Minister warns of election backlash

A senior minister door-knocking in Stevenage today (Monday) said this weeks European and local elections will be hard on the government. Ed Balls, children, schools and families secretary was in Stevenage this afternoon door-stepping residents in Symond

A senior minister door-knocking in Stevenage today (Monday) said this weeks' European and local elections will be hard on the government.

Ed Balls, children, schools and families secretary was in Stevenage this afternoon door-stepping residents in Symonds Green to try and drum up support for Labour in Thursday's county and European elections.

But he admitted it was an uphill struggle after the political fall-out from the expenses scandal.

"I think it's going to be really, really hard for the government and the Conservatives as well," he said.


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But he added: "Every parliament has a tough time in the third and fourth term. But governments have won (general) elections even if they lose the European elections the year before."

He welcomed the new culture of openness in the Commons, but said "radical reform" was needed that went beyond the expenses system to gain the trust of the public.

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"For MPs of my generation it's a relief - I thought we were there to represent our constituency," he said, "We need to be open so people can see what is going on. The media and Freedom of Information Act have done a good job - MPs who have fraudulently done things should be thrown out."

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