Tim Shipman and Sam Greenhill
UK Daily Mail
Saturday, August 8, 2009
Whether mixing with the super-yacht set, or strolling poolside in Corfu, this was Lord Mandelson running Britain yesterday.
The Business Secretary took over the reins of power from Harriet Harman – but refused to cut short his holiday with the rich and famous on the Greek island.
He chose to oversee Whitehall business from 1,300 miles away, armed with little more than an official BlackBerry, his own mobile phone and a pair of swimming goggles.
Lord Mandelson is a guest of financier Nat Rothschild at his 30-acre estate on the north-east tip of Corfu. It is a repeat of his notorious visit 12 months ago, before his controversial return to the Cabinet.
Also there was Shadow Chancellor George Osborne, and the two men met controversial Russian businessman Oleg Deripaska. Mr Osborne later claimed that Lord Mandelson, then plain Mr and an EU Commissioner, had ‘poured pure poison’ into his ear about Gordon Brown.
But, within days, Labour’s original spinner had turned the tables with the help of Mr Rothschild, who revealed that Mr Osborne had tried to solicit a donation to the Tory Party from foreign-born Mr Deripaska, which would be banned under British election law.
This article was posted: Saturday, August 8, 2009 at 5:39 am