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Page last updated at 07:47 GMT, Thursday, 15 July 2010 08:47 UK

Mandelson: Brown 'tripped' by detail


Lord Mandelson has admitted that the last government "created problems" for itself by not explaining its economic policies adequately.

Speaking to Today presenter Evan Davis, the former Business Secretary - who has just published his memoirs entitled The Third Man - said that his book provided "a very good and flattering portrait" of Tony Blair and Gordon Brown, two men who he said "rescued the Labour Party".

He added that New Labour was "built on detail. All the little things matter". But he argued that Gordon Brown was poor at handling "little things" in communication and personal relationships, and had got the "big questions" right but was "tripped" by the detail.

And Lord Mandelson said that that the Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg, "probably lacks the weight and machinery to assert himself" in the coalition government.

He defended his decision to publish his memoirs so close to the election, saying that bringing them out at a later date would have risked him "not giving my views and analysis at a time when its most relevant to the [Labour] party as it sorts out its leadership and its future."

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