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Thursday, February 4, 1999 Published at 16:24 GMT

UK Politics

Mandelson 'should give away house profit'

The Notting Hill house was bought for 475,000 in 1996

Former Trade Secretary Peter Mandelson is being urged to give to charity any profit from the sale of the house which cost him his job.

Mr Mandelson resigned from the Cabinet on 23 December after it emerged he had borrowed 373,000 from the then Paymaster General Geoffrey Robinson, who resigned hours later his colleague.

Mr Mandelson had used the low interest loan to buy a 475,000 house in London's fashionable Notting Hill.

A motion tabled by 11 Tory MPs is calling for Mr Mandelson to give any profit from the sale of his home to charity.

275,000 profit

The Hartlepool MP has said he was putting the house on the market to repay Mr Robinson.

[ image: Peter Mandelson: Could make up to 275,000 profit]
Peter Mandelson: Could make up to 275,000 profit
Estate agents have estimated the house could now fetch up to 750,000 which would give the former minister a potential profit of 275,000.

The Tory motion published on the Commons order paper calls on Mr Mandelson "to confirm to the House that any profit from the sale of his property will be given to charity and not kept for himself".

It referred to his indication at the time of his resignation that he was due to receive some family funds which would pay off the loan and noted that this money would not now apparently be used for that purpose.

Severance pay

The motion also noted Mr Mandelson had not made any Commons statement about his resignation.

A spokesman for Mr Mandelson said: "Conservative MPs are entitled to their own view.

"Mr Mandelson will be repaying the loan when his house has been sold."

Earlier this week Mr Mandelson's successor, Stephen Byers, confirmed Mr Mandelson could have received more than 15,000 in severance pay.

Mr Mandelson got a pay-off of a quarter of his annual salary as a minister under Government rules.

With a possible ministerial salary of 61,650, in addition to an MP's pay of 45,066, the pay-off could have amounted to 15,412.

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