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Miliband kicks off poll campaign
Ed Miliband greeted party supporters and community representatives as he launched Labour's local elections campaign in England, pledging to govern for the whole country, "not just for the wealthy few".
The Labour leader arrived at the Hub Hazelwell community centre in Kings Heath, Birmingham, alongside shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper, to address a packed hall.
As the party faces a crucial test in the polls on May 3 - with elections in England, Scotland and Wales - Mr Miliband will seek to lift the spirits of activists following their shock defeat in the Bradford West by-election at the hands of George Galloway.
A YouGov poll in The Sunday Times gave Labour a nine-point lead over the Conservatives. However, the Bradford result - where Mr Galloway won by 10,000 votes, overturning a 5,000 majority - threw a question mark over the strength of support for the party.
Mr Miliband will place the issues of living standards, crime, the NHS and jobs at the centre of the campaign while attacking the "out-of-touch" Tories.
Mr Miliband said: "I think this Government has abandoned the pretence that they can govern for the whole country.
"They have betrayed middle Britain. They are spending their time listening to their donors, the people who give millions of pounds to the Conservative Party, cutting taxes for millionaires, not the millions of people of this country. We are determined to govern for the whole country, not just the wealthy few. They are the values that the people of Britain demand."
Mr Miliband sought to capitalise on the fallout of the Chancellor's decision to cut the 50p top rate of tax for those who earn over £150,000 and end pensioners' income tax relief.
"In a Labour budget we wouldn't be cutting the 50p tax rate for millionaires, we would actually be spending the money to make sure those pensioners' tax allowances were put back in place.
"And we wouldn't be doing something this Government has done, which is to return £1.6 billion in extra pension tax relief to those earning over £150,000 a year at the same time as they are cutting tax credits. Friends, that's just the wrong choice, it's the wrong priority, it's the wrong values and Labour would be making different choices, showing different values and different priorities."