Ed Balls has described himself as a “long, slow burn” in the bedroom during an unusual radio interview on the subject of his sexual prowess.
Appearing on LBC Radio to celebrate his 48th birthday, the shadow Chancellor was asked about a recent discussion on Mumsnet about “which major politician would make the best lover”.
The forum thread – which received notoriety after getting more than 400 replies – named him as a “sexy beast” who “at least has the right name” for the job. And after listening to a series of clips which ranged from people saying Mr Balls could “rock their world” to describing him as “not my type” and a “six out of 10”, the Labour MP said: “I thought that started well and then slightly fell away towards the end.”
Asked if that’s “what happens with you Ed”, he replied: “Ahh, no: a long slow burn.”
Mr Balls said he would not speculate on what his wife, the shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper, thought about it all – citing Nick Clegg’s comments about sleeping with “[fewer] than 30 women” as an example he wouldn’t be following.
On whether Ed Miliband was jealous of the Mumsnet users’ verdicts, Mr Balls joked that it was “another example of a return to our Blair-Brown bad relationship – ‘I can’t believe you’re the sexy beast and not me’”.
Ed Balls— Ed Balls (@edballsmp) April 28, 2011
One Mumsnet contributor nominated the London Mayor, Boris Johnson, as “the only one who knows how to have fun”.
Mr Balls said: “I’m trying to hold back on making any libellous statements at this point – but personally, I can say that I don’t know if Boris Johnson is fun in bed.”
The segments ends with Anne, a caller from Oldham, describing Mr Balls’ comments as “49 and a half shades of grey”.
The 9 worst car crash interviews in recent politics
The 9 worst car crash interviews in recent politics
1/6 Chloe Smith on Newsnight
George Osborne was enjoying a good day as he scrapped a planned 3p rise in fuel duty in June, 2012. But then someone had the bright idea of putting Chloe Smith, a junior Treasury minister and then something of a rising star for the Tories, on Newsnight. But she was unable to convincingly answer a single question posed to her by Jeremy Paxman, even the ultimate killer blow: “Do you ever think you’re incompetent?”
2/6 Boris Johnson on Andrew Marr
Eddie Mair, standing in for Mr Marr during his stroke recovery, might have been seen as something of a soft touch in March 2013 before he destroyed the London Mayor on the BBC’s flagship Sunday current affairs show. Mair presented a series of anecdotes about the harsher side to the fluffy-seeming Mr Johnson’s rise to power and concluded: “You’re a nasty piece of work, aren’t you?” Boris didn’t quite seem to know how to respond.
3/6 Ed Miliband on Good Morning Britain
Labour’s leader faced some slightly inevitable accusations of being “out of touch with reality” from ITV’s Susannah Reid after she surprised him with a “how much does X cost question”. This time it was during an interview on how much he knew about his much-vaunted “cost of living crisis” – and Mr Miliband underestimated the average household grocery bill per week by about a third. He admitted he was wrong – but later tried to wriggle out of the situation by claiming he was only referring to “basic groceries” not his “overall shopping bill”.
4/6 Rachel Reeves on Daily Politics
The shadow Work and Pensions Secretary got very mixed up on whether Labour were promising “a freeze or a cap” – when energy prices actually stopped rising and fell. Refusing to accept that her party had enacted a u-turn on policy, she said: “It wasn’t us who changed – it’s the world that changed.” She later couldn’t give any examples of retail prices being successfully fixed by governments – stumping for “the minimum wage – the price of labour”.
5/6 David Cameron on Gay Times
Grilled on his MEPs’ voting records on gay rights in the European Parliament, a pre-prime ministerial Mr Cameron suggested they could vote any way they liked. But he also said the right not to suffer discrimination based on sexuality was a fundamental human right – meaning it should not be subject to an open vote. The former PR man got so flustered he had to ask for the cameras to be turned off because he was getting “distracted”.
6/6 Nigel Farage on LBC
Nigel Farage’s image as a plain-speaking, not-like-that-lot-in-Westminster politician suffered one of a number of dents in May 2014, when a tense 22-minute confrontation with LBC’s James O’Brien had to be cut short by his spin doctor. Patrick O’Flynn – who is now an MEP for Ukip – had to step in when Mr Farage was repeatedly questioned on his views on race and why he would be uncomfortable if a group of Romanian nationals moved in next door to him.
“If you want to come in and fill in the other half you can any time,” he says – to which she replies: “No… no…”
The interview is ultimately conducted in good spirits, and host Iain Dale commends Mr Balls for fielding the questions while “avoiding a Natalie Bennett moment”.
But on Twitter, listeners' reactions to the shadow minister's comments have been a bit less forgiving.
Make it stop! I'm a 'long slow burn' in bed, says Ed Balls in excruciating interview http://t.co/uRAIqeUD1H— Shatner Handbag (@Shatner_Handbag) February 26, 2015
*Mumsnet* rates *Ed Balls* as best lover from House of Commons. Least sexy survey ever— emer ni chinnsealaig (@emertheschemer) February 25, 2015
AAARGH. TRAUMATISED. Just woke up from a dream where I was having an affair with ED BALLS! No shagging, THANKFULLY, but SNOGGING *sicks*— Ella (@MsEllaSimone) February 26, 2015
Not enough mind bleach in the world :-( http://t.co/6J5t2SPJz7— TJ (@SwearyTJ) February 26, 2015
Omg @edballsmp turns out to be housewives favourite - and can eat a bacon sandwich. Why not leader? Labour suicide again.— Angus MacKinnon (@AngusM1966) February 25, 2015
ed balls always looks good in the Houses of Parliament... just saying...— abby (@irlbobo) February 25, 2015
I'm a 'long slow burn' in bed, says Ed Balls. Anyone got a bucket? What was he thinking? http://t.co/sw1QHb7HpD— Mark Flanagan (@MarkFlanaganAB) February 25, 2015
Other verdicts on politicians in the Mumsnet thread included that Gordon Brown would be "mysterious and moody", David Cameron would be "a bit too arrogant" and Nick Clegg would be "a bit of a damp squib if his politics are anything to go by".
Please, can someone stop @edballsmp asking radio callers if they fancy him?!?!?!??— Owen Bennett (@owenjbennett) February 25, 2015