Ed Balls
Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls said the Labour Party is united behind Ed MilibandReuters

Labour Party MPs are not split over Ed Miliband's leadership and reports that backbenchers are circulating a letter calling on Miliband to resign are "nonsense", according to Ed Balls.

The Shadow Chancellor told the BBC that he had "no idea" about the alleged move to dethrone Miliband.

"I think this is all nonsense, to be honest. I've no idea about any of this," Balls said.

"All I know is that everybody in the Labour party, from Miliband down, is focused on tackling the cost of living crisis, building an economy which works for working people, reforming Europe but not walking away, getting tough and fair controls on immigration, saving our national health service – that's what Labour's for.

"It's the Conservative Party which are riven and divided and defecting, left, right and centre. Labour will stay united."

The comments come after some Labour MPs reportedly told chairman of the Parliamentary Labour Party, David Watts, that Miliband should resign.

The New Statesman, a left-wing weekly magazine, recently published a critical article on the Labour Party's leadership.

"He is a politician of unusual self-confidence," Jason Crowly, editor of the New Statesman, wrote.

"Considering his appalling approval ratings and the lack of enthusiasm many of his MPs have for him, he has exceptional resilience.

"It's as if he is driven by a sense of manifest destiny, always dangerous in a politician."

A new poll conducted by YouGov for The Sun revealed that Miliband is now less popular than former Labour leader Gordon Brown.

The research revealed that just 16% of people believe Miliband would make the best Prime Minister – more than Nick Clegg (5%) but fewer than the current occupant of Number 10, David Cameron (37%).

But the survey, published with less than six months before the 2015 General Election next May, found that Labour had taken a one point lead over the Conservatives on 33%.