Liberal Democrat leader Charles Kennedy has warned the Conservatives and Labour that his party would build on its recent successes in Midland local elections.

Mr Kennedy, speaking at the launch of his party's Midland General Election campaign in Solihull, also said it would be a "real breakthrough" if the party got it's first MP in Birmingham for 35 years at next month's ballot.

He was flanked by the city council's deputy leader and parliamentary candidate for Birmingham Yardley John Hemming.

Coun Hemming (Lib Dem South Yardley) is aiming to take from Labour the seat which former Education Secretary Estelle Morris is vacating.

He defended the Liberal Democrats record in Birmingham and said the party had come second in most of Birmingham's seats in the last election. He also said they were fighting hard in this year's ballot.

Mr Kennedy, speaking at The Gables Hotel in Solihull, said: "It will be a real breakthrough if we took a seat in Birmingham.

"But if you look at the great cities in our country, the Liberal Democrats are now governing Liverpool, Newcastle, we are the biggest party in Leeds, and our position is extremely good in Birmingham.

"There has been the collapse of the traditional party-lines in the municipals and we are making enormous strides."

Mr Kennedy said the Liberal Democrats were committed to assisting the manufacturing economy in the West Midlands by increasing trade with the European Union.

He added: "I do not think that Britain wants to become a service-based economy. That will not provide people with the skills needed."

Coun Hemming added that the Liberal Democrats had proved through the party's leadership on Birmingham City Council that it can make a difference to people's everyday lives.