Support 110 years of independent journalism.

22 December 2009

Mandelson, Brown and that EU foreign job . . .

. . . an update

By James Macintyre

A bit more detail relating to my post yesterday about how Gordon Brown reluctantly agreed to back Peter Mandelson if he decided he definitely wanted the EU foreign affairs job, which has been picked up by the Spectator, Iain Dale and Paul Waugh.

After this extraordinary concession, which demonstrates the extent of their rapprochement, Brown headed to the crunch meeting of the European socialist group at the end of October (the one at which Tony Blair’s hopes of becoming EU president were apparently dashed).

There, according to sources, Brown presented a menu with three different British candidates. Mandelson was one, but so was Cathy Ashton, who eventually got the job. It is not clear whether David Miliband was the third. Anyway, the consensus at the meeting was for a woman, and Ashton was chosen.

That Mandelson was on the list shows that Brown was true to his word that he would “back” Mandelson. On the other hand, that other candidates were, too, could be seen as not unqualified support, which is perhaps understandable.

Select and enter your email address Your weekly guide to the best writing on ideas, politics, books and culture every Saturday. The best way to sign up for The Saturday Read is via The New Statesman's quick and essential guide to the news and politics of the day. The best way to sign up for Morning Call is via
  • Administration / Office
  • Arts and Culture
  • Board Member
  • Business / Corporate Services
  • Client / Customer Services
  • Communications
  • Construction, Works, Engineering
  • Education, Curriculum and Teaching
  • Environment, Conservation and NRM
  • Facility / Grounds Management and Maintenance
  • Finance Management
  • Health - Medical and Nursing Management
  • HR, Training and Organisational Development
  • Information and Communications Technology
  • Information Services, Statistics, Records, Archives
  • Infrastructure Management - Transport, Utilities
  • Legal Officers and Practitioners
  • Librarians and Library Management
  • Management
  • Marketing
  • OH&S, Risk Management
  • Operations Management
  • Planning, Policy, Strategy
  • Printing, Design, Publishing, Web
  • Projects, Programs and Advisors
  • Property, Assets and Fleet Management
  • Public Relations and Media
  • Purchasing and Procurement
  • Quality Management
  • Science and Technical Research and Development
  • Security and Law Enforcement
  • Service Delivery
  • Sport and Recreation
  • Travel, Accommodation, Tourism
  • Wellbeing, Community / Social Services
Visit our privacy Policy for more information about our services, how Progressive Media Investments may use, process and share your personal data, including information on your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications.

Footnote: The meeting of European socialists was the same as the one at which, as I previously reported, Brown joked to aides that perhaps he should just push for a “centre-right” candidate instead: “Tony Blair”.

Content from our partners
What you need to know about private markets
Work isn't working: how to boost the nation's health and happiness
The dementia crisis: a call for action