London: Britain's embattled opposition chief Ed Miliband sought to relaunch his leadership on Tuesday, with a crucial policy speech saying that only his Labour party can deliver "fairness in tough times."
Miliband faces poor poll ratings and renewed criticism from within his own party of his performance, along with an embarrassing incident last week involving a typographical mistake in a Twitter message.
But in a speech in central London, he said that his centre-left party had to accept that if it regained power it would be left with a deficit to tackle by the current Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition.
"We must rethink how we achieve fairness for Britain in a time when there is less money to spend," Miliband said.
He said the party must fight its reputation in Britain for taxing and spending and that it would have to move away from the policies of former Labour prime ministers Tony Blair and Gordon Brown.
Of the challenges he faces as Labour leader, Miliband said: "Bring it on."
Miliband said a Labour government would tax bank bonuses and use the money to get young unemployed people into work, and in the longer term would make "choices that favour the hard-working majority."
In a radio interview earlier today, Miliband dismissed criticism within the party as "noises off", adding: "I have a very strong inner belief that I will win the race."
Miliband beat his older brother David, the former foreign minister, to the Labour leadership in 2010, after the party had earlier that year lost elections following 13 years in office.
First Published: Tuesday, January 10, 2012, 21:59