24 July 1998
Mandelson for Min of Ag?

IN-FIGHTING between ministers has broken out over what role Peter Mandelson should be given, just days before Tony Blairs first Cabinet reshuffle.

With just 72 hours before they are called to Downing St to learn their fate, senior ministers have made it clear to the Prime Minister that they do not want Mr Mandelson, his closest ally, to take over the Cabinet Office or the Department of Trade and Industry.

A number of ministers have supposedly suggested that, if the Minister without Portfolio must be moved from the Cabinet Office, he should be given Ann Taylors job as Leader of the House or the agriculture post.

Speculation is now rife that Dr Jack Cunningham, agriculture minister, might lose his post to make way for Mr Mandelson.

  • The Guardian, page 1, 24/07/98