James Forsyth

Mandelson and Whelan and the battle for Labour’s soul

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The Sunday Times has a story today that gives you a sense of the personal animosities bubbling just below the surface of Labour’s election campaign:

“The Sunday Times has learnt that Charlie Whelan, the political director of Unite, the super-union, has been barred from entering Labour headquarters during the campaign.

Mandelson is understood to have been furious after he discovered that Whelan, whose union is behind the British Airways cabin crew strikes, had been having secret pre-dawn meetings with Ray Collins, Labour’s general secretary.”

Mandelson and Whelan, of course, have history. The Blairities blamed Whelan for the events that led to Mandelson's first resignation. If Labour lose, these two will be pitted against each other in Labour's civil war. As yet there’s no response from Charlie Whelan , who likes to use his Twitter feed to try and rebut this kind of story, to the Sunday Times's scoop.

Written byJames Forsyth

James Forsyth is Political Editor of the Spectator. He is also a columnist in The Sun.

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