Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Mandy and the Russian Billionaire

A new mystery involving Brown's new poodle Peter Mandelson. According to the Evening Standard.

Peter Mandelson faced new questions today over his relationship with Russian billionaire Oleg Deripaska. The newly-appointed Business Secretary is at the centre of a row over a potential conflict of interest, the Evening Standard can reveal, after two European companies sought his help following allegations that Deripaska's company cheated them over a $1 billion deal in Moscow.

Mandelson, then European Trade Commissioner, took up their case. To their surprise, the two companies then learned that Mandelson was enjoying lavish hospitality aboard the Queen K, the yacht owned by Deripaska, the man they blamed for defrauding them.

The revelation comes at an awkward time for Mandelson. The Business Secretary, now Lord Mandelson after his ennoblement yesterday, was parachuted into the Government by Gordon Brown at a time of grave crisis. Mandelson had already resigned from the Cabinet twice and this new disclosure yet again raises questions about his judgment. Why, it was asked, did he not declare a personal interest when his role as commissioner clashed with a friendship?

Mandelson dismissed suggestions that he had acted unwisely and, in a long statement to the Standard, defended his right to a private life. Yet the Russian connection raises nagging doubts at a time when the Government is fighting to stabilise the turmoil engulfing Britain's financial sector.

One day after he has been ennobled to be Gordon's new enforcer, he's already in the muck. Now there's a surprise for this man who has already had to resign twice.

H/T James A on Political Betting

Mandelson, the billionaire and a growing mystery | News

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