Monday, April 04, 2005

Peter Mandelson - oath breaker?

If this story is true, disgraced ex-minister and current European Trade Commissioner Peter Mandelson could be in a spot of bother again. Apparently Mandelson has been in Downing Street to discuss Labour's election tactics - which surely is in direct contravention of the oath he took on becoming a Commissioner to remain entirely independent from domestic politics?

It has already been pointed out that Mandelson's membership of the Privy Council and position as a Commissioner are technically incompatible, but becoming involved in party politics on a domestic level while a serving Commissioner must surely be cause for some kind of ticking off? Then again, Commission President Barroso seems to have got away with his not so subtle intervention in favour of his old party in the Portugese elections back in February, so maybe Mandy's going to get away scott free and all.

Still, Labour must be getting worried if they're willing to risk bringing Milburn, Campbell AND Mandelson back for this election. You'd think they'd realise that those three are among the most unpopular Labourites in the country, but still...

Update: Downing Street refused to comment on what Mandy's visit was for when asked at this morning's press briefing. Which would tend to suggest that he wasn't there to discuss EU trade.

Update 2: I've heard a very vague rumour which may explain all this. If true, there's nothing dodgy going on. But whether any confirmation will be forthcoming is another matter entirely...

5 Comments:

Blogger Anoneumouse said...

Commissioners may be active members of political parties or trade unions, provided that this does not compromise their availability for service in the Commission.

http://europa.eu.int/comm/codesofconduct/commissioners_en.htm

4/04/2005 04:26:00 pm  
Blogger Anoneumouse said...

However, it is debatable, that until a general election is called, having been contacted by Blair and not the Party, his involvement could be misconstrued as involvement in UK Government affairs.

4/04/2005 04:32:00 pm  
Blogger Nosemonkey said...

Anoneumouse - especially as it was a meeting at Downing Street. Which I find rather distasteful anyway - surely there's some regulation preventing Downing Street from being used for party political work? Like with the US President not being supposed to do any campaign work from the Oval Office? After all, it is a public building, paid for by the taxpayer, designed for government work. The Labour party has its own offices for campaigns.

Looks like it's time to investigate campaign law again...

4/04/2005 04:36:00 pm  
Anonymous robin said...

Another chance to see the corrupt EU system working
Another reason to pull out.

4/04/2005 08:02:00 pm  
Blogger Ken said...

Look at a piece by Philip Johnstone in yesterday's Telegraph for more information regarding the way in which Labour use the trappings of government for their own party gain.

4/05/2005 07:23:00 pm  

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