By Ian Dunt
David Miliband has refused to exclude himself from a future leadership contest, saying: "I rule nothing in or out".
In an interview with the Evening Standard, the foreign secretary does go on to outline what appears to be a Labour agenda for securing the next election, in a manner not dissimilar to his infamous Guardian article last year.
Asked whether he would consider running for the leadership, Mr Miliband said: "I really won't go there. I rule nothing in and nothing out and it's invidious, where we are now, to talk about it."
Asked if that meant he was ruling himself out, he replied: "I said what I meant."
But he did show some understanding of the level of anger over MPs expenses and the uphill
struggle Labour has if it is to win the next election.
"The next election is not just a matter of votes and who wins and loses: it's a matter of honour as well," he said.
"There's a collective sense that we have let people down. We can't make excuses; we have to show we understand that."
Asked if that statement constituted an apology, he replied: "Of course it is. Absolutely."
He then outlined the path Labour would have to take to make itself viable again.
"The three questions to my mind are: can we win, where are we heading and what is our vision to get there? We can only answer the first question when we're clear with the voters about the other two."
Mr Miliband, considered a dedicated Blairite was given the position of foreign secretary to placate his leadership ambition when Gordon Brown came to power.
He was touted as a possible leadership challenger when the prime minister's fortunes sky-dived, but a bruising conference season saw him pilloried in the press and his political capital plummet.