in the election last week in a constituency like mine, where it was closely won, but there are some real issues for us to look at.

"There's got to be a proper debate, people want a proper debate and I'm going to take that very seriously.

I'm talking to people in the party and in the wider country too and I will decide in due course."


FIGHT: Mr Miliband STANDING?: Ed Balls may stand
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Publication:Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)
Date:May 14, 2010
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