SHADOW Chancellor Ed Balls said Stroud’s former MP David Drew had been missed in Westminster as he visited Gloucester to boost his party’s fortunes.

Mr Balls met with local Labour councillors at a gala dinner at Gloucester Rugby’s Kingsholm stadium on Thursday.

Party members from Stroud, Cam, Berkeley, the Stanleys, Framilode and Oakridge made up the ‘Stroud table’ at the event.

Cllr Doina Cornell represented Cam East and Cllr Liz Ashton was there from Berkeley.

The fundraising dinner was hosted by Gloucester Labour Party and their parliamentary candidate, Sophy Gardner, who Mr Balls has given his backing to ahead of the next election.

The Shadow Chancellor gave a speech with anecdotes from his political career but also with a strong message about Labour winning marginal seats like Stroud, a key battleground in Labour forming the next government.

Stroud is ranked 16th in the Labour Party’s list of 106 seats key to winning power.

He also said David Drew, Labour MP for Stroud from 1997 to 2010, had been missed in parliament and hoped he would make a welcome return.

Mr Drew lost the seat to Conservative Neil Carmichael by just 1,299 votes and Stroud Constituency Labour Party have chosen him to fight the seat at the next general election.

Mr Balls spoke about Labour’s ambitions to build an economy based on growth and jobs, not on making the poor even poorer, to stop NHS cuts and get 200,000 new homes a year built by 2020.