New Labour lost its way - Ed Miliband

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Opposition leader Ed Miliband will today launch a comprehensive overhaul of Labour's policies as he vows to learn the lessons of the party's general election defeat in May.

Addressing the party's National Policy Forum in Gillingham, Mr Miliband will again seek to distance himself from the legacy of Tony Blair and Gordon Brown, saying that in its final years New Labour had "lost its way".

He will announce the formation of a series of working groups, chaired by shadow cabinet ministers, intended to lay the ground for a new policy programme to take Labour into the next general election.

He will issue an appeal to universities, think-tanks, charities and other independent institutions to come forward with ideas that the party can incorporate into its reform agenda.

The process is intended to provide the building blocks for Labour's general election platform - feeding into a report to next year's annual party conference, with a second follow-up report to the 2012 conference.

"The hard truth is that New Labour, which set out to help people have a better life, lost its way, and people felt that we were no longer offering them a route to a better life," Mr Miliband is expected to say.

"And it is our job now to learn the lessons of that defeat so we go into the next election with a new solution for the future that provides better answers to the questions people ask of us - how will we help them find security? How will we help them achieve their hopes and dreams?

"We need better answers to those questions. Because more of the same from us will not close the gap between what people want out of life and what they can achieve at the moment."