Balls begins his attack

Labour’s new shadow chancellor Ed Balls wasted no time yesterday in getting stuck in to his new portfolio, accusing his opposite number George Osborne of "cutting too far too fast". But the combative economist faced plenty of criticism, with deputy prime minister Nick Clegg leading the offensive, branding him as the man in charge when City bankers “were gorging themselves on bonuses and lending irresponsibly.”

Balls called for a fresh £3.5bn tax on bankers’ bonuses.