Ed Balls
Ed Balls Reuters

Top UK politician Ed Balls has insisted he is "not embarrassed" after two British newspapers published a picture of the shadow chancellor wearing a Nazi uniform.

The picture shows Balls, who has been a member of the Labour Party since he was 16 years old, wearing a military jacket and cap emblazoned with the insignia of Adolf Hitler's Third Reich.

The photo, published in The Sun and The Daily Mail, was taken at a party during Balls' time as a student at Oxford University during the 1980s.

Speaking in response to the publication of the image, Balls said: "Of course I'm not embarrassed by it". However he added "if I had the choice again, would I do it? No."

Flirting with the iconography of Adolf Hitler's far-right Nazi party has been damaging for British politicians in the past.

Conservative MP Aiden Burley was dumped by David Cameron for attending a stag party at which the groom wore a Nazi-style uniform.

A spokesman for the Tories branded the stunt "offensive and foolish". The incident cost Burley his post as parliamentary private secretary at the Department of Transport last year.