Why has he written to the Times today?
One of the problems with having a “back story” like Peter Mandelson, fairly or unfairly, is that the default assumption is that you are up to no good.
So what are we to make of the latest developments in “Yachtgate” where Mandy has written to the Times today to “explain” that his contacts with the Russian billionaire, Oleg Deripaska, went back two years further than previously publicly stated.
So his first account was in that famous phrase “being economical with the truth”. What has been going on and why has felt it necessary to act in the way he has? We can expect, surely, acres of coverage in the Sundays tomorrow.
There’s little doubt that George Osborne has been damaged by the affair – could it be that Mandelson suffers even more?
As the Lib Dem MP, Norman Baker is saying: “This letter is clearly an attempt to head off further bad coverage in the press, which he may be anticipating. This seems like a tactic to avoid a third resignation”.
One thing the affair has done is to move the political narrative on from the financial crisis which was being helpful to Brown, to Mandy himself.