Politics 21 September 2013 Balls contradicts Miliband as he backs third runway over HS2 Asked to choose between a third runway at Heathrow and High Speed 2, Balls replies: "third runway". Miliband would say the reverse. Print HTML The most significant line in Ed Balls's Times interview today has gone strangely unnoted by the paper, which splashes on the news that he was part of a "macho Brownite cabal". Asked in a "quick fire" section whether he favours a "third runway or HS2", the shadow chancellor replies: "third runway". Why is that striking? Because it is the reverse of the answer that Ed Miliband would give. As Damian McBride's memoir reminds us, Miliband "effectively threatened to resign from the cabinet" over the planned third runway at Heathrow, a move that successfully torpedoed the policy. Since then, shadow transport secretary Maria Eagle has said that the idea is "off the agenda" on account of Miliband's past opposition. On HS2, while Balls is increasingly sceptical of the new high speed line, warning that there will be "no blank cheque from a Labour Treasury", Miliband remains personally supportive of the project, which was launched by Andrew Adonis, the party's shadow infrastructure minister and man he has appointed to lead Labour's economic growth review. It has long been an open secret in Westminster that Balls believes Labour should prioritise airport expansion over HS2 but his decision to put this fact on record is significant. › Voters don’t think politicians have good ideas on living standards: why? Shadow chancellor Ed Balls speaks at the Labour conference in Manchester in 2012. Photograph: Getty Images. George Eaton is political editor of the New Statesman. Subscribe More Related articles Peter Mandelson: I pray every day for an early election to end Labour's awful state Jeremy Corbyn to tell members: "Prepare for a 2017 general election" What will Labour's new awkward squad do next?