'We must not depress ourselves - we have not failed on inequality the way Polly has said. We closed the gap progressively over the last ten years. Of course it's much more difficult in the global recession and we're beginning to see the limits of some of the policies methods we've used. What are the next ideas we move onto? Ideas like the living wage have to be part of it.'
The MP for Southampton Itchen also said policy presentation has to reflect the way individuals view issues like benefits to reassure them that the system is fair.
We have to choose our weapons, tools and policies in a way that is in tune with the people of this country. People have some quite profound notions of fairness and it's going to be summed up in our practical campaigning by those who who say 'I played by the rules, pay my taxes and yet don't get much out of the system.' Fundamentally our approach to welfare needs to be based on that profound sense of fairness that effort should be rewarded - people who play by the rules should get a fair return.