Labour's Shadow Chancellor, Alan Johnson, has quit his position, citing "personal reasons".

The news comes following months of speculation about his suitability for the role, which he was given by Ed Miliband, who was elected Labour leader last year.

From early on there were claims that both Mr Johnson and Mr Miliband clashed on key policies, such as tuition fees and the 50 per cent tax rate on high earners.

In addition Mr Johnson was deemed to have made a number of "gaffes" after admitting that he knew next to nothing about economics and in one interview was found to be ignorant of the rate of National Insurance.

He is to be replaced by Ed Balls, currently Shadow Home Secretary. Mr Balls is long believed to have coveted the job of (Shadow) Chancellor.