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Tuesday, June 29, 1999 Published at 22:05 GMT 23:05 UK


UK Politics

Watchdog to rule on Mandelson loan

Peter Mandelson resigned from the Cabinet in December last year

Former Trade Secretary Peter Mandelson will learn later this week whether any action will be taken over the secret loan he took from a fellow minister.


The BBC's Catherine Marston: Mr Mandelson has told friends he has paid a high price for his mistake
The Standards and Privileges Committee decided on Tuesday night what action should be taken following Mr Mandelson's failure to declare his loan for his house in west London's affluent Notting Hill.

The committee's chairman, Robert Sheldon, said it would announce its decision in a report to be published on Thursday.


[ image: Elizabeth Filkin ruled the loan be registered]
Elizabeth Filkin ruled the loan be registered
In January, the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards Elizabeth Filkin ruled that Mr Mandelson should be asked to register his loan of £373,000 from the former Paymaster General Geoffrey Robinson.

Mr Mandelson then declared it in the new register of MPs' financial interests.

The Standards and Privileges Committee was then asked to decide what action should be taken against Mr Mandelson for his failure to have registered the loan before it was revealed in December last year.


[ image: Mr Mandelson borrowed £373,000 to buy a house]
Mr Mandelson borrowed £373,000 to buy a house
After a two-hour committee hearing, Mr Sheldon said a decision had been reached and would be reported to the House of Commons on Thursday.

Mr Mandelson resigned from the Cabinet in December last year after The Guardian revealed that the then trade secretary had received the secret loan two years previously from Mr Robinson.

Mr Robinson also resigned from his position at the Treasury following the scandal.

A third casualty of the affair was Chancellor Gordon Brown's spin doctor Charlie Whelan, who resigned following suspicions that he leaked the loan story, something he denied.

Mr Mandelson said he was unable to remember whether he had told his mortgage lender, the Britannia Building Society, about the £373,000 loan, although ultimately the society decided not to take the matter further.

The MP for Hartlepool has since sold his house.



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