What Thatcher told Mandelson: "You cannot trust the Irish. They are all liars."

The Labour peer reveals the advice Thatcher gave him after he became Northern Ireland Secretary.

The ever mischievous Peter Mandelson couldn't resist recalling Margaret Thatcher's advice to him after he became Northern Ireland Secretary when he appeared on the Today programme this morning. Thatcher told him:

You cannot trust the Irish. They are all liars. Just do not forget it.

As I reported last night, Mandelson, who once declared, "we are all Thatcherites now" (words which have got David Cameron into trouble today), has also criticised Thatcher's "quasi-state funeral". At Policy Exchange's event on her legacy with Michael Gove and Charles Moore, he said he would have "recommended against it" and that "Mrs T was not Churchill". 

Margaret Thatcher at the 1985 Conservative Party conference in Blackpool. Photograph: Getty Images.

George Eaton is political editor of the New Statesman.

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