JACK Straw has branded claims he threatened to punch a cabinet colleague "absolute garbage".

It had been reported the Justice Minister and Blackburn MP had clashed with Schools Secretary Ed Balls over who was in charge of youth crime.

But Mr Straw told the Lancashire Telegraph he got on well with Mr Balls. He said: "It's just absolute garbage. There are always discussions in meetings, it would be strange if there weren't.

"But the last time I threatened anyone was on the school playground when I was 13."