Ed Balls could make dramatic return to politics as Labour candidate in hotly contested Red Wall seat

The Wakefield by-election was triggered following the resignation of Imran Ahmad Khan, who was found guilty of sexual assault

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Ed Balls, former Labour Chancellor, has hinted he will compete in the Wakefield by-election that was triggered following the resignation of disgraced politician Imran Ahmad Khan.

Khan stepped down last week after being found guilty of sexually assaulting a 15-year-old boy.

Reportedly, Mr Balls has privately told friends he has "lots coming up” as he has been endorsed as a potential MP for the Red Wall seat.

Mr Balls, who frequently appears on entertainment shows, refused to deny the rumours in an interview, just repeating to the Telegraph that he had "lots coming up in my new life".

The former professor of Political Economy at King’s College, London was first elected as MP for Morely and Outwood in 2005.

Ed Balls
Ed Balls

He has served under former Prime Minister Tony Blair as Chancellor of the Exchequer and was Education Secretary for three years under Gordon Brown.

The father of three held shadow cabinet positions until his exit from Westminster in 2015.

Ed Balls and Katya Jones at the launch of the Strictly Come Dancing Live Tour in 2017
Ed Balls and Katya Jones at the launch of the Strictly Come Dancing Live Tour in 2017

On his personal website, Mr Balls describes himself as a "Dad, cook, pianist, economist, author, chairman, retired dancer and former cabinet minister."

If Mr Balls takes up candidacy, Boris Johnson could face a potentially tricky battle in retaining the Wakefield seat.

Until Khan’s victory in the 2019 general election, when the Prime Minister led the Conservatives to seize a tranche of former Labour strongholds, Labour had held the seat since the 1930s.

Following Khan’s guilty conviction, a Labour spokesman said: "The people of Wakefield have been badly let down by the Conservatives.

“Only Labour has a plan to tackle the cost-of-living crisis, and give the people of Wakefield the security, prosperity and respect they deserve.”

Shabana Mahmood, Labour’s national campaign coordinator, said the Government should now call a by-election “so that the people of Wakefield can elect an MP who will be on their side”.