Peter Hoskin

If Mandelson runs for the Commons, what does it say about his faith in Gordon?

If Mandelson runs for the Commons, what does it say about his faith in Gordon?
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Curiouser and curiouser.  Today's Sunday Telegraph reports that there's a "secret plan" afoot to have Peter Mandelson reinstalled in the Commons:

"The plan, which is said to 'intrigue' the Business Secretary, could see him become a potential candidate to replace Gordon Brown as Labour leader.

It has been hatched by Labour MPs who are all former supporters of Tony Blair, and who now see Lord Mandelson of the best hope of keeping the party New Labour in the event of an election defeat and the likely stepping down of Mr Brown...

...The plan depends on a change in the law to allow peers to resign from the House of Lords, which has already been announced by Jack Straw, the Justice Secretary, to be speeded up.

Lord Mandelson would then become Mr Mandelson once again – and declare himself available to stand as a Labour candidate in the general election, which must be held by next June." The idea of Mandy ditching his Lords seat has been discussed half-jokingly across Westminster in the past few weeks.  But it certainly puts a different complexion on things if Labour MPs are actually encouraging him to do just that.  

Perhaps the main issue that Mandelson faces is what running for a Commons seat would mean for his relationship with - and show of loyalty for - Gordon Brown.  After all, it will inevitably be seen as a move for the party leadership and a tacit admission that Gordon doesn't stand a chance beyond the next election.  Given how much Brown's premiership has relied on Mandelson's support over the past few months, you've got to wonder whether it would survive the blow.