Ed Balls insists he is 'fighting to win'

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Ed Balls has dismissed recent speculation that he is about to pull out of the Labour leadership race after failing to capture the backing of bosses of Unite, the country' s biggest union. The shadow Education Secretary, who had hoped to secure the support of key unions, said yesterday he was "fighting to the end, and I'm fighting to win".

Unite's leadership will urge its members to vote for Ed Miliband, who has also won the backing of the Unison and GMB unions. Mr Balls insisted many union and party members have yet to make up their minds on how to vote in September, but said: "I am not denying that I am behind."

In a pointed dig at his four leadership rivals, he said: "I have not spent the last few weeks travelling round parties doing meetings; I have spent my time in the House of Commons, challenging Michael Gove on school-building cuts."