David Miliband has rejected calls for him to boost Labour's prospects by returning to frontline politics, saying he wanted to avoid a "daily soap opera".
His brother Ed, who pipped him for the Labour leadership in 2010, and some of his own allies have been urging the former foreign secretary to take a job in the Shadow Cabinet. Although he is said to be frustrated at Labour's slow progress, David Miliband believes that he would be a distraction rather than a help.
"Ed needs the space to lead the Labour Party as he sees fit. I can help Labour at the grass roots," he said yesterday. "I want him to win the next general election. I'm happy to say he's the best man to lead Labour into the next election...and to lead the country." He rejected speculation about another leadership contest, but said he would continue to play an active role in politics.
Yesterday David Miliband published the findings of a commission he chaired which warned that youth unemployment is a "crisis we cannot afford" which could cost Britain £28bn over the next decade.