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Ed Balls reveals he’s relieved to have done all the cooking in his marriage to MP Yvette Cooper

Ed Balls reveals he’s relieved to have done all the cooking in his marriage to MP Yvette Cooper because she would have made such a ‘mess’ in the kitchen

  • Ex-Labour Cabinet minister-turned-celebrity cook has released a book ‘Appetite’
  • In the book, he recounts when he first realised that his mother had dementia
  • He also says he is relieved to have done all the cooking in his marriage to fellow Labour MP Yvette Cooper because she would have made such a ‘mess’ 
  • Appetite is serialised in the Daily Mail’s Weekend magazine starting today

Ex-Labour Cabinet minister-turned-celebrity cook Ed Balls first realised his mother had dementia when she forgot to put pasta in the lasagne dish that became her son’s signature recipe.

He is also relieved to have done all the cooking in his marriage to fellow Labour MP Yvette Cooper because she would have made such a ‘mess’ in the kitchen.

The disclosures are in Mr Balls’ new book Appetite, where he talks of his lifelong love of cooking, which is serialised in the Daily Mail’s Weekend magazine starting today.

Ed Balls’ (pictured taking part in The Great Sport Relief Bake Off 2016) new book ‘Appetite’, in which he talks of his lifelong love of cooking, is serialised in the Daily Mail’s Weekend magazine starting today

The book contains his favourite recipes and is laced with personal and political gossip from his 20-year Westminster career, where he was former prime minister Gordon Brown’s closest political confidant.

Mr Balls, 54, also hints at a possible political comeback, commenting: ‘I’m not saying wild horses wouldn’t drag me.’

And he says Mr Brown’s Downing Street rival Tony Blair never ‘forgave’ Miss Cooper, then public health minister, for revealing that their children had the MMR jab at the height of the 2001 row over false claims it was linked to autism. 

He wrote: ‘But as we’ve seen with the Covid vaccine, it’s vital to counter these scare stories.’

The Blairs were criticised for refusing to say whether their one-year-old son had been vaccinated.

Ed Balls and Yvette Cooper at Glastonbury in 2017

Ed Balls and Yvette Cooper at Glastonbury in 2017

Since losing his Commons seat in 2015, Mr Balls has built a new career as a reality TV star featuring on Strictly Come Dancing, The Great British Bake Off and Celebrity Best Home Cook – which he won earlier this year. 

He learned his trademark lasagne dish from his mother Carolyn, 83, who has dementia and is in a nursing home.

He wrote: ‘Mum was clearly losing some memory but it started to feel more like dementia when she served a chicken casserole which obviously hadn’t been in the oven very long. Then she made a lasagne without pasta.’

Mr Balls said affectionately that Miss Cooper ‘resigned from the kitchen’ when they had the first of their three children 22 years ago.

He added: ‘I can do a roast for 14 and when it goes out the kitchen is clean. A good cook should clean as they go and prep as they go.’ 

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