Letter: Mandelson cracks a bottle with Kinnock

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The Independent Online
Sir: Peter Popham recounts ("Mandelson's people", 25 September) that Neil Kinnock opposed my "scheming" to get a parliamentary seat and that this was revealed in a row between us in February 1990 at the party headquarters which was overheard by staff.

For the record, this story is complete fiction. I had already been selected in Hartlepool two months before the date of the alleged row. I had one substantial conversation with Mr Kinnock in early 1989 in his room in the House of Commons to tell him of my desire to stand in Hartlepool. He was charming. He said he feared I did not stand an earthly chance of being selected but either way he would open a bottle of champagne: to celebrate my victory if I won or to celebrate the fact that I was staying with him if I lost. Throughout, he could not have been more considerate towards me.

PETER MANDELSON MP

(Hartlepool, Lab)

House of Commons

London SW1

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