Peter Mandelson

(b. 1953)

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(b. London, 21 Oct. 1953)

British; Secretary of State for Northern Ireland 1999–2001, Secretary of State for Business 2008– ; Baron (life peer) 2008 Mandelson, the grandson of Herbert Morrison, was involved in Labour politics from an early age and, following grammar school and a politics, philosophy, and economics degree at St Catherine's College, Oxford, he worked as an economist for the TUC. Elected a councillor for the London borough of Lambeth in 1979, he became disillusioned with the state of left-wing politics and resigned in 1982. Mandelson worked as a current affairs television producer for London Weekend Television from 1982 until 1985, when he was appointed as the Labour Party's Director of Campaigns and Communications by Neil Kinnock. Mandelson ensured a high media profile for the young MPs Tony Blair and Gordon Brown and for Kinnock's modernization strategy, overseeing the rebranding of the Labour Party as ‘New Labour’. Mandelson managed Labour's unsuccessful 1987 campaign and entered parliament as MP for Hartlepool in 1992. He supported Blair in the leadership campaign following the death of John Smith in 1994. Mandelson directed Labour's 1997 General Election campaign, when the party won a resounding victory. After a spell as Minister without Portfolio, when he was responsible for the Millennium Dome, Blair appointed Mandelson to the cabinet as Secretary of State for Trade and Industry in 1998. He was obliged to resign six months later amid controversy over a private home loan, but he rejoined the cabinet in October 1999 as Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, overseeing the formation of the devolved legislative assembly. In January 2001 he again faced controversy, this time over alleged impropriety in the use of influence in granting passports to two wealthy Indian businessmen, and he felt obliged to resign from the cabinet. Although later exonerated, it seemed unlikely he would have another chance of office. He was re-elected MP for Hartlepool in 2001, but resigned his seat in 2004, having been appointed Britain's EU Commissioner, holding the trade portfolio. Mandelson was unexpectedly recalled from this position to serve as Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise, and Regulatory Reform in Gordon Brown's cabinet in 2008. As he was no longer an MP, he was appointed to the House of Lords.

Subjects: Politics.

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