Some of Britain’s most deprived neighbourhoods have started to resemble an episode of The Wire, the acclaimed US drama that portrays the devastating effect of the drugs trade on the streets of Baltimore, the shadow home secretary claims today.

In a speech that seeks to reinforce Tory claims that parts of society are 'broken', Chris Grayling says a recent visit to Moss Side in Manchester convinced him that “an urban war is taking place on the streets of one of our biggest cities”.

The comments are also part of an attempt by senior Conservatives such as George Osborne, the shadow chancellor, to portray their party as being more progressive than Labour on social policy – an effort that has been derided by Lord Mandelson, the business secretary.

Financial Times