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Ed Balls talks about his stammer

| 24.01.2010

Ed BallsIn an interview with the Telegraph newspaper, Ed Balls MP has spoken for the first time in detail about having to deal with an interiorised stammer.

"People who stammer try to avoid certain situations," he says, "but in my job you can't." He memorises 15 speeches a week, as he cannot read words out from notes. If he appears to have forgotten his lines, his voice has simply frozen.

"The worst thing you can do is try to stop it. That's when you trip up. It happens to me on live TV. I'm never 100 per cent fluent, but it's OK. Hating it is the problem. You just have to relax and be yourself. I can't do perfectly crafted phrases or soundbite politics. It has to be conversational with me."

January 2010