Labour lost direction under Brown, says David Miliband

Labour leadership profile: David Miliband

Labour leadership candidate David Miliband has told the BBC that the Labour Party lost its direction under Gordon Brown, and did not pay enough attention to crime and anti-social behaviour.

He also criticised Gordon Brown's time as chancellor, saying the "10p tax was a fiasco", claiming that the cabinet only found out about the decision on the morning of the Budget in which the decision to scrap the lowest income tax band was announced.

The shadow foreign secretary said, in an interview for the BBC News channel, that he was aware he had "to earn" the Labour leadership.

Mr Miliband said he was not annoyed that his younger brother Ed had chosen to take him on in the race for the leadership as both have "an understanding that you have to make sure that the family doesn't get injured by a political race".

Asked if he was "put out" by Ed's decision, he said: 'No, because actually, the worst thing is seething resentment and that's been seen in various political contexts over the years and it's much more important that this is out in the open."

Mr Miliband refused to say which parts of the coalition government's programme to cut the deficit he would support saying he would not get into a "bidding war about whose cuts you are going to make".

But he said he would stick to the Labour manifesto promise of protecting frontline services, particularly in health and education.

Asked about his decision not to challenge Gordon Brown in 2007 for the Labour leadership, he said: "I wasn't ready to be prime minister.

"I think it would have been better for Gordon if he'd had a contest, but I wasn't going to run as a sort of opposition to the Harlem Globetrotters, where everyone knows what the result is going to be and infact you're playing or running but asking people not to vote for you."

On the future for the Labour Party, he said: 'We've got to look forwards, because this coalition is not going to collapse in the next couple of weeks, it's gripping power and it's going to try and hold power and we've to think about the Britain we want in 2015 and 2020 if we are to be a credible force in the future."

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