- Peter Mandelson
The Right Honourable
The Lord Mandelson
First Secretary of State In office
5 June 2009 – 11 May 2010
Prime Minister Gordon Brown Preceded by John Prescott Succeeded by William Hague Lord President of the Council In office
5 June 2009 – 11 May 2010
Prime Minister Gordon Brown Preceded by The Baroness Royall of Blaisdon Succeeded by Nick Clegg Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills In office
5 June 2009 – 11 May 2010
Prime Minister Gordon Brown Preceded by Himself (at BERR)
John Denham (at IUS)
Succeeded by Vince Cable Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform In office
3 October 2008 – 5 June 2009
Prime Minister Gordon Brown Preceded by John Hutton Succeeded by Himself (at BIS) European Commissioner for Trade In office
22 November 2004 – 3 October 2008
President José Manuel Barroso Preceded by Pascal Lamy Succeeded by Catherine Ashton Secretary of State for Northern Ireland In office
11 October 1999 – 24 January 2001
Prime Minister Tony Blair Preceded by Mo Mowlam Succeeded by John Reid Secretary of State for Trade and Industry In office
27 July 1998 – 23 December 1998
Prime Minister Tony Blair Preceded by Margaret Beckett (President of the Board of Trade) Succeeded by Stephen Byers Minister without Portfolio In office
2 May 1997 – 27 July 1998
Prime Minister Tony Blair Preceded by Brian Mawhinney Succeeded by Charles Clarke Member of Parliament
9 April 1992 – 23 July 2004
Preceded by Ted Leadbitter Succeeded by Iain Wright Majority 22,506 (59.1%) Personal details Born 21 October 1953 citation needed][
South London, United Kingdom
Political party Labour Alma mater St Catherine's College, Oxford
Peter Benjamin Mandelson, Baron Mandelson, PC (born 21 October 1953) is a British Labour Party politician, who was the Member of Parliament (MP) for Hartlepool from 1992 to 2004, served in a number of Cabinet positions under both Tony Blair and Gordon Brown, and was a European Commissioner. He was a key architect in the rebranding of the Labour Party as "New Labour" and its subsequent landslide victory in the 1997 general election.
He twice resigned from Tony Blair's government while holding Cabinet positions. After his second resignation, he served as the European Commissioner for Trade for almost four years. He rejoined the government when he was made a life peer by the Queen and took his seat in the House of Lords on 13 October 2008.
Peter Mandelson was born in London in 1953, where his father was the advertising manager at The Jewish Chronicle. On his mother's side, he is the grandson of Herbert Morrison, the London County Council leader and Labour cabinet minister. He was educated at Hendon County Grammar School 1965–72. He read Philosophy, Politics and Economics at St Catherine's College, Oxford (1973–1976) and in the late 1970s, became director of the British Youth Council. As BYC director, he was a delegate in 1978 to the Soviet-organised World Festival of Youth and Students in Havana, Cuba, with Arthur Scargill and several future Labour cabinet colleagues. In his youth, he was also a member of the Young Communist League. He was elected to Lambeth Borough Council in September 1979, but retired in 1982, disillusioned with the state of Labour politics.
Media and public relations
He worked as a television producer at London Weekend Television on Weekend World before Labour Party leader Neil Kinnock appointed him as Director of Communications in 1985, with a view to his overseeing Labour's campaign for the next general election, which was ultimately held in June 1987 and ended in a third successive win for Margaret Thatcher's Conservative government, although the Conservative majority was slightly reduced as Labour gained 20 seats.
Mandelson was able to secure close friendships within the Labour Party because of uncle Alexander Butler, who had worked alongside many important Labour politicians during the 1960s. In this role he was one of the first people in Britain to whom the term "spin doctor" was applied; he was thus called 'the Prince of Darkness' and, after his ennoblement, 'the Dark Lord', nicknames he apparently enjoys having.
Mandelson has been given the nickname "Mandy" in the popular media.
He made several speeches outlining his strong support for the European Union. He was close to two Shadow Cabinet members – Gordon Brown and Tony Blair – each regarded as potential future leaders, though he was sidelined during the brief period when John Smith led the party. After Smith's sudden death in 1994, Mandelson chose to back Blair for the leadership, believing him to be a superior communicator to Brown and played a leading role in the leadership campaign. This created antagonism between Mandelson and Brown, though they were considered allies in the Labour Party.
He was appointed as a Minister without Portfolio in the Cabinet Office, where his job was to co-ordinate within government. A few months later, he also acquired responsibility for the Millennium Dome, after Blair decided to go ahead with the project despite the opposition of most of the Cabinet (including the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport who had been running it). Jennie Page, the Dome Chief Executive, was abruptly sacked after a farcical opening night. She gave evidence to a House of Commons Select Committee for Culture and Heritage in June 2000. In what was seen as a reference to the close interest in the Dome from Mandelson, known at the time as so-called "Dome Secretary", and his successor Lord Falconer of Thoroton, Ms Page told the committee: "I made several attempts to persuade ministers that standing back from the Dome would be good for them as well as good for the Dome".
In July 1998, he joined the Cabinet as Secretary of State for Trade and Industry. He launched the Millennium Bug And Electronic Commerce Bill and a Competitiveness White Paper, which he described, as 'bold, far reaching and absolutely necessary'. He also appointed a 'Net czar' to lead the UK in what he termed the "new industrial revolution". In 1998 he was appointed a Privy Councillor.
Mandelson had bought a home in Notting Hill in 1996 with the assistance of an interest-free loan of £373,000 from Geoffrey Robinson, a millionaire Labour MP who was also in the Government, but was subject to an inquiry into his business dealings by Mandelson's department. Mandelson contended that he had deliberately not taken part in any decisions relating to Robinson. He should have declared the loan in the Register of Members' Interests and he resigned on 23 December 1998. Mandelson had also not declared the loan to his building society (the Britannia) although they decided not to take any action, with the CEO stating "I am satisfied that the information given to us at the time of the mortgage application was accurate." Mandelson initially thought he could weather the press storm, but had to resign when it became clear that the Prime Minister thought nothing else would clear the air.
On 16 October 2000 it was reported that Geoffrey Robinson, the Labour MP, "accused Peter Mandelson of lying to the Commons about the home loan affair that cost both of them their Government jobs."
He was out of the Cabinet for ten months. In October 1999, he was appointed Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, replacing Mo Mowlam. In his very first speech in the post he mistakenly referred to himself as the "Secretary of State for Ireland." During his tenure he oversaw the creation of the devolved legislative assembly and power-sharing executive, and reform of the police service.
On 24 January 2001, Mandelson resigned from the Government for a second time following accusations of using his position to influence a passport application. He had contacted Home Office minister Mike O'Brien on behalf of Srichand Hinduja, an Indian businessman who was seeking British citizenship, and whose family firm was to become the main sponsor of the "Faith Zone" in the Millennium Dome. At the time, Hinduja and his brothers were under investigation by the Indian government for alleged involvement in the Bofors scandal. Mandelson insisted he had done nothing wrong and was exonerated by an independent inquiry by Sir Anthony Hammond which concluded that neither Mandelson nor anyone else had acted improperly. The front page headline in The Independent read in part "Passport to Oblivion".
At the 2001 general election, Mandelson was challenged by Arthur Scargill of the Socialist Labour Party and by John Booth, a former Labour Party press officer standing as "Genuine Labour", but Mandelson was re-elected with a large majority. This prompted him to make an exuberant acceptance speech, which was televised live, in which he declared that "I'm a fighter, not a quitter" and referred to his "inner steel".
Despite Labour success in the June 2001 general election, a third appointment to the Cabinet did not happen and he indicated his interest in becoming the United Kingdom's European Commissioner when the new Commission was established in 2004. Both of Britain's Commissioners, Neil Kinnock and Chris Patten, were due to stand down. Appointment as a Commissioner would require his resignation from Parliament and therefore a by-election in his Hartlepool constituency. His appointment was announced in the summer and on 8 September 2004 Mandelson resigned his seat through appointment as Steward of the Manor of Northstead. Labour won the subsequent Hartlepool by-election with a majority of more than 2,000.
During the Parliamentary expenses scandal of 2009, the Daily Telegraph raised questions about the timing of Mandelson’s second home allowance claim, dating from 2004, saying, "Lord Mandelson billed the taxpayer for almost £3,000 of work on his constituency home in Hartlepool less than a week after announcing his decision to stand down as an MP." Mandelson said in a statement, "The work done was necessary maintenance. All claims made were reasonable and submitted consistent with Parliamentary rules."
On 22 November 2004, Mandelson became Britain's European Commissioner, taking the trade portfolio.
On 22 April 2005, The Times revealed that Mandelson had spent the previous New Year's Eve on the yacht of Paul Allen, the co-founder of Microsoft, which was at the centre of a major EU investigation, although it did not allege impropriety.
During the summer of 2008, Mandelson had a widely publicised disagreement with Nicolas Sarkozy, the President of France. Sarkozy accused him of trying to sell out European farmers and appeared to blame his handling of the Doha round of trade talks for the "no" vote in the Irish referendum on the Treaty of Lisbon. Mandelson said his position at world trade talks had been undermined and told the BBC he did not start the row, saying, "I stood up for myself, I'm not to be bullied." He said he believed the row was over but renewed his warnings on protectionism.
In 2008, melamine added to milk in China caused kidney stones and other ailments in thousands of Chinese children, and killed at least six. To show his confidence in Chinese dairy products, Mandelson drank a glass of Chinese yoghurt in front of reporters. The following week, he was hospitalised for a kidney stone; the events were probably unconnected.
In October 2008, Mandelson was reported to have maintained private contacts over several years with Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska, most recently on holiday in August 2008 on Deripaska's yacht at Taverna Agni on the Greek island of Corfu. News of the contacts sparked criticism because, as European Union trade commissioner, Mandelson had been responsible for two decisions to cut aluminium tariffs that had benefited Deripaska's United Company RusAl. Mandelson denied that there had been a conflict of interest and insisted that he had never discussed aluminium tariffs with Deripaska. On 26 October 2008, the Shadow Foreign Secretary William Hague claimed the "whole country" wanted "transparency" about Mandelson's previous meetings with Deripaska. In response, Prime Minister Gordon Brown said Mandelson's dealings with Deripaska had been "found to be above board". Mandelson said that meeting business figures from "across the range" in emerging economies was part of his brief as EU trade commissioner. On 29 October 2008, while Mandelson was on a ministerial visit to Moscow, it was alleged in the British press that, head of security at Deripaska's company Basic Element Valery Pechenkin had organised a swift entry visa for Mandelson when he turned up in Moscow to visit Deripaska in 2005.
In October 2008 he left his post as Trade Commissioner to return to UK politics. As a former EU commissioner, Mandelson is entitled to a £31,000 pension when he reaches the age of 65 years. While this is contingent on a "duty of loyalty to the Communities" which applies also after his term in office, Mandelson's spokesperson denied there is a conflict of interest.
Return to cabinet
On 3 October 2008, as part of Gordon Brown's cabinet reshuffle, it was announced amid some controversy that Mandelson would return to government in the re-drawn post of Business Secretary, and would be made a life peer, entitling him to a seat in the House of Lords. On 13 October 2008 he was created Baron Mandelson, of Foy in the County of Herefordshire and of Hartlepool in the County of Durham, and took his seat in the House of Lords the same day.
Since returning to office, Lord Mandelson has supported the planned Heathrow Airport expansion. On 6 March 2009, the environmental protester Leila Deen of anti-aviation group Plane Stupid approached him outside a summit on the government's Low Carbon Industrial Strategy and threw a cup of green custard in his face, in protest over his support for a third runway at Heathrow Airport. The protester was cautioned on 9 April for causing "harassment, alarm or distress".
In a cabinet reshuffle on 5 June 2009, Mandelson was appointed to the honorific office of First Secretary of State, and to the position of Lord President of the Council. It was also announced that the Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills would be merged into his, giving him the new title of Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, and that he would continue as President of the Board of Trade.
Mandelson was a member of 35 of the 43 Cabinet committees and subcommittees. An opinion poll conducted by the centre-left think tank Compass found that Mandelson was proving to be more popular with rank and file party members than Deputy Party Leader Harriet Harman. This was claimed to be surprising due to Mandelson's previously strained relationship with grassroots members, set against Harman's record of success winning grassroots votes in her election as Deputy. It was also seen to be prophetic, and to tie-in with Tony Blair's quote that his "mission would be completed when the Labour Party learned to love Mandelson".
After the Labour Party failed to secure a majority in the 2010 general election and subsequent resignation of the Labour government, Mandelson published his memoirs "The Third Man: Life at the Heart of New Labour" in July 2010, a little over two months after leaving office. The memoirs were subsequently criticised by Labour leadership contenders Ed and David Miliband and Andy Burnham.
In November 2010, Lord Mandelson became chairman of Global Counsel LLP, a consultancy firm, with the financial support of WPP, the advertising giant. On 21 January 2011, it was announced by that Lord Mandelson would serve as a Senior Adviser to the advisory investment banking firm, Lazard Ltd.
In May 2011, it was revealed that there was speculation that Mandelson had been approached by China to be a candidate for the leadership of the International Monetary Fund (even though Mandelson cannot stand since he has not been a finance minister or led a central government bank). However, it was then speculated that Mandelson would stand to succeed Pascal Lamy as Director General of the World Trade Organization, and has the backing of David Cameron.
In October 1998, during his first period in the Cabinet, Mandelson was the centre of media attention when Matthew Parris (openly gay former MP and then Parliamentary sketch writer of The Times) mentioned during a live interview on Newsnight, in the wake of the resignation of Ron Davies, that "Peter Mandelson is certainly gay".
In 2000, Mandelson publicly recognised his relationship with long-time partner Reinaldo Avila da Silva by allowing photographs of them together. da Silva is Brazilian born but was naturalized as a British citizen around the end of August 2005.
Tam Dalyell, while Father of the House of Commons, claimed Mandelson formed part of Blair's 'Jewish cabal' in May 2003. In response Mandelson said: "Apart from the fact that I am not actually Jewish, I wear my father's parentage with pride."
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- Jones, Nicholas (2000): Sultans of Spin: The Media and the New Labour Government Orion Books, ISBN 0-75282-769-3
- Macintyre, Donald (1999): Mandelson: The Biography Harper Collins, ISBN 0-00-255943-9
- Mandelson, Peter (2002): The Blair Revolution Revisited Politico's, ISBN 1-84275-039-9
- Rawnsley, Andrew (2001): Servants of the People: The Inside Story of New Labour Penguin Books, ISBN 0-140-27850-8
- Routledge, Paul (1999): Mandy: The Unauthorised Biography of Peter Mandelson Simon & Schuster, ISBN 0-684-85175-X
- Seldon, Anthony (2005): Blair The Free Press, ISBN 0-7432-3212-7
- Profile at Parliament of the United Kingdom
- Contributions in Parliament at Hansard 1803–2005
- Current session contributions in Parliament at Hansard
- Electoral history and profile at The Guardian
- Voting record at PublicWhip.org
- Record in Parliament at TheyWorkForYou.com
- Profile at Westminster Parliamentary Record
- Profile at BBC News Democracy Live
- Articles authored at Journalisted
- Profile: Peter Mandelson BBC News, 3 October 2008, 13 August 2004
- Peter Mandelson: Interview in full, PublicAffairsAsia.com, 18 August 2008, on sovereign wealth funds
- Peter Mandelson: Interview on New Statesman, 1 October 2008.
- Appearances on C-SPAN
- Peter Mandelson on Charlie Rose
- Peter Mandelson at the Internet Movie Database
- Works by or about Peter Mandelson in libraries (WorldCat catalog)
- Peter Mandelson collected news and commentary at The Economist
- Peter Mandelson collected news and commentary at The Guardian
- Peter Mandelson collected news and commentary at The New York Times
Parliament of the United Kingdom Preceded by
Member of Parliament for Hartlepool
Political offices Preceded by
Minister without Portfolio
as President of the Board of Trade
Secretary of State for Trade and Industry
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
British European Commissioner
European Commissioner for Trade
Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform
as Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills
as Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform
Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills
as Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills
First Secretary of State
The Baroness Royall
Lord President of the Council
Shadow Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills
Brown Cabinet Cabinet Members
Lord Adonis • Bob Ainsworth • Douglas Alexander • Baroness Ashton • Ed Balls • Hilary Benn • Hazel Blears • Ben Bradshaw • Gordon Brown • Des Browne • Liam Byrne • Andy Burnham • Yvette Cooper • Alistair Darling • John Denham • Peter Hain • Harriet Harman • Geoff Hoon • John Hutton • Alan Johnson • Tessa Jowell • Ruth Kelly • Lord Mandelson • David Miliband • Ed Miliband • Jim Murphy • Paul Murphy • James Purnell • Baroness Royall • Jacqui Smith • Jack Straw • Shaun Woodward
Also Attended Meetings Attended While on Agenda Deputy Prime Ministers and First Secretaries of State of the United Kingdom Deputy Prime Minister First Secretary of State* Held offices simultaneously Barroso Commission I (2004–2009)Joaquín Almunia · Catherine Ashton6 · José Manuel Barroso1 · Jacques Barrot2 · Joe Borg · Karel De Gucht9 · Stavros Dimas · Benita Ferrero-Waldner · Ján Figeľ10 · Franco Frattini2, 5 · Mariann Fischer Boel · Dalia Grybauskaitė7 · Danuta Hübner8 · Siim Kallas2 · László Kovács · Neelie Kroes · Meglena Kuneva3 · Markos Kyprianou4 · Peter Mandelson6 · Charlie McCreevy · Louis Michel9 · Leonard Orban3 · Andris Piebalgs · Janez Potočnik · Viviane Reding · Olli Rehn · Paweł Samecki8 · Maroš Šefčovič10 · Algirdas Šemeta7 · Vladimír Špidla · Antonio Tajani2, 5 · Androulla Vassiliou4 · Günter Verheugen2 · Margot Wallström21 = President. 2 = Vice President. 3 = Served from 1 January 2007. 4 = Vassiliou replaced Kyprianou on 3 March 2008. 5 = Tajani replaced Frattini on 18 June 2008. 6 = Ashton replaced Mandelson on 3 October 2008. 7 = Šemeta replaced Grybauskaitė on 1 July 2009. 8 = Samecki replaced Hübner on 4 July 2009. 9 = De Gucht replaced Michel on 17 July 2009. 10 = Šefčovič replaced Figeľ on 1 October 2009. Secretaries of State for Northern Ireland 1972-1974Whitelaw · Pym 1974-1979Rees · Mason 1979-1997 1997-2010 2010-present European Commissioners from the United Kingdom European Commissioners for Trade
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