Leadership contender David Miliband has said the Labour government "had lost the strengths" it began with in 1997 by the end of its term.
But Speaking to Today presenter Evan Davis, he defended his decision not to resign as Foreign Secretary and thereby force a leadership crisis for Gordon Brown.
"I wasn't willing to make a bad situation worse," he said.
He attacked the coalition cuts agenda, claiming it was taking "a massive risk with all of our living standards".
"We're not in denial, we've got a growth plan," he said.
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