Ed Balls defends "Milibrand" interview: "It's what the young people call banter"

Guy Bentley
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Ed Balls on Brand banter (Source: Getty)

Labour is still taking flack from the media for Ed Miliband's decision to be interviewed by comedian Russell Brand with a sceptical John Humphreys grilling the Ed Balls on the Today programme over the wisdom of doing such an interview.

The great inquisitor asked the shadow chancellor "isn't it a bit demeaning for Ed Miliband to be interviewed by that great political philosopher Russell Brand?." Balls stuck by his leader's decision and said politicians are interviewed by all kinds of people.

But this was Humphreys' chance to strike and bring up an old war of words between Balls and Brand. The Radio 4 veteran said he suspected that no other interviewer had referred to Balls as a "clicky wristed snidey c***." Balls responded to the insult at the time by calling Brand a "pound shop Ben Elton".

Labour's shadow chancellor smiled bravely through the interview but couldn't muster more than telling Humphreys the back and forth was "what the young people call banter".

Yesterday was a special day for Ed Balls as it was the four-year anniversary of his finest tweet. On April 28, 2011, Ed Balls tweeted his name and gave birth to #EdBallsDay. Theories abound as to why the Labour big beast tweeted his own name but by far the most popular is that he was trying to search what people were saying about him on Twitter.

Ed Balls hasn't been the only politician on the receiving end of Brand's ire. David Cameron on Tuesday called Russell Brand "a joke" and urged people to go to the polls and vote in the General Election. Brand took to Twitter to make it clear what he thought of the PM.

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