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Miliband accused of hypocrisy over shopping bill estimation

Ed Miliband was accused of being out of touch with ordinary people after the Labour leader was forced to admit he had underestimated the cost of his own family's weekly shop.

The cost-of-living campaigner originally claimed his supermarket bill came to around £70 or £80.

Later, however, he qualified that amount saying it was only the spend on "basic" groceries such as fruit and vegetables for himself, his wife and their two children.

Critics seized on his comments, accusing the Labour leader, who has put ordinary worker's struggles paying household bills at the top of his political agenda, of being a "hypocrite".

When he was pressed about his food spending on ITV's Good Morning Britain, Mr Miliband said: "We probably spend £70, £80 a week on groceries at least, probably more than that."

The Labour leader was then told the average weekly bill for a family of four is more than £100 - so he would be spending "significantly more" than £70 to £80.

He later admitted that his shopping estimate may have been on the low side, saying he had been thinking of the bill for "basic groceries".

Figures from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) Family Food survey show the average weekly expenditure on all household food and drinks in 2012 was £29.29 per person, an increase of 4.6% on 2011.

Priti Patel, the Conservative MP for Witham, said Mr Miliband was a "hypocrite", adding that he was "out of touch with hard-working Britain." A Tory source said: "It's the same old economic incompetence from the Labour Party that gave Britain the biggest peacetime deficit in history. They have no long-term plan to fix the economy and Ed Miliband can't even get the numbers right for his political gimmicks."

Two years ago Nadine Dorries, the outspoken Tory backbench MP, famously attacked David Cameron and George Osborne saying that they were posh boys who would not even know the price of milk.

Contextual targeting label: 
Local government

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