Mandelson hid mortgages from lender

PETER MANDELSON took out four home loans worth almost pounds 600,000 and failed to tell his mortgage lender about three of them, a Commons committee revealed yesterday.

The Committee on Standards and Privileges said Mr Mandelson should face no further punishment. But it accepted a ruling that he broke the ministerial code when he failed to register a pounds 373,000 loan from Geoffrey Robinson. The MPs said he "ought to have given full and accurate information" to the Britannia building society but accepted he did not act dishonestly.

When he borrowed pounds 150,000 from the Britannia to buy a pounds 465,000 house in Notting Hill, west London, Mr Mandelson failed to reveal details of a pounds 40,000 mortgage on a flat in Clerkenwell, a pounds 35,000 mortgage on a house in Hartlepool and the loan from Mr Robinson. At the time, Mr Mandelson was a backbench MP earning pounds 43,000, plus a pounds 10,000 annual housing allowance.

Details of the events that led the former minister to borrow from his Labour colleague emerged in a critical report from the Committee on Standards and Privileges. Mr Mandelson told the committee he discussed the loan with Mr Robinson in the spring of 1996 and went house hunting with him during the summer, but still hoped his mother would provide the money he needed to buy the house. It was only when he told her, after he had applied for a mortgage, that he needed pounds 373,000 that she became reluctant and he agreed the loan with Mr Robinson.

He also revealed that he had spent between pounds 40,000 and pounds 50,000 on renovations to the house, which he recently sold for more than pounds 750,000.

Mr Mandelson said in an oral hearing before the committee on 18 May that he did not think of his building society application after he resigned. He told the committee: "It did not matter, did it? I was incinerated. I received a lot of comfort from people at the time who were my cushion and support.

"The technical reason why I resigned was because, in terms of the Ministerial Code, I had allowed the appearance of a conflict of interest to be created."

In her report, the commissioner, Elizabeth Filkin, emphasised rules requiring MPs to be honest and open. She said the mortgage form Mr Mandelson filled in was "incomplete" and "incorrect".

However, some sources suggested Mr Mandelson also misled the committee. He told them he first agreed the Robinson loan in mid-October when in fact Mr Robinson paid a deposit of pounds 23,000 in early October.

In March, Mr Mandelson pointed in his defence to a press release from the Britannia dated 8 January, which concluded that his mortgage application was accurate. In fact, the building society had subsequently learnt the information was inaccurate and had commissioned an independent firm to investigate whether the files should be handed to the police or the Law Society's fraud officer. The new inquiry for the Britannia concluded that Mr Mandelson did not deliberately mislead it, but added that his solicitor, Stephen Wegg- Prosser, handled the matter "sloppily".

The committee met 10 times before agreeing its report. Although it did not fully endorse Ms Filkin's findings, one source said this was because she had not seen the building society's independent inquiry when she wrote her report.

The Tory MP John Redwood described the report as "devastating. Mr Mandelson has now been proved utterly unsuitable to return to the Government or to play any part in Labour's campaigns," he said.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
News
election 2015The 10 best quotes of the campaign
News
A caravan being used as a polling station in Ford near Salisbury, during the 2010 election
election 2015The Independent's guide to get you through polling day
News
people
Voices
David Blunkett joins the Labour candidate for Redcar Anna Turley on a campaigning visit last month
voicesWhat I learnt from my years in government, by the former Home Secretary David Blunkett
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA celebration of British elections
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager (B2B) - Romford - £40,000 + car

£35000 - £40000 per annum + car and benefits: Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager...

Ashdown Group: Helpdesk Analyst - Devon - £20,000

£18000 - £20000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Helpdesk Analyst - Devon - £20,000 ...

Ashdown Group: Data Scientist - London - £50,000 + bonus

£35000 - £50000 per annum + generous bonus: Ashdown Group: Business Analytics ...

Ashdown Group: IT Project Coordinator (Software Development) - Kingston

£45000 - £50000 per annum: Ashdown Group: IT Project Coordinator (Software Dev...

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: ‘We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon’, says Ed Balls

'We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon'

In an exclusive interview, Ed Balls says he won't negotiate his first Budget with SNP MPs - even if Labour need their votes to secure its passage
VE Day 70th anniversary: How ordinary Britons celebrated the end of war in Europe

How ordinary Britons celebrated VE Day

Our perception of VE Day usually involves crowds of giddy Britons casting off the shackles of war with gay abandon. The truth was more nuanced
They came in with William Caxton's printing press, but typefaces still matter in the digital age

Typefaces still matter in the digital age

A new typeface once took years to create, now thousands are available at the click of a drop-down menu. So why do most of us still rely on the old classics, asks Meg Carter?
Discovery of 'missing link' between the two main life-forms on Earth could explain evolution of animals, say scientists

'Missing link' between Earth's two life-forms found

New microbial species tells us something about our dark past, say scientists
The Pan Am Experience is a 'flight' back to the 1970s that never takes off - at least, not literally

Pan Am Experience: A 'flight' back to the 70s

Tim Walker checks in and checks out a four-hour journey with a difference
Humans aren't alone in indulging in politics - it's everywhere in the animal world

Humans aren't alone in indulging in politics

Voting, mutual back-scratching, coups and charismatic leaders - it's everywhere in the animal world
Crisp sales are in decline - but this tasty trivia might tempt back the turncoats

Crisp sales are in decline

As a nation we're filling up on popcorn and pitta chips and forsaking their potato-based predecessors
Ronald McDonald the muse? Why Banksy, Ron English and Keith Coventry are lovin' Maccy D's

Ronald McDonald the muse

A new wave of artists is taking inspiration from the fast food chain
13 best picnic blankets

13 best picnic blankets

Dine al fresco without the grass stains and damp bottoms with something from our pick of picnic rugs
Barcelona 3 Bayern Munich 0 player ratings: Lionel Messi scores twice - but does he score highest in our ratings?

Barcelona vs Bayern Munich player ratings

Lionel Messi scores twice - but does he score highest in our ratings?
Martin Guptill: Explosive New Zealand batsman who sets the range for Kiwis' big guns

Explosive batsman who sets the range for Kiwis' big guns

Martin Guptill has smashed early runs for Derbyshire and tells Richard Edwards to expect more from the 'freakish' Brendon McCullum and his buoyant team during their tour of England
General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

On the margins

From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

Why patients must rely less on doctors

Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'