Ed Miliband has accused David Cameron of defending the interests of Britain's top one per cent and claims the Prime Minister is incapable of standing up for the remaining 99 per cent.
In an interview with The Independent, Mr Miliband mapped out a new dividing line between Labour and the Conservatives. He declared: "The social exclusion of those at the top is as much of a problem for our society in this era as the social exclusion of those at the bottom of society."
Launching his strongest attack on the Prime Minister, the Labour leader said: "David Cameron really is doing a terrific job of looking after the vested interests, the privileged, the powerful and the wealthiest one per cent. It's the other 99 per cent who feel desperately let down." He added: "David Cameron doesn't get it. It is not in his DNA. It is not what drives him in his politics. Working for a more responsible, fairer capitalism is not what gets him up in the morning. Even he would be hard pressed to claim it was his raison d'etre."
Last night, Miliband aides denied that Labour was resorting to "class war". One said: "It is about his actions as PM – his refusal to break up the big six energy companies and the Murdoch empire and to ensure transparency in top pay."
Labour would force companies to publish the ratio between the pay of their highest and average earners. However, a Labour government would not impose maximum wage levels or raise the top rate of tax beyond the current 50p.
Mr Miliband believes the anti-capitalist protests are a sign of a much wider feeling that the system is not working for millions of people.
In another sign that "responsible capitalism" is the new political battleground, Mr Cameron is expected to soon spell out his vision of "moral markets". His allies insist he advocated a "good business" agenda long before Mr Miliband.