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Thursday, 26 September, 2002, 09:13 GMT 10:13 UK
Mandelson: I made too many enemies
Peter Mandelson
Mandelson: Remains close to Blair
Former cabinet minister Peter Mandelson says he believes his political career was damaged by the enemies he made creating New Labour.


I wasn't thinking of myself as an MP, as a politician, as someone who needed to garner support

Peter Mandelson
He told the Guardian newspaper that he wished he had made fewer enemies while working as Labour's director of communications.

"I didn't think ahead. I didn't think that one day I would be a politician standing in my own right, needing support, needing the political base that any politician requires," he said.

"I wasn't thinking of myself as an MP, as a politician, as someone who needed to garner support in the parliamentary Labour party, who needed a base in cabinet, who needed to get a circle of friends around him.

"I just didn't think in those terms. And in pure political terms that's a failing."

Mr Mandelson said this period, plus his close relationship with the Prime Minister meant he had to "doubly justify, doubly perform" when he became a minister

Social life

He was forced to resign as Northern Ireland secretary last January over his alleged role in the Hinduja passports affair and resigned as Trade and Industry Secretary over a controversial 373,000 home loan from Geoffrey Robinson, then Paymaster General.

The Hartlepool MP says he does not harbour hopes of a third chance at ministerial office - although he adds: "I enjoy my life but I am understretched."


He's been a good friend. He's helped me. He's sustained me. He's got me over the worst just as I would expect him to do

Peter Mandelson
He also says he has virtually no social life: "Nobody invites me any more."

Although the newspaper says he believes he was the victim of a "rush to judgement" in his most recent sacking, he said his friendship with Tony Blair remained in tact.

"He's been a good friend. He's helped me. He's sustained me. He's got me over the worst just as I would expect him to do.

"This whole situation has been almost as difficult for him as it has been for me and I would like to think that we have helped each other in coping with it," he added.

Peter Mandelson is at the centre of a row over passport applications

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