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Archive for April 9th, 2012

Forgive me for being off-topic from Tower Hamlets, but I wrote this in yesterday’s Sunday Express Crossbencher diary column. The list of donors on Ed Balls’s JustGiving page makes interesting reading: hardly any Labour MPs, including our own Jim Fitz and Rushanara, seem to have given. Come on, let’s give Ed a lift, especially as he’ll be running through our borough..

THE question of how much to donate to a work colleague’s charity endeavours is always a delicate matter, so spare a thought for Ed Balls’s Westminster friends.

The portly Shadow Chancellor is training for the London Marathon on April 22 and has set himself a fundraising target of £50,000for two charities, Whizz-Kidz and Action for Stammering Children.

Sadly, as of last night, he had only raised about £7,900, according to his JustGiving web page. It shows 120 people have donated and, of them, only a handful are his high-profile friends from Labour.

His wife, Shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper, has donated £200 with a message saying he’s “mad”, while party boss Ed Miliband has forked out £100.

Ex-MPs Tony McNulty and Baron Jim Knight have also chipped in £100, while former Home Secretary Jacqui Smith, who was embarrassed by the expenses revelations, has preferred to keep her donation secret.

Given that Crossbencher has made a donation to the worthy causes, isn’t it time that the likes of Gordon Brown, Tony Blair, David Miliband and even David Cameron dug into their bulging pockets? Donations can be made at www.justgiving.com/teams/edballs.

PS – the bottom item on yesterday’s Crossbencher column was this:

BUOYED by George Galloway’s win in Bradford West, one of the ghosts of Respect past has reappeared. Left-wing barrister Nick Wrack, who quit as Respect’s national secretary after falling out with Galloway in 2009, is making a bid for the London Assembly on May 3 with a new party, the Trade Unionist And Socialist Coalition. Backed by film director Ken Loach, other supporters include Nick’s brother Matt Wrack, the boss of the Fire Brigades’ Union, and cuddly Bob Crow, of the RMT union. The party’s acronym is TUSC, which sounds uncannily like “tsk”.

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