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Miliband 'not playing class card'
Labour leader Ed Miliband has denied he was trying to play the class card by highlighting his education at a north London comprehensive.
Mr Miliband's references to his time at Haverstock School in his keynote speech to Labour's annual conference in Manchester, and in a party political broadcast on Wednesday evening, have drawn comparisons with the background of Eton-educated David Cameron and one Conservative MP has accused the Labour leader of using "class warfare" tactics.
But Mr Miliband said that, as someone who was seeking to become Prime Minister, he felt he should explain to voters where he came from and what experiences formed his political beliefs.
Speaking after his no-notes speech in Manchester, in which he claimed for Labour the mantle of the "One Nation party", Mr Miliband told ITV1's Daybreak: "It's not to do with a class act. It is much more to do with trying to explain who I am. People have been saying to me, 'as somebody who wants to be prime minister, we need to know more about you and what makes you tick'."
Mr Miliband said he was "flattered" to have his performance compared to Tony Blair, adding: "Tony Blair gave incredible conference speeches."
He brushed off opinion polls taken ahead of his speech which suggested only one in five voters saw him as a potential prime minister: "If you start looking at the polls as a leader, that's not the thing to do. Do what's right for the country, say what you think is right for the country. I think what people heard yesterday is how I want to change the country. Goodness knows, people are less interested in the polls and more interested in what's happening to their family finances."
Mr Miliband said his speech had set out a "different political approach for new times".
He told the BBC Radio 4 Today programme: "I think I said when I became leader, we need to move on from New Labour and people then said 'Does that mean a return to Old Labour?' and I think what I was setting out very clearly in the speech yesterday was 'No, it doesn't'. It does mean a different political approach."
He added: "Let me just be very clear about this: the banking system, the media, Rupert Murdoch, the energy companies - we didn't do enough to demand responsibility." Mr Miliband said he had been "very clear" with his party in the speech that "we're not going to have lots of money to spend".
The Government's economic strategy rooted in political ideology, he argued, had not worked. He said: "They (the Government) believe that there is a public economy and a private economy and the two don't really depend on each other, that's the way they portrayed it, definitely Two Nations. But actually what turns out to be the case is they were wrong, that's why this is a country in recession, because they believed that, if you just cut as hard and as fast as you could in the public sector, the private sector would miraculously take over, it turned out to be wrong."