Man up Balls: Danny Alexander handshake is snubbed by Ed

Lib Dem Treasury chief fails to beat Ed Balls at his own game

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Ed Balls refused to play by his own rules as he snubbed a handshake from his Lib Dem counterpart live on TV over agreeing to a Chancellor debate .

Earlier this week Mr Balls caught George Osborne off guard by offering his hand on the Andrew Marr Show to sign up to a head-to-head debate between the two.

Following yesterday’s Budget, Labour’s shadow chancellor again found himself live on TV, this time with Danny Alexander, the Lib Dem chief secretary to the Treasury.

But when the Scot tried to beat him at his own game, Mr Balls was having none of it:


When Mr Balls played the same trick on Sunday, Mr Osborne awkwardly shook his hand but then suggested Mr Alexander, his Treasury deputy, should also take part.

Asked whether he was interested in a debate, Mr Balls said: “Of course, and I would like to go further. George and I don’t need the broadcasters to sort these things out.

“George is not a coward. David Cameron doesn’t want a head-to-head with Ed Miliband but I’m very happy – I will have a head-to-head debate, just the two of us, the potential Chancellors during the election campaign.”