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Livingstone comes out for Balls

Ken Livingstone has given his backing in the Labour Leadership contest to Ed Balls. In his latest campaign leaflet, launched today, amongst other declarations of people saying “why we’re backing Ed“, Ken says: “I was impressed that, more than any other Minister, Ed was in command of his civil servants and was able to drive through the sort of infrastructure projects that we need to avoid a double dip recession.

Even before the general election, Ken had indicated on Daily Politics that he might back Ed Balls when a leadership election occurred, although he  indicated that Ed Miliband was also a possibility.

Ken may yet get a chance, if only privately in his second preference vote, to support Ed Miliband too — the Labour Party website now shows him leading amongst party members with 24 CLP nominations just ahead of his brother David on 22. Andy Burnham has 7, Diane Abbott 4 and Ed Balls just 1 (his own CLP).

Diane Abbot may be disappointed since she is the only leadership candidate to have given their public support to Ken’s bid to be Labour’s candidate in London’s mayoral election. She did so last week, saying “I’m backing Ken because he has stood up for London under Tory and Labour governments alike, and that experience and knowledge of London politics will be an asset in these difficult times.”

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