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Wednesday, 31 January, 2001, 11:50 GMT
Mandelson: Was he right to go?

The Northern Ireland Secretary, Peter Mandelson, has resigned, after days of controversy over whether or not he helped an Indian billionaire secure a British passport.

Peter Mandelson had denied lobbying on behalf of Srichand Hinduja, whose citizenship application was granted shortly after he pledged to donate £1 million to the Millennium Dome project.

But Mr Mandelson faced accusations that he had not been open about his exact role in the passport controversy.

Was he right to go? Did he do anything wrong? What effect is it likely to have on the Labour government?

HAVE YOUR SAY How can a man be so intelligent and yet so obviously stupid. Tony was spot on when he said, "Peter needs his own Peter".
Katherine Duley, UK


If you want honest government you need a society that will allow one to exist

LM, USA
A politician lying, fancy that. In a country where honest politicians are labelled "loony left" and other such puerile trash by the depraved "free press", then the only kind of politician you're going to get is a dishonest one. If you want honest government you need a society that will allow one to exist. Keep buying tabloid newspapers and you'll get a tabloid society. You get what you deserve.
LM, USA

Yes he was right to go. The whole affair stinks of sleaze with this Government giving whomever gives it money whatever they want. If they were denied passports originally why suddenly grant them in record time.
Ann Mulligan, UK


The affair is about probity in government

Brian Cloughley, UK
Mr Mandelson was right to resign. The affair is about probity in government, nothing else. He was found wanting and took the only course open to him, even if he was pushed, rather than taking a voluntary jump. If Mr Vaz was also involved in furthering the interests of people applying for British citizenship, and if he received benefit from his efforts, in any way, then he too must stand down, before the Prime Minister is forced to take action as a result of the inquiry. This grubby saga is destroying the faith of ordinary people in the honesty of government ministers.
Brian Cloughley, UK


I wonder if we would be getting this upset if it was a couple of rich Texan oil tycoons

Paul Robinson, France
This affair only seems to highlight just what an aggresive society we have created. Just put one toe close to the line and, somebody will instantly slice it off. But is this really a healthy way to live? Some of our current heroes are olympic champions. But just how many of them, just for example, slipped into a boat and rowed to gold for the good of the country? Very few I would have thought. They did it for themselves. I don't have a problem with this, I just want to make people's motivation clear. Now at the same time, we have a minister, who did something to bail out a multi party doomed dome. The motivation here, is at the least, on part with the olympic ahtlete, and quite possible much more. By the way, I wonder if we would be getting this upset if it was a couple of rich Texan oil tycoons. Best regards
Paul Robinson, France

Given the political closeness between Blair & Mandelson and their joint involvement with the Dome why is no-one asking the question - what does Blair know about the Dome sponsorship, the passport issue & when did he find out ? It is inconcievable to me that he knew nothing before last week. I have no brief for Mandleson but I have a sneaking suspicion that he was deliberately sacrificed to save the leader
Alan Ritchie, UK

The issue (which most contributors appear to miss) is not passport applications, donor money or Mandelson's abilities, but did he mislead or lie concerning the telephone call? If the Parliament cannot trust a minister then he has to go, otherwise UK democracy could not function.
Andrew Ryland, UK

Mandelson should not have resigned. He is portrayed as a Labour party hero. He should have been tougher and waited to be sacked. He simply had nothing to lose. Resigning shows weakness. Heroes should go out with more of a heroic bang!
Jules, U.K

No Mandelson should not have resigned. The facts should have been properly established before he was forced to consider his position. The Government/Labour Party is clearly desperate to control events between now and the General Election, and we can expect more of this sort of thing.
Lizzie Gray, UK

There is no doubt that he should have resigned. There is more than lack of political judgement in bringing him back into the fold after his last sojourn in the wilderness.
John Campbell, UK


Go back to what are the real issues concerning the governing of this country

Leon Winnert, UK
Okay so this is the second time he has gone in just over two years; and for what? Being caught. Being caught at what? Not telling the truth. Which is something all politicians seem to do. So perhaps he was just not that good at one of the basic qualities for the job. However Tories take note - a couple of low-level acts by a Labour politician does not give you the right to start slinging mud. We the electorate still remember the odious stench of your corrupt ways, and there is no evidence to tell us that you have changed, and are now fit to govern. Best we all forget about this sad affair as quickly as possible and go back to what are the real issues concerning the governing of this country.
Leon Winnert, UK

I do not think that Peter Mandelson should have resigned over this scandal. It is no secret that Mr. Mandelson is unpopular within his own party, but I think that Labour have run out a good minister and the lack of Mr. Mandelson's influence will be evident in the next election.
Dionne Moore, England

The Hinduja brothers are multi-millionaires. They provide and create jobs in Britain (not to mention give a way millions in charity to British institutions). This is a "Win Win" situation for Britain & the Hindujas. If the Hindujas take their fortune and leave Britain, the country would be a net looser without a doubt. For goodness sake - recognise a good thing when you see it!
Vinay, USA

No Mandelson should not have resigned. The facts should have been properly established before he was forced to consider his position. The Government/Labour Party is clearly desperate to control events between now and the General Election, and we can expect more of this sort of thing.
Lizzie Gray, UK

There is no doubt that he should have resigned. There is more than lack of political judgement in bringing him back into the fold after his last sojourn in the wilderness.
John Campbell, UK


Go back to what are the real issues concerning the governing of this country

Leon Winnert, UK
Okay so this is the second time he has gone in just over two years; and for what? Being caught. Being caught at what? Not telling the truth. Which is something all politicians seem to do. So perhaps he was just not that good at one of the basic qualities for the job. However Tories take note - a couple of low-level acts by a Labour politician does not give you the right to start slinging mud. We the electorate still remember the odious stench of your corrupt ways, and there is no evidence to tell us that you have changed, and are now fit to govern. Best we all forget about this sad affair as quickly as possible and go back to what are the real issues concerning the governing of this country.
Leon Winnert, UK

I do not think that Peter Mandelson should have resigned over this scandal. It is no secret that Mr. Mandelson is unpopular within his own party, but I think that Labour have run out a good minister and the lack of Mr. Mandelson's influence will be evident in the next election.
Dionne Moore, England

No, I don't think he should have resigned for what he did, but he was pushed out for the sake of his party in the run-up to the election. I believe there is more to be revealed about him, so by keeping out of the way, he will, at best, do minimal damage to Tony Blair and his party
Antony De Meo, UK


I don't think he will make a comeback - but - never say never

Roger Horne, UK
Perhaps he did mislead, maybe through just forgetting rather than lying - can you remember who you phoned two years ago? But I am sad to see a talented minister go through the voracious and vicious implications and innuendoes from the press. It's a difficult job to be in government. I don't think he will make a comeback - but - never say never.
Roger Horne, UK

No, if we're talking about the passport "scandal". This comes across as a simple mistake on Mandelson's part, and seems more like a non-issue in any event. Yes, if you review his resignation speech. This man was fed up. Perhaps, if you look at Northern Ireland. Too many of the principal players felt he had steered the peace process onto a sandbar.
S. Falkenberg, USA


Mandelson has again used his position of power to forward his own position, status and interests

P Markham, Czech Republic
Again Mandelson has shown his love of the high life and his contempt for the electorate. Whether he did help in getting the passport application through is irrelevant, what is important is that he thinks he can explain it away as just a mere phone enquiry on how the application was going through. Does he really think this is the same as one of the public phoning the Home Office? No Mandelson has again used his position of power to forward his own position, status and interests.
P Markham, Czech Republic

Aren't we all being a little precious here? If I have £100,000 to invest in Australia, I can get citizenship within the year. If I donate one million pounds to the Tories/Labour I can get a seat in the House of Lords. A couple of grand and I can buy another human being! The bloke's real crime was that he forgot the saying "be nice to people on the way up because you're likely to meet them again on the way down".
Craig Harry, England


This country gets more hypocritical by the second

Elaine Smith, UK
No, he should not have resigned. I do not recall Margaret Thatcher even hinting at resignation when the Zola Budd passport was arranged. This country gets more hypocritical by the second.
Elaine Smith, UK

I would just like to say that this is yet another part of what I would call jigsaw-puzzle politics. This man has been broken by the media, who are we to know what really went on behind the scenes! Strange that Mandelson has practically been booted out for the second time, the whole affair is pathetic!
I. Tarnowska, England


He is one of those people you love and hate

Darren E Cooper, UK
He is one of those people you love and hate. Hate him because he seems so aloof but love him as he is the model of an efficient politician. It was the worst possible thing that could have happened to Tony Blair this side of the general election. With Mandelson now gone, Blair has lost a significant amount of balance in his government; Brown will feel all the more powerful now and Blair will no longer rely on Mandelson to counter Brown's personal vision. More importantly, the country will obviously face a monumental decision in the future over further integration in Europe. Mandelson would surely have been relied on by Blair to spearhead a campaign in favour of the single currency at some point. But, putting all this aside, yes, he had to go. He has paid the price for courting the rich and powerful once too often and he has misled his colleagues in government on two occasions. Blair will win the election (a donkey would next to the Tory party), but his government will probably lose the argument over Europe, and elsewhere, in its second term.
Darren E Cooper, UK

Mr. Mandelson was the constant target of vicious sectors of the media, and the target of a Tory smear campaign and witch hunt, to the point where not even his private life was his anymore. Criminals have more rights than this man who wasn't even given the basic right to have some privacy in his personal life. He was betrayed by those he helped rise to the top over a ridiculously unimportant affair that could easily have been verified before everyone engaged in hysteria and lynch mob behaviour. He didn't have much choice but to go. It was not the right thing to do, but it may have been the only thing left for him to do under the circumstances. The right thing to do was for Tony Blair and Alistair Campbell to grow spines and not succumb to political pressure, and for Mr. Campbell to make sure he knows what the facts are before opening his mouth in front of the press corps. May Mr. Mandelson rise from the ashes once again.
Peter Hartley, UK

I was very disturbed by the news of Mandelson's resignation. I didn't know much of the background, and what I heard on news headlines made no sense to me. Apparently Peter Mandelson responded to a call from the Hinduja brothers about their application for UK passports by making a brief enquiry to a home office minister. When the media started trying to make a big issue of this, there was a bit of confusion about exactly who said what. Also, the brothers had donated money to a good cause - the "Faith Zone" - in the Millennium Dome. Is there any more to it than that? I listened to William Hague's speech and some of the newspaper headlines. No more explanations. Yet the tone of what they said would have been more suited to a scenario of endemic corruption, where huge amounts of money were regularly going into the personal pockets of politicians to thwart the law of the country. The next thing I heard was that, right in the middle of important talks in the Northern Ireland peace process, a whole range of important ministers were being reshuffled. This is truly scandalous. I did wonder if I was missing something important, so I searched for more explanation. I learned that Peter Mandelson played a key part in publicising apparent wrong-doing in the Conservative Party, and that he is gay. Is it all about revenge and homophobia?
Libby Nonweiler, UK

It's amazing to me that socialists can forgive their corrupt and dishonest politicians merely because the perpetrators are considered to be "intelligent". We have had that problem with Clinton I see the same pathetic excuses made for Mandelson. Double standards seem to be par for the course with the Left (Orwell figured that out years ago in "Animal Farm").
Rich Vose, California, USA


It's right corrupt politicians should go, they should go forever and not be allowed in parliament again

Bob Newcombe, UK
Sleaze/corruptness, what's the big deal. It has been and will always be a part of politics whether it's cashbacks, cronyism, the unwillingness to admit mistakes, distortion of the truth and facts, and the denial of basic human rights to a many UK citizens. These politicians know the score, politics is just a job and in the normal world of living, try these tricks and you're sacked. It's right corrupt politicians should go, they should go forever and not be allowed in parliament again. We need more Martin Bells.
Bob Newcombe, UK


I hope he will be back one day

Peter, England
Why have so many people got a problem with Peter? He brought a certain style to politics that, for once, actually made it exciting. I hope he will be back one day, because New Labour was his dream, his concept and his passion. The Government has lost a genius and they'll soon find out about it.
Peter, England

Keith Vaz and Peter Mandelson said that they have done nothing wrong and that such practises were common practice. Now that is the underlying problem that corruption has become so common that people don't think there is anything wrong with it anymore. Why did the Hindujas phone Mr. Mandelson in the first place?If they wanted to know about their passport application they should have phoned the person dealing with it at the passport office (like anyone else has to) and not government ministers they know from private dinners.
Tom Poltar, UK


Mandelson should never have even dreamed of making any representations in this affair

Duncan Williamson, England
Mandelson should never have even dreamed of making any representations in this affair. No one should seek to gain any advantage, however slight, in such a matter as this. How would the little guy from India ever get Mandelson to do this for him? Never. That's partly what makes it so unfair. If Mr Vaz has done anything like this, he knows that he's done it and he should resign now. Hague behaved exceptionally badly in the Commons at PMQT this week; but he is right to follow this story with vigour.
Duncan Williamson, England

It is good that Mandy resigned because the Tories would have used this to attack the Government. I am a fan of Mandy because of his intelligence and I think even though he has left, he will still remain a secret weapon behind the scenes. All I can truly say is that he is just unlucky. What is all the fuss about? I hope he comes back soon but in the meantime, good luck Mandy
Joy, UK

I think it's the "only" choice Blair could have forced. He promised a no sleaze approach and that is what the majority of people wanted from the start of the Labour term
Emilio Carmine, England

It's a good thing he's gone, given that he wasn't particularly effective at dealing with Sinn Fein/ IRA, but it's a pity he's left in these circumstances. This obsession with scoring political points through petty, so-called scandals is a disgrace, and in my view serves only to undermine democracy.
Tom, USA


Mandelson had character, love him or loathe him

Niamh Chiswick, England
I am a Labour Party member and no fan of Mandelson. However the success of the eurosceptic press in ousting a conviction politician and a euro enthusiast by almost yellow journalism is unedifying. Mandelson had character, love him or loathe, him unlike half the Blairist faceless backbench MPs.
Niamh Chiswick, England

I must admit I'm no Mandy fan but compared to what half the previous Govenment's dodgy dealings were, I thought his "misdemeanour" somewhat insignificant and I do not think he should have resigned. If the media knew about every MP's "extra curricular" activities, I think Parliament would be left with only the tea lady and Mo Mowlam to run it.
Steven Spurden, England

Good riddance to him. His intelligence has long been overplayed - he's a political lightweight (remember a Mandy speech anyone?) and a heavyweight smear-master. How ironic and pleasing that his downfall should come from his own media-spun sword once again. Goodbye. Please spare us any more repeats.
Rich, UK

In any type of misadventure it is always the judgement of the man at the helm that is questioned first. The same should apply in this instance. Give the only life jacket to Gordon Brown and let Tony Blair should go down with his own ship.
Andrew Berry, Surrey, UK


I think he did the right thing

Jon Levell, UK
I think he did the right thing. Senior politicians need to be seen to not to lie and the scandal would taint the whole Government if he stayed. I worry what effect the loss of an outspoken pro-euro MP will have on the single currency debate though.
Jon Levell, UK

Yes. But I look forward to his curtain call. Isn't it just this kind of thing that makes politics fun?
Rob King, UK

It seems suspicious that he felt the need to resign so quickly if he wasn't 'pulling strings' for Mr Hunduja. You can't help but wonder that there must have been more to this story than just an innocent enquiry.
Laurie Anderson, UK

The whole Labour Government should resign on grounds of incompetence!!
Mark, UK


He's one of the most cultured and intelligent people in the Labour party

Pierre Werner, UK
I think it's a shame Mandelson had to resign. He's one of the most cultured and intelligent people in the Labour party. The reason he always seems to get in trouble is that there are plenty of people in his party who, for some reason, seriously dislike him and are constantly trying to trip him up... successfully this time.
Pierre Werner, UK

I notice that the Year of the Snake has just begun. And therefore, I suspect, he will be back in less than twenty minutes. Perhaps the PM will announce his return during PMQs today... I wonder what the voters in Hartlepool will make of all this at the next election.
Neil, Rome

I think it is very sad that such an able man should be brought down again by what is after all a very trivial issue. If his political career goes no further (which I hope is not the case), I am sure that he will be remembered for his role in saving the Northern Ireland Assembly more than for making a phone call for a friend.
Peter Underwood, England


When will Britain's media grow up?

Mark, South Africa
Peter Mandelson strikes me as the UK's most intelligent and articulate politician. This passport matter is relatively minor and indeed, unsubstantiated. When will Britain's media grow up? You've lost an able and efficient minister over nothing!
Mark, South Africa

I would surmise that Blair asked "Mandy" to tender his resignation with the promise that once the dust had settled after the General Election, he would bring him back into the Government, for a third time, as Foreign Secretary. Blair, for some strange reason, cannot function without "Mandy" by his side. This Government is so arrogant that it thinks itself above the voters of the country. The election in May will give them a short sharp shock but alas not enough to make them come to their senses.
Mary, England

Now Mandy has relinquished the interminable problems of Northern Ireland he can concentrate all his efforts behind the scenes on the New Labour election strategy - or was this the plan any way ?
Ian, UK

Who cares? Just give us Mo back.
Andy Marshall, Northern Ireland


When are the rest resigning?

Ed, UK
I, for one, couldn't care less if I tried. What a dull man. Politicians are little weasels who pander to every pathetic whim in order to cling to power. If they had their way we'd all live in a semi in Milton Keynes and recite EU safety regulations to our families before eating our genetically modified dinners. Remember Mr Brittas? That's politicians I reckon. Dull, dull, dull. Good riddance to him. When are the rest resigning?
Ed, UK

I live in Hartlepool and I think he should have been fired!
Charles Maggs, Hartlepool, UK

The Hinduja brothers have been under a cloud in India for a long time; to be so closely associated with them is rather brave of Mr Mandelson.
Mohansingh, India

I really fear for David Trimble and the peace process in Northern Ireland now. To those who would call for his resignation as a matter of principle: is it really worth risking peace in Northern Ireland for political capital? What is this "principle", if a passport application is deemed to be more important than human lives?
Andrew McCormick, England, UK


I actually had the pleasure of meeting the guy on a few occasions

JT, UK
I actually had the pleasure of meeting the guy on a few occasions. I always found him extremely dedicated and honest (contrary to his media image). He's a nice bloke and it's obvious some "colleague" in the Cabinet had it in for him.
JT, UK

Good riddance to him. He did absolutely nothing for the peace process in Northern Ireland.
Geoffery Davidson, Northern Ireland

The only reason he resigned is because he would have been sacked otherwise. And the only reason for that, is the upcoming general election.
Owen Southwood, England

Mandelson has quite correctly resigned quickly and, as usual, has no-one to blame but himself. However, for James UK to make the comments he does is typical anti-Labour distortion. After all, when did any Tory ever resign that quickly?
Martin Pursuit, UK


This whole affair raises serious questions on Tony Blair's judgement

Brian Flatt, UK
This whole affair raises serious questions on Tony Blair's judgement. Why on earth did he re-appoint Mandleson to the cabinet after his first resignation?
Brian Flatt, UK

Perhaps this is evidence that Tony Blair should accept George W. Bush's invitation to Washington in order to learn about how to run a government with integrity?
Andrew Hawkins, UK

Peter Mandelson seems to perform whichever role he is given extremely well, and behaves with more dignity than many other MP's - and certainly more than most journalists. I will be extremely sorry to see him go and am alarmed by the return to witchhunt journalism, based on rumour and prejudice. This ultimately pulls us all down to gutter level.
Paul Steven, Edinburgh, Scotland

I'm surprised Mandelson was allowed back after his first debacle.
Nigel Hyde, Botswana


Northern Ireland does not need this kind of instability

Dan, Northern Ireland
The media had it in for him. Northern Ireland does not need this kind of instability and maybe Fleet Street should have thought of that. We all know politicians are liars but a little white lie is not worth jeopardising the peace process. But, the English media has never really had any concern for Northern Ireland or indeed anywhere outside of London.
Dan, Northern Ireland

Not at all. The facts of the matter show that there was no wrongdoing, but as usual the power of the press ruled the day. I applaud Mr Mandelson for making this decision when he did thus sparing the Labour Party from the sniping and backbiting of Tory hypocrites and their allies in the media during the run-up to a General Election. His dignified withdrawal to preserve party reputation is in stark contrast to the squalid behaviour of the legions of real villains in the Conservative ranks.
Matthew Salter, London, UK

I really did not think what he had done was such a big deal. I do feel however that no third chance should be given. Tony Blair must now pull away from assisting him further. If I was Mo Mowlam I would have a huge smile on my face right now
Helen Panton, UK

With a General Election on the horizon one must assume Blair said, "Mandy, you are the weakest link. Goodbye".
Dr A. Thule, England

Whilst I am glad to see the end of Mr Mandleson's political career (for the time being), I cannot help but wonder if he is being made a scapegoat for Labour's problems. After all, isn't it a coincidence that his (forced?) resignation comes less than six months before a General Election?
Alex, Glasgow, Scotland

Just goes to prove that politicians of all parties are a breed together.
Kevin Phillips, UK

I think this is most unfortunate - if it had been any other Minister there would never have been so much of a fuss made. How is anyone supposed to fully remember every detail of a phone call they made years ago?
Nicola Crossley, UK


Do we need a group of Martin Bell's to get rid of this sort of cronyism?

Jamie McClure, UK
Considering Mr Mandelson's stance on morality and truth, I do not think he is capable of performing a role in government. I do not think he should be let in the back door as he was after his first resignation. Do we need a group of Martin Bell's to get rid of this sort of cronyism?
Jamie McClure, UK

Yes he was right to go, but no doubt he'll be back. I think they had to act quickly on this one due to the forthcoming election. I wonder if he'd have gone so quickly if there wasn't an election round the corner. I think it's generally known as "damage limitation" or am I being a bit cynical here?
Tina, UK

What we have read in the papers today and what happened at Number 10 this morning are undoubtedly two different things. What we do know is that, far from having a hold over Blair, this is yet another example of the Daily Mails and the Daily Telegraphs of this world interfering with governmental decisions. What worries me is what will happen in Northern Ireland now. The last thing the people there need is instability caused by a ministerial resignation. I hope the right-wing elements of the press are proud of themselves for what they have done.
Matthew, UK

How sad that such a talented man should be forced out again by his own foolishness. Perhaps Mr Mandelson's greatest weakness was his desire for high office and to really make his mark on history as a minister. In fact he was surely one of the best 'behind the scenes' politicians Britain has ever seen. His ministerial career should now surely be over, as even St Tony can't raise Lazarus a second time! But don't bet against him playing a massive part in Labour's election campaign.
Dan H, Wales

Yes. If only he'd take the rest of this wretched Government with him
H. Levarg, UK

Yes he should. Is this a record, resigned twice from the same Government in less than three years?
Martyn Sharpe, UK

No. This is completely unfair on those of us who were looking forward to watching Uncle Tony wriggle and smarm out of another embarrassment. How selfish of him.
William Hall, UK

Oh, for heaven's sake. Politics is so bland these days we don't even get proper sleaze!
Guy Chapman, UK


Mandelson has been hoisted by his own petard

Carl Howarth, Jersey
The 'whiter than white' promise is haunting this government. Mandelson has been hoisted by his own petard; by trying to wriggle his way out from what began as a fragment of news, has grown, through his own fault, to be his undoing. I would imagine his resignation will help the government - it isn't popular and aroused cynicism and suspicion.
Carl Howarth, Jersey

Hang on a minute...
A major donor to a government project whom YOU dealt with, rings you up and asks you how to go about getting a British passport. Instead of cutting him off rather impolitely, you offer to put him through to a colleague (ministerial) who can help. You have an accounted-for 2-minute conversation, and the matter leaves your office until this week.
Exactly where in that sequence did he behave improperly? I personally do not think he should be in the cabinet myself, but this is clearly not something to resign over. The resignation just makes him look guilty.
John, UK

Any hint of corruption, of any sort, must be dealt with severely to preserve the integrity of British politics. Is this just another example of Labour Minister's willingness to comply with the wishes of wealthy businessmen?
James Bucknall, UK

This is as honourable a decision as it is an unlikely one. His decision not only places his whole career in peril again, but also leaves the Labour party little room to rebuff claims of corruption by the opposition. Surely he could have ridden out this storm, taken a sideways move in the new Cabinet, and wait for the reshuffle to bring him closer to Mr Blair once again.
Tim Daplyn, United Kingdom

I take it then that when the usual summer passport delays occur that politicians will "innocently enquire" on behalf of the General Public - do not think so. Glad he had the sense to resign better late than never but for how long?
Charlotte Daly, UK


It is a shame that Northern Ireland is losing his talents at such a critical time

Andy Gray, UK
Mandelson is obviously a man with much needed abilities. It is a shame that Northern Ireland is losing his talents at such a critical time for such a prissy reason.
Andy Gray, UK

Of course he was right to go. Once is unfortunate, twice is careless. He should have admitted his involvement straight away. His lies mean that few of the electorate will ever trust him again. He may be good as a spin-doctor and adviser, but as a politician, he is a liability. I always thought he was a poor choice as NI secretary. Bring back Mo Mowlam!
Kate Abbatt, UK

Of course he was right to go. What with Northern Ireland go nowhere and an election looming¿ He was never going to get the accolades his predecessor, Mo Mowlam, got. Masterminding and controlling the election for the party is what he does best. After the election, with a job well done, up will come another ministerial post for him. The position he now finds himself in is so good it he couldn't have planned it better. No, no, no, surely not¿
Merx England, UK


Mandelson's career has been built on spin; perhaps it's only fitting that he's been brought down by it

Robert Kaye, UK
I think it's clear that this time Mandelson will be out of government for good; but I hope that the point has been taken that when a scandal like this breaks, politicians who try to save themselves by misleading the public stand to lose far more than face. Mandelson's career has been built on spin; perhaps it's only fitting that he's been brought down by it.
Robert Kaye, UK

Would Mr. Mandelson have referred this matter to Mr. O'Brien if it was an ordinary Indian citizen who had approached him for a British passport rather than a billionaire who was in the position to make a significant contribution to the ailing Dome? If Mr. Mandelson can say yes to this question then he is unfortunate.
Russell Oliver, England


He has done the honourable thing

Derek, ex-pat, Brazil
He has done the honourable thing. I don't think he was guilty of any misdemeanour, but at that level in politics you are accountable to the country. So close to the next election, the Labour party needs to get this out of the way quickly, before it sticks in people's minds. Another good Minister bites the dust. A pity Mr Srichand Hinduja did not come to his rescue.
Derek, ex-pat, Brazil

Scandalson?
John Latusek, UK

Perhaps we could have a whip-round to get Peter an Indian passport?
Harry, UK

I agree with Howard Bowen, 'Mandy' will be back in the Government within a year. I wonder how many 'lives' he has left?
Chris Revill, UK

He shouldn't have resigned - he should have been sacked. Clearly it's a case of someone who cannot be trusted and acts in an incorrect manner. He should leave the post of Northern Ireland secretary and let someone else handle it better than he ever could.
Warren Pilkington, UK

This is hilarious, he's resigned twice now and I'm praying Hague asks Blair when he will return during PM's questions this afternoon.
Nick Singleton, UK

I wouldn't be as cynical as Mr. Bowen. It will be at least twenty-four hours before he returns.
Chris Hale, England


The whole manner in which these new facts "came to light" portrays him as a man with profoundly poor judgement

Chris Power, UK
While I don't believe he has done anything particularly wrong, the whole manner in which these new facts "came to light" portrays him as a man with profoundly poor judgement. Labour needs to focus on the issues that will get them re-elected and Mr. Mandelson has frequently been the source of Labour boat-rocking. His resignation will hopefully bring about more stability to the Cabinet as it prepares for the crucial election.
Chris Power, UK

Peter Mandelson's position in the cabinet was untenable through the fault of no-one other than himself. No doubt Tony Blair will continue to defend Mandelson, however it should be plain for the electorate to now see what an appalling bunch of individuals make up the supposed 'team' that run this country. The ballot boxes in the next election should surely reflect the disgraceful way the Labour Party has conducted itself over the last few months.
James, UK

It seems that Mr Mandelson has misled the House of Commons and therefore the country for a second time, this in itself is wrong, so of course he should go. He has let himself and his party down.
Dan, UK

If Mandelson had really done nothing wrong - then he would never have resigned, he had too much to lose. The bloke can only be described as "dodgy" - he has become Labour's equivalent of Geoffrey Archer.
Andrew Summersgill, UK


The abiding observation must be that the man is a walking gaffe

Leo Hickey, UK
Whatever Mandelson's precise role in the 'cash for passport' fiasco, the abiding observation must be that the man is a walking gaffe. He should never have been readmitted to the government after Mortgage-gate and I, for one, would be grateful never to hear of him again.
Leo Hickey, UK

It doesn't look good on Blair either . Basically he has given him 2 chances and he has let down everyone including himself. He must not be allowed to be in govt again.
Peter Roberts, UK

Mandelson is the most intelligent politician of his generation - this is a sad loss for the country.
Tom, UK

This is a surprise, I didn't think he would resign. I don't see where he did anything wrong, but now that he has resigned, one wonders if he was asked to by Mr Blair.
Alan Williamson, UK


Saying that you 'forgot' about a conversation is just not good enough

Stuart Draper, UK
Government should be open - saying that you 'forgot' about a conversation is just not good enough. Blair should have sacked him to show strength, as soon as he realised that Mandelson hadn't been 100 per cent truthful first time round.
Stuart Draper, UK

Yes. What I wonder is how long he will be out this time. Twenty, thirty minutes?
Howard Bowen, UK

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24 Jan 01 | UK Politics
Mandelson resigns
24 Jan 01 | UK Politics
Mandelson hits back in passport row
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