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Last Updated: Thursday, 13 March 2008, 16:23 GMT
No 10 denies Mandelson EU rethink
Peter Mandelson
Mr Mandelson said last year he would not serve a second term
The prime minister's official spokesman has dampened speculation that Peter Mandelson might serve a second term as the UK's EU commissioner in Brussels.

It was reported the ex-cabinet minister was considering remaining in the job, after a recent chat with Gordon Brown.

But the prime minister's spokesman told journalists: "Mr Mandelson has said he wouldn't be serving a second term."

Mr Mandelson's spokesman said he would not comment "as it is a subject that will not arise until next year".

"Mr Mandelson is happy with the recent discussion he had with Gordon Brown on this subject," he told the BBC News website.

Mr Mandelson, a former Northern Ireland Secretary, said a year ago that he would step down as the European Union's trade commissioner in 2009.

'Can't fire me'

He was appointed by the previous prime minister, Tony Blair.

There had been speculation he would lose his role when Mr Brown took office, as the pair reportedly fell out 14 years ago, when Mr Mandelson backed Mr Blair for the Labour leadership.

"Like it or not, I'm afraid [Mr Brown] will have to accept me as commissioner until November 2009," Mr Mandelson said when pressed on the matter in a BBC interview last March.

"But I will not be seeking a nomination for a further term after that time," he added during an interview in which he also pointed out the prime minister "can't actually fire me".

The commissioner's spokesman said he had used his recent meeting with Mr Brown to "explain the context" of these remarks.

It is understood Mr Mandelson felt unhappy about the way they came across in the radio interview.



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