MP Ed Balls is to compete in the London Marathon to raise money for charities close to his heart.
The shadow chancellor made the announcement this week after months of secret training.
He will become the first cabinet or opposition cabinet member to take to the capital’s streets, when he runs the 26.2 miles on Sunday, April 22.
The 45-year-old hopes to raise £50,000 for Whizz Kids and Action for Stammering Children.
He was “volunteered” for the race during a fundraising night for the speech charity.
Mr Balls, MP for Morley and Outwood, said: “To my surprise it was announced I would be running the marathon and I wondered if I could do it.
“But now I have been training I am confident and want to do my best for two great charities.”
Mr Balls said he was inspired to run after seeing the work Whizz Kids did to help a family in Wrenthorpe.
And he has suffered with a stammer himself since he was a child, and opened a new Stammering Support Centre in Leeds last year.
He has been training by running around Pontefract Race Course, but said his wife, Normanton MP Yvette Cooper, thinks he is “crazy”.
To sponsor Mr Balls visit www.justgiving.com/teams/edballs