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Ed Balls visits Rochester and Strood as shadow chancellor joins by-election campaign trail

Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls has rejected claims that Labour is running behind both Ukip and the Conservatives in the race to win the crucial Rochester and Strood by-election.

On a campaign visit today to Rochester and Strood today, he denied claims the party wasn't taking the by-election seriously because it was a two-horse race between Mark Reckless and Kelly Tolhurst. "We are going to fight for every vote, not just in this by-election but for every vote in the Medway Towns and Dover and across Kent."People are frustrated with politics because they see their living standards going down and they want change."Our job is to say that we have learned from some of the things we have got wrong; we are the party on the side of working people."Mr Balls triggered what looks like another frenetic week on the campaign trail with just over three weeks to go before polling day on November 20.On the UK's future in Europe, he warned that thousands of jobs would be at risk if, as both Ukip and the Conservatives wanted, Britain left the EU."I am against closing the borders and shutting the door; I think most people are. What people want is not a free for all but tough and fair controls and as far as I can see, Ukip want to close the borders and David Cameron wants to walk away from our membership of the EU."People know Europe has got to change but if we shut our door to Europe, we lose thousands of jobs and investment from big global companies."He also accused David Cameron of "flouncing out" of Europe over the demand last week for a extra £1.7bn from the UK."The one thing you should never do is flounce out of a summit."Once you have walked out, it is much harder to walk back in and be taken seriously. Margaret Thatcher fought for tough deals for Britain but she never walked out."He also criticised the defence secretary and Kent MP Michael Fallon over comments at the weekend in which he suggested that towns and communities felt "swamped" by the influx of migrants.He has since admitted the use of the word was "careless.""When politicians use the language of Enoch Powell, you always have to doubt their motives," he said. "I am not going to play that kind of politics."Mr Balls marked his visit by helping prepare a carrot cake for baking at Bruno's coffee shop in the High Street - taking the chance to pun that what people wanted was for living standards to rise "just like this cake."

Ed Balls at Bruno's cafe
Ed Balls at Bruno's cafe
Mr Balls had a double espresso
Mr Balls had a double espresso

Meanwhile, the full list of candidates has been confirmed.

Thirteen candidates are standing in the Rochester and Strood by-election.

The full list shows that in addition to the candidates from the main parties, a further eight are contesting the election triggered by the defection of Mark Reckless to UKIP.

Prices in Rochester have increased by 15%
Prices in Rochester have increased by 15%

The list includes:

Harry Knorm Davidson, from Sheppey, standing for the Monster Raving Loony Party;

Nick Long, from Lewisham, London, standing for the 'People Before Profit' party;

Dave Osborn, from Harwich ,Essex, standing for the Patriotic Socialist Party;

Charlotte Rose, from Poplar, London, standing as an independent;

Chris Challis, from Windsor, standing as an independent;

Mike Barker, from Sevenoaks, standing as an independent;

Stephen Goldsbrough, from Gillingham, standing as an independent;

Kaya Fransen, standing for Vote British!

The other candidates are:

Kelly Tolhurst, Conservative;

Mark Reckless, UKIP,

Naushabah Khan, Labour,

Geoff Juby, Lib Dem,

Clive Gregory, Green

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