Ed Miliband has said he is "bringing back socialism" to Britain as he vowed to strengthen the national minimum wage ahead of the Labour Party conference.

On the eve of his party's conference in Brighton, Miliband took to the city's streets to deliver his message that David Cameron's Government would stand up only for the "privileged few".

The Labour leader, who also confirmed his promise to abolish the "bedroom tax" cut to housing benefit if his party won the next election, promised an "economy that works for working people".

The announcements, which also included measures to extend childcare, came as Miliband sought to seize the initiative as a drip-feed of claims from Gordon Brown's former spin doctor, Damian McBride, threatened to cast a shadow over the conference.

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Miliband, who earlier took a stroll along Brighton seafront with his wife Justine and children Daniel and Samuel, said: "This next election is going to come down to the oldest questions in politics: whose side are you on and who will you fight for?"

miliband

Miliband takes to the stump in Brighton ahead of the Labour Party conference

The Labour leader said: "We are going to scrap the bedroom tax, that's what I mean by a government that fights for you.

"And we are fighting for all of the low-paid people around our country. One of the proudest achievements of the last Labour government was the national minimum wage, making work pay for people.

"But under David Cameron's Government people are falling behind, the national minimum wage now paying people £20 less after inflation than it did when David Cameron came to office. That's just wrong.

"When we see that happening and when we think about one of the big banks, do we really think they can't afford to pay their cleaners a bit more?"

It was "wrong" that millions of people "are going out to work unable to afford to bring up their families".

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He added: "The Labour government will put it right, we will strengthen the national minimum wage, we will make work pay for the workers of Britain.

"That's what I mean by a government that fights for you: abolishing the bedroom tax, strengthening the national minimum wage, childcare there for parents who need it.

"That's what I mean by tackling the cost of living crisis at this conference, that's what I mean by a government that fights for you."

Miliband revealed he has appointed Alan Buckle, deputy chairman at accountants KPMG, to investigate how the role and powers of the Low Pay Commission could be extended to strengthen the minimum wage.

Addressing the street rally from a small stage, Miliband attacked the Government for failing to take steps to help people struggling to cope with rising prices.

He accused the Prime Minister of "refusing to act," dismissing the argument that nothing could be done to improve standards by saying "that's the powerful saying to the powerless 'you're going to have to suffer'".

Miliband said there was always something that could be done "if you have the political will" but "you won't get it from this Government".

He said Cameron's record was one of "tax cuts for millionaires, tax cuts for hedge funds, tobacco lobbyists in Downing Street".

The party believes around one million workers would get a pay rise under their plans.

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  • Labour Annual Conference 2013

    Labour leader Ed Miliband and his wife Justine take their children Daniel (right) and Sam (left) for a walk along Brighton beach on the eve of the Labour Party annual conference.

  • Labour Annual Conference 2013

    Labour leader Ed Miliband and his wife Justine take their children Daniel (right) and Sam (left) for a walk along Brighton beach on the eve of the Labour Party annual conference.

  • Labour Annual Conference 2013

    Labour leader Ed Miliband and his wife Justine take their children Daniel (right) and Sam (left) for a walk along Brighton beach on the eve of the Labour Party annual conference.

  • Labour Annual Conference 2013

    Labour leader Ed Miliband and his wife Justine take their children Daniel (right) and Sam (left) for a walk along Brighton beach on the eve of the Labour Party annual conference.

  • Labour Annual Conference 2013

    Labour leader Ed Miliband and his wife Justine arrive in Brighton on the eve of the Labour Party annual conference where the Labour leader addressed shoppers in the town centre and held a Q&A.

  • Labour Annual Conference 2013

    Labour leader Ed Miliband and his wife Justine take their children Daniel (right) and Sam for a walk along Brighton beach on the eve of the Labour Party annual conference.

  • Labour Annual Conference 2013

    Labour leader Ed Miliband and his wife Justine take their children Daniel (right) and Sam (left) for a walk along Brighton beach on the eve of the Labour Party annual conference.

  • Labour Annual Conference 2013

    Labour leader Ed Miliband addresses shoppers in Brighton town centre on the eve of the Labour Party annual conference.

  • Labour Annual Conference 2013

    Labour leader Ed Miliband addresses shoppers in Brighton town centre on the eve of the Labour Party annual conference.

  • Labour Annual Conference 2013

    Labour leader Ed Miliband and his wife Justine take their children Daniel (left) and Sam (right) for a walk along Brighton beach on the eve of the Labour Party annual conference.

  • Labour Annual Conference 2013

    Labour leader Ed Miliband addresses shoppers in Brighton town centre on the eve of the Labour Party annual conference.

  • Labour Annual Conference 2013

    Labour leader Ed Miliband addresses shoppers in Brighton town centre on the eve of the Labour Party annual conference.

  • Labour Annual Conference 2013

    Labour leader Ed Miliband addresses shoppers in Brighton town centre on the eve of the Labour Party annual conference.