Nearly a third of children in the West Midlands are living below the poverty line, according to a charity which described the figures as a "scandal".

New statistics from the Government show 384,000 - or 32 per cent - of the 1.2 million children in the West Midlands are in poverty, an increase of three per cent on the previous year.

Jonathan Stearn, director of End Child Poverty, said: "The fact that so many children are living in poverty is a terrible blight on the region and that the number of children living in poverty in the West Midlands is growing is nothing short of a scandal.

"Such high levels of child poverty shame a prosperous country like ours."

End Child Poverty has just published a ten-point charter, Ten for a Million, which is supported by more than 45 national organisations and shows how to remove another one million children from poverty.

The Government estimates 3.5 million children are living in poverty in Britain today, but it has pledged to end child poverty in the UK by 2020. New research by ICM found 85 per cent of the public believes tackling child poverty in the UK should be higher on the Government's agenda.

To highlight the problems, End Child Poverty has organised a roadshow which includes a seminar at the Birmingham Rep Theatre today and a 3D exhibition called 'Poverty: Bringing it Home' on Saturday in the Lower Precinct in Coventry.

Mr Stearn said: "It is intolerable that there are so many children living in poverty and I urge everyone to take the issue up with prospective parliamentary candidates."