FORMER Labour MP Ed Balls was labelled “childish” after he called journalist Owen Jones “intellectually second rate” during an interview on Good Morning Britain.

The left-wing journalist was speaking about the ongoing crisis in Gaza as well as the events of the weekend when far-right protesters clashed with police in London.

Speaking about Suella Braverman, prior to her sacking as home secretary on Monday morning, Jones said: “The point I’m making is she (Braverman) is not going to be the foreperson when so much of government including Rishi Sunak and the media have whipped up a storm about those protesting about the mass slaughter of innocent people.

“Yes she has to go, but it’s not just her responsible.”

Balls, a former shadow chancellor, then responded that by suggesting others, such as the media, had been responsible for the narrative around pro-Palestine protests, Jones was letting Braverman “off the hook”.

The presenter then explained he had done a podcast where he called Keir Starmer out for his previous comments on Israel.

Jones told him he didn’t listen to the podcast to which Balls replied: “Well done. It’s called Political Currency and you should.”

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The journalist said: “I don’t want to watch you giggling with George Osborne, the architect of austerity. I don’t want to do that, I’ve better things to do with my life.”

Balls replied that he had to “put up with talking to you this morning” to which Jones replied, “We’re all suffering Ed”.

Jones added: “The vast majority of the media is supporting what Israel is doing and refusing to call out war crimes. That’s a fact. If you don’t like it, it’s a fact.”

He further called the presenter out for playing a "bizarre game" when they were discussing such a serious subject. 

Balls then called the journalist “so intellectually second rate” to which Jones could be heard replying “so childish”, before shadow health secretary Wes Streeting appeared for his interview.

The National:

Many took to social media to criticise Balls for his approach to the interview, with one saying: “It’s almost incredible how bad Balls managed to come across this morning”.

Another pointed out the presenter had a “horrible smirk on his face” while Jones tried to make serious points about the conflict in the Middle East.

A third user said Balls came across as a “complete narcissist".

Writing on his own Twitter/X account, Jones said: "All I’d say is that @edballs is perfectly entitled to have a personal grudge - everybody has them! - but it doesn’t exactly scream professionalism to let that interfere with how you do your job in such a ludicrously unsubtle way."

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Balls, meanwhile, replied: "No personal grudge Owen, I just objected to you claiming that all of the media (including us at @GMB) and all sides of politics are facilitating genocide against the Palestinians - felt like the worst kind of second rate Trumpian populism to me..."

Jones commented further: "Your ability to listen is as good as your ability to recall facts. I said much of the political establishment and media were supporting Israel’s murderous onslaught.

"That’s a fact. *You* brought up genocide, and I said I deferred to genocide scholars on that."