Facebook hires ex-Ed Balls aide
Karim Palant joins social media giant to help oversee UK public policy
Ed Ball’s former policy chief Karim Palant has joined Facebook as the firm bolsters its public affairs firepower in the UK.
Palant takes the post of UK policy policy manager, working alongside the firm’s highly-rated UK head of public policy, Rishi Saha.
Saha is a former Conservative party head of new media, who has also worked in Number 10 and for Hill & Knowlton. He has been at Facebook since July 2014.
Palant worked for the former shadow chancellor as head of policy from 2010 to 2015, overseeing policy development and liaising with business.
When Balls was criticised by Russell Brand, it was Palant who devised the riposte that Brand was "a pound shop Ben Elton".
Prior to working for Balls, Palant was Labour's education policy officer and he is also a former chair of Labour Students.
After Balls lost his Morley and Outwood seat by 422 votes in the 2015 general election, Palant wrote a number of columns for PAN sister title Total Politics.
In a Facebook post announcing the new job to friends, he stated: "I've had a great time being a commentator and going cold turkey from the political world - and it's time for an exciting and new challenge. I'm really looking forward to getting myself into some really big issues and working with a great new team of people here.
"I wouldn't be able to take on such an exciting challenge without having gained all the knowledge and experience I did in many many years of working with the Labour Party with so many great friends who I can't really list.
"Those of you sticking around - good luck. As Phil Neville says of Everton ‘i'll always look out for their results’."