A FORMER Tory chancellor and the Labour shadow who worked opposite him will launch a new podcast together.

Disbelief has greeted the news that Conservative George Osborne and Labour politician Ed Balls will front the new weekly podcast from this autumn.

The pair claim they want to help people understand “what’s really going on inside the corridors of power”.

Balls said: “The politics of money is back leading the news again, but all too often the stories which are going to have the most transformative impact on people’s lives get the least attention.

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“George and I want to bring economics back to life and on the agenda, with explanation and entertainment in equal measure.

“Politics is never far from the markets so I’m looking forward to teaming up with my old political rival as we throw all our experience from Whitehall and Westminster into the show.”

Osborne said: “Ed and I are frenemies – once bitter foes and now firm friends.

“When we talk politics and economics I find myself talking to someone who brings a different perspective but with an insight and intelligence I rate.

“We want to bring listeners into that conversation in the hope that people better understand what’s really going on inside the corridors of power from those who’ve been there, and have some laughs along the way.”

National contributor Pat Kane commented on the podcast launch: “What did Gore Vidal say? ‘They’re two wings of the same bird – The Business Party’.”

University of Glasgow historian Ewan Gibbs added: “As shadow chancellor, Balls constantly appeared to undermine any positive Labour message to deliver an economic alternative to Tory austerity at a time Miliband was being attacked by the right of his own party.

“No surprise he’s teamed up with Osborne.”

Others said the pairing proved how narrow the political spectrum at Westminster is, with comedian Geoff Norcott writing: “Can’t wait to hear the microscopic differences of opinion they fall out over.”

The podcast, which is being developed by Persephonica, comes after a similar weekly offering from former Labour spin doctor Alastair Campbell and former Tory minister Rory Stewart.

Although there is no reported title for the Balls-Osborne podcast, they are reportedly already recording pilot episodes.