EDITORIAL: More spin over Mandy debacle

The inquiry into the Hinduja passport application and the role of

Peter Mandelson in it has broken fresh ground in spin and

counterspin.



But it would be unfair to identify coverage of the report simply as the

work of a terminal plotter.



Certainly, last Sunday's papers trumpeting Mandelson's innocence

probably owed much to Hammond granting everyone in his report a draft of

passages concerning them. But if Mandelson is working hard on his

reputation, former friends are working themselves into the ground.



Downing Street's handling of the report's release is telling. It was

delayed to avoid scuppering budget coverage. To mask this, it was

suggested in the media that Mandelson had himself delayed publication by

seeking another meeting with Hammond. As several of the next day's

papers clarified, this was untrue. Mandelson is now more spinned against

than spinning.



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