HIGH profile politicians have backed the Gazette’s anti-knife campaign.

Shadow chancellor and former Home Office minister Ed Balls and deputy Labour Party leader Harriet Harman are throwing their support behind the Lives Not Knives campaign, which was launched by the Gazette last week.

Former Clacton MP and current Tendring district councillor Ivan Henderson said the Labour MPs backed the campaign at this week’s party conference in Manchester.

“They are both very supportive,” he said. “This sort of crime touches every part of the country and no matter who you are, you can’t help but feel for families like that of Jay’s who have suffered such a tragedy."

Conservative Clacton MP Douglas Carswell has already shown his support for the campaign.

He was joined by Harwich and North Essex colleague Bernard Jenkin, who said: “I think this an excellent campaign.

“The objective must be to persuade particularly younger people of the pointlessness of carrying a knife. “This campaign mustn't be about spreading fear of knife crime, it must about saving lives.

“I congratulate the Gazette for taking this issue so seriously.”

Colchester Lib Dem Sir Bob Russell said: “To my mind there is absolutely no excuse for anybody to carry a knife and I do endorse the campaign.”