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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Tony Blair won't endorse the Labour leader - Jeremy Corbyn's fans are celebrating

The thrice-elected Prime Minister is no fan of the new Labour leader. 

Labour heavyweights usually support each other - at least in public. But the former Prime Minister Tony Blair couldn't bring himself to do so when asked on Sky News.

He dodged the question of whether the current Labour leader was the best person to lead the country, instead urging voters not to give Theresa May a "blank cheque". 

If this seems shocking, it's worth remembering that Corbyn refused to say whether he would pick "Trotskyism or Blairism" during the Labour leadership campaign. Corbyn was after all behind the Stop the War Coalition, which opposed Blair's decision to join the invasion of Iraq. 

For some Corbyn supporters, it seems that there couldn't be a greater boon than the thrice-elected PM witholding his endorsement in a critical general election. 

Julia Rampen is the digital news editor of the New Statesman (previously editor of The Staggers, The New Statesman's online rolling politics blog). She has also been deputy editor at Mirror Money Online and has worked as a financial journalist for several trade magazines. 

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