Mandelson bids to rebuild reputation

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The Independent Online
PETER MANDELSON began his political rehabilitation last night by announcing he was following the well-worn route of repentant pop stars, DJs and actors, and going into charity.

Just over three months after his spectacular fall from grace as secretary of state for trade and industry, Mr Mandelson is to join Voluntary Service Overseas to promote its links with businesses.

Labour's former spinmeister general, who is now simply MP for Hartlepool, said his new role for the VSO's Business Partnership scheme would entail helping developing countries by persuading companies to release staff to work abroad.

Rejecting accusations that he was "doing a Portillo" and attempting to soften his image as a practitioner of the dark arts of media manipulation, he told Channel 4 News: "If I can bring my skills and my experience to breathe life into and expand such an important scheme as this, then I think, cynics or not, people will say, well he's making good use of his time, of his skills, in a way that people might not otherwise have expected."