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.’

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Labour leader Ed Miliband has revealed that he will take a vow of silence and convey his political message entirely through the performance art of mime, using his body as a political tool.

‘All the polls show that we do much better when Ed stays quiet,’ explained deputy leader Harriet Harman, ‘he will therefore focus on communicating his ideas through corporeal movement and a variety of facial expressions.’

The new strategy will see Mr Miliband appearing at Prime Minister’s Questions with a white painted face and wearing a tight black Lycra bodysuit. He will then proceed to ridicule government policy by silently prancing around the dispatch box and pulling a range of silly faces.

‘This represents a new form of political communication,’ said Harman, ‘but I am confident that Ed can get his message across to David Cameron through the use of hand gestures alone – a method I understand the general public have already been using for some time.’

Mr Miliband has already mastered a number of classic mimes including ‘walking against the wind’, ‘the brick wall’ and ‘up shit creek without a paddle.’ However, he still struggles with more complex mimes such as explaining his position on tuition fees, something that regularly leaves him rolling helplessly around on the floor tied up in knots.

Members of Mr Miliband’s team will also employ performance art to convey their message. Shadow Chancellor Alan Johnson will use origami to communicate his understanding of economic theory by taking a blank sheet of paper and then screwing it up. Meanwhile, Shadow Foreign Secretary Yvette Cooper will unnerve William Hague through the use of provocative modern dance.

Speculation has been rife as to why Miliband had been so quiet in the last few months. ‘Everyone thought it was because he was nervous,’ said political commentator Matthew Parris, ‘but it turns out Ed was simply miming his opposition to government.’

Mr Miliband has also been developing a range of special ‘looks’ that he will use to mercilessly undermine the Coalition. ‘He has already perfected the ‘rabbit staring into the headlights,’ said Ms Harman, ‘and he is making good progress with ‘man shaking his head in disappointment at whatever the government just did’. He is now believed to be working on ‘man with bright idea’ and ‘man pulling finger out of arse.’

Mr Miliband launched his new strategy at the London International Mime Festival where he attempted to communicate his grand political vision. ‘He just stood there for while flapping his arms around and staring off into space,’ said one disappointed visitor, ‘it’s certainly nothing to shout about.’