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Home and Away with the Balls

Len Tingle | 18:44 UK time, Friday, 8 October 2010

Ed Balls and Yvette Cooper

Everybody thought we were going to have another family affair when it came to the race for who would be the right hand man or woman in the new shadow cabinet.

Husband and wife West Yorkshire MPs Ed Balls and Yvette Cooper
had the shortest odds at the bookies to become the new Shadow Chancellor.

When the result of the MPs ballot was announced today Yvette was installed as the odds-on favourite.

She was well ahead of the pack leaving her husband trailing over 40 votes behind.

So which one of them would Ed "new generation" Miliband choose?

Well, just before lunch came a surprise announcement.

It will be Alan Johnson squaring up to George Osborne in the House of Commons from next week.

At 60, the MP for Hull,is the oldest member of the new shadow cabinet.

Meanwhile it's a case of "home and away" for the forty something Mr and Mrs Balls.

Ed Balls is the shadow Home Secretary.

Yvette will be speaking for the opposition on foreign affairs.

In fact a third of the entire new shadow cabinet are Yorkshire MPs.

Ed Miliband's chief cheerleader, Leeds Central MP Hilary Benn, becomes Shadow Leader of the House.

Ed's Doncaster neighbours John Healey and Caroline Flint will speak on Health and Local Government.

Wakefield MP Mary Creagh comes into the shadow cabinet with the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs portfolio.

Hemsworth's Jon Trickett will also sit at the top table. He has been made a Shadow Minister of State.

So there has been yet another twist in the tale of Labour positioning itself for the long haul of a party in opposition.

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