Diary: Mandelson’s pedigree proves he’s far from cavalier about the top job

Peter Mandelson may have spun his way to becoming Tony Blair’s right-hand man but, I hear, he wasn’t always quite so persuasive.

Peter Mandelson may have spun his way to becoming Tony

Blair’s right-hand man but, I hear, he wasn’t always quite so

persuasive.



Indeed, Deborah Saw, Fleishman-Hillard director and an old Hendon

County Grammar School chum of Mandy’s, tells me one particular PR

slip-up actually changed the course of history.



Saw and Mandelson, it seems, were chosen by their A level history

teacher to act as prosecutors in a re-enactment of the trial of

the doomed Charles I.



Dressed in periwigs and black gown - ’looking like Dr Bob in the

Muppets’,Saw recalls - the two vigorously espoused the Roundhead

cause. Unmoved by their fledgling PR skills, let alone more than

300 years of history, the king was acquitted.



’We were both so competitive,’ remembers Saw, ’that we were

absolutely outraged to have lost.’



Despite this temporary set-back, Saw tells me there was early

evidence of the future Hartlepool West MP’s political

designs.



Following his appearance in a boy scout ’gang show’, the

11-year-old Mandelson was interviewed in the Hendon and Finchley

Times. In tried and tested local paper tradition, the reporter

asked young Peter for his ambition.



It was, Tony Blair take note, to become Prime Minister.



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