Ed Balls is refusing to rule out a return to Westminster politics

 
Mark Sands
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Balls lost his seat in parliament at the 2015 general election (Source: Getty)

Former shadow chancellor Ed Balls is refusing to rule out a return to the world of Westminster politics, but the one-time Strictly Come Dancing contestant may not reappear for a little while.

Speaking on Peston on Sunday, Balls said "never say never" when asked about whether he would seek to become an MP once again, and ruled out a bid to become Labour's candidate for the upcoming Manchester Gorton by-election.

And the former Morley and Outwood MP added that his appearances on the Strictly Come Dancing might have hindered his political opportunities in the short term.

"If I was trying to stand in Manchester Gorton I might not have spent November being a Zoolander male model, or doing the cha-cha as a mad scientist," Balls said.

"I'm not standing in a by-election. I'm never going to say never about going back, because politics is so uncertain.

"The issue is not me. The issue is can Labour have a credible, radical, patriotic alternative to the Conservatives."

Despite being one of the most high-profile figures in Labour's 2015 General Election campaign, Balls was booted from parliament by voters, losing his small majority in the Yorkshire seat to Andrea Jenkyns.

The Manchester Gorton by-election was triggered following the death of Sir Gerald Kaufman last week. A date has yet to be set for the vote.

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