Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls is regarded as so dangerous that whenever he appears in public he must wear a face mask, straitjacket and be wheeled everywhere on a trolley.

‘It was a risk to promote him,’ admitted Labour Leader Ed Miliband, ‘and safety is our first concern. Especially mine. That’s why he must wear the mask at all times and remain under very close supervision.’

Balls, a clinical economist, is well known for his frightening ability to get into the minds of his opponents and cause them great psychological distress through the use of embarrassing statistics and traumatising lectures on supply-side economics.

‘The man is a monster,’ said Chancellor George Osborne, ‘last time I saw him he made me break down and cry simply by whispering the phrase “neo classical endogenous growth theory”. I won’t go anywhere near him.’

When not being wheeled out to savage the government, Mr Balls will be kept in solitary confinement at the high security wing of the House of Commons; there he will listen to Bach’s Goldberg Variations and dream of the day he will get an office with a view. Mr Balls will be regularly visited by his wife and cabinet colleague, Yvette Cooper, who will try to get him to explain Labour’s economic policy through his preferred method of cryptic clues and psychological games.

‘People misunderstand Ed,’ explained his wife, ‘he only ever attacks people he doesn’t like or who get in his way. Most of the time he’s a pussy cat, which is probably just as well because he ate ours.’

Mr Balls gained his reputation as a psychopathic monster over many years. Firstly, working under Gordon Brown where he learned the ancient art of scowling, brooding and angrily throwing things round the room. Then, as Shadow Education Minister, when he would regularly tear chunks out of Michael Gove. ‘That was bad enough,’ said Gove, ‘but once he invited me to dinner, paralysed me with a boring lecture on education theory, before cutting open my skull and eating bits of my brain. Thankfully, it hasn’t affected me in any way.’

Mr Balls rejected accusations that he had recently threatened to eat George Osborne’s liver with some fava beans and a nice Chianti. ‘I don’t drink Chianti,’ explained Balls, ‘Everyone knows that I am much more of a Champagne Sociopath.’

Shadow Chancellor George Osborne has finally revealed how the Conservative Party can cut the deficit without raising taxes via a fully costed ‘Magic Money Tree’.

Speaking at an election press conference an excited Mr Osborne said: “It looks just like a normal tree but instead of leaves it produces twenty pound notes.” Mr Osborne then produced a picture of a tree that he had drawn using special coloured pens.

“I used to think that George Osborne was a blithering idiot,” confessed Lib Dem Treasury spokesman, Vince Cable, “but I have to say that the Magic Money Tree looks like the solution to all our problems.”

The tree, which has been fully costed and independently verified by the Institute for Fiscal Studies, has received worldwide acclaim. “George Osborne has managed to completely transcend the old battle between Monetarism and Keynesianism,” said Nobel Prize winning economist, Joseph Stiglitz, “the Magic Money Tree is a work of genius.”

“I hate to admit this,” said Gordon Brown, “but George Osborne’s Magic Money Tree is the answer. I have tried for many years to grow my own ‘Neo-Classical Endogenous Growth Tree’ but sadly it withered and died – probably because it wasn’t magic. For a while I experimented with a ‘Supply-Side Golden Goose’ but in the end we were forced to sell it to Cash4Gold.”

A minor note of caution was raised by economist Will Hutton: “This is undoubtedly a great idea but in order to grow a money tree you first need to plant a magic coin. Mr Osborne has yet to explain where this coin is coming from or how long it will take for it to grow into a fully fledged magic tree.”

Mr Osborne rejected any criticism of his theory as sour grapes. “The important thing to remember is that this tree is magic,” he explained, “and I am pleased to say that we have the backing of over 60 of the country’s leading witches and wizards. They all say that the Magic Money Tree is guaranteed to work so long as I water it every day with the tears of a unicorn.”