Brown will pledge more middle-class jobs in drive to win back Tory voters

PRIME Minister Gordon Brown will target aspirational Conservative voters in Labour's general election campaign, promising social mobility and more middle-class jobs.

In a speech today that marks a radical departure from Labour's strategy to target core voters, the Prime Minister will attempt to woo voters who have defected to the Tories since his leadership.

Mr Brown will say that Labour values are the same as those of Middle Britain – a clear sign he has caved in to the modernisers in the party after last week's attempts to destabilise his leadership.

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At his speech in London, Mr Brown will say: "Social mobility will be our theme for the coming election and the coming parliamentary term.

"A fair society is one where everyone who works hard and plays by the rules has a chance to fulfil their dreams, whether that's owning a bigger house, taking a holiday abroad, buying a new car or a starting a small business."

The Prime Minister will also use the term "New Labour", which he had previously publicly derided.

"This is the next project for New Labour, our next generation project… The coming decade will provide the UK with more middle-class jobs than ever before."

Saying he has learned lessons from the financial and political crises of the past two years, Mr Brown will add that "character is formed not on the mountain tops of life when things looks easy, but in the valleys when things are tough".

"And today I want to talk bluntly about the lessons we have learned from the turmoil of the last year."

The speech, which builds on his New Year message of "aspiration", was written by Ed Miliband, who is in charge of Labour's manifesto, Lord Mandelson, Douglas Alexander and Harriet Harman. A Labour strategist said Mr Brown planned to attack the Tories' inheritance tax proposals.

"Cameron has nothing to say to the middle class and has a grotesquely unfair tax giveaway worth 200,000 for the 3,000 wealthiest estates. He is taking the middle class for granted,

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"It is a strategic error to keep totemic policies that are targeted solely at the wealthiest – whether it's the commitment not to water down an inheritance tax cut for millionaires, or holding out the aspiration of abolishing the 50p tax rate."

Shadow chancellor George Osborne this week said Tory cuts would begin on day one of a new administration, starting with slashing middle-class benefits.

The Labour source said, "The money raised by cutting middle-class tax credits, child trust funds and restricting Surestart is relatively small – yet the impact on middle-income families is disproportionately large."

Labour hopes to capitalise on the doubt over the Tories among middle-earners. "It's not just the financial benefits they care about, but the kind of public services they will have access to in the future," the strategist added.