MP Ed is calm over his future

JOB-HUNTING MP Ed Balls is refusing to be drawn on his future after a last-ditch bid failed to save his seat from the axe.

The Normanton MP will be without a position at the next general election after an application for a judicial review of plans to scrap the seat was rejected last week.

The Normanton constituency is being carved up as part of sweeping changes to the local political map by the Boundary Commission.

And there has been speculation Mr Balls will contest another Yorkshire seat, possibly in Huddersfield.

But this week he told the Express nothing had been decided.

He said: “I can’t avoid the fact there is going to be speculation. But the moment I start making public statements that I’m going to do this or I’m not going to do that, people will jump on it. I can’t commit myself to anything or rule anything out.

“This is a matter for the party to decide and it will be resolved in the coming months.

“But I want everybody in the constituency to know I was elected to serve them for the whole of this parliament and I will do so.”

The failed attempt to seek a judicial review ended a two-year struggle to save Normanton.

In 2004 the Boundary Commis-sion announced plans to axe the seat and carve the constituency up between neighbouring constituencies.

A public inquiry then took place, chaired by assistant commissioner Frances Patterson QC, who told the commission the seat should remain because public opinion was so strong.

But the commission stuck to its proposals, and rejected a subsequent appeal despite a mass of objections.

Wakefield Council then dropped plans to launch a court fight because of the potential expense.

Mr Balls joined forces with Wakefield MP Mary Creagh, Jon Trickett (Hemsworth) and Pontefract and Castleford MP Yvette Cooper to apply for a judicial review.

In a joint statement last week they said: “It is very unfortunate that this matter will not now be heard in the courts. We had strong legal advice that the Boundary Commission was both wrong in the substance of its decision and flawed procedurally.

“It cannot be right that the Boundary Commission is unable to be held to account, since there is a strong case that it failed properly to apply its own rules, came to an inappropriate conclusion and needs to assure local people that they have been treated fairly.”

They said the issue would be raised in parliament.