02/04/2012 02:01 BST | Updated 02/04/2012 06:41 BST

Ed Miliband Launches Labour Local Elections Campaign In England

Ed Miliband has promise to govern for the whole country "not just the wealthy few" as he launches Labour's local elections campaign in England on Monday.

With the party facing a crucial test in the polls on May 3 - with elections in England, Scotland and Wales - the Labour leader will seek to lift the spirits of activists following their calamitous shock defeat in the Bradford West by-election at the hands of George Galloway.

Although a YouGov poll in The Sunday Times gave Labour a nine-point lead over the Conservatives, the Bradford result - where Mr Galloway won by 10,000 votes, overturning a 5,000 Labour majority - threw a question mark over the strength of support for the party.

Speaking in Birmingham alongside fellow shadow cabinet members, Miliband will placed the issues of crime, the NHS and jobs at the centre of the campaign while attacking the "out-of-touch" Tories.

He pledged to make tackling vandalism and anti-social behaviour a priority, highlight efforts by Labour councils to set up work programmes and promise to protect 6,000 nurses from Government cuts.

At the same time, he will sought to exploit the government's difficulties over the Budget, Downing Street dinners for wealthy donors and panic-buying on the petrol forecourts.

"This is a government that doesn't listen to squeezed middle families who work hard to make ends meet," he said.

"A government that doesn't listen to pensioners who have worked hard all their lives. And a government that doesn't listen to young people who can only dream of working at all.

"They have abandoned any pretence they can govern for the whole country. They have abandoned Middle Britain.

"They listen instead to those who have given millions of pounds to the Conservative Party. To the powerful lobbies who called for a millionaires' tax cut.

"We would govern for the whole country, not just for the wealthy few."