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Europe

Political Intrigue Surrounds UK Commissioner Appointment

Tony Blair is considering former cabinet minister Peter Mandelson for a seat on the European Commission, but he's already been kicked out of the prime minister's cabinet twice.

The appointment of the next British commissioner on the European Commission is causing upheaval in British politics. Prime Minister Tony Blair has postponed a cabinet reshuffle because the man who has been offered the job, former cabinet minister Peter Mandelson, was unable to make up his mind whether to accept the job. According to the Financial Times, Mandelson, who has twice been forced to resign from the cabinet, has already been offered the post by Blair. However, he was in two minds whether to take it because there was still a chance that he might get back into the cabinet. A close Blair ally, Mandelson has been both the Northern Ireland Secretary and trade and industry secretary. He was forced to leave cabinet twice after being accused of improper financial dealings. Some believe that if Mandelson is nominated it will play into the hands of the euroskeptics, who insist that Brussels is just a home for washed-up politicians. "The nomination of a man who has twice been forced out of the cabinet would be a gift to euroskeptics", said UK liberal member of the European Parliament Chris Davies. ( EUobserver.com)

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