The Independent on Sunday..“..Peter Mandelson’s last act as European Trade Commissioner was to advocate new trade rules that will directly benefit the Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska..Less than a month ago, in one of his final speeches before being recalled to the Cabinet and after he accepted hospitality on the Russian’s yacht, Lord Mandelson announced a new EU trade strategy giving multinational companies freer access to raw materials, including scrap aluminium and natural minerals used in the production of the metal..Mr Deripaska owns Rusal, the world’s largest aluminium producer, which has subsidiaries in Europe. The companies import both scrap aluminium and aluminium-containing minerals from Africa and India. The new rules would exempt such companies from paying expensive export duties, to the anger of development charities.”
The Sunday Times..“The Russian oligarch who gave hospitality to Peter Mandelson is this weekend revealed to have been linked to the former boss of one of Russiaâ€™s most powerful criminal gangs..A High Court judgment details the alleged social and business links between Oleg Deripaska and Anton Malevsky, a Russian mobster. Malevsky was then reputedly the head of an organised crime gang and his brother Andrei had a 10% stake in Deripaskaâ€™s company…Deripaska insists that the arrangement with Malevsky was a protection racket that was forced upon him. But a High Court judge, Mr Justice Clarke, said in a preliminary judgment in July that he considers Deripaska may not have always told the full truth about his links to the mobster, who was killed in a freak parachute accident in 2001.. “
The Sunday Telegraph..“The Business Secretary, who has twice been forced to resign from the Cabinet, was in the embarrassing position of having his integrity questioned again after he admitted yesterday that he had misled the public just days into his new role..Senior Opposition MPs led the calls for Lord Mandelson to detail fully his relationship with Oleg Deripaska, the multi-billionaire owner of the world’s biggest aluminium company…It was also claimed that the Labour politician had indeed played a key role in last week’s decision by Nathaniel Rothschild, a wealthy hedge fund manager, to turn the spotlight on George Osborne, the Shadow Chancellor, for allegedly seeking a Â£50,000 donation to the Tory Party from the Russian.”
UPDATE: Big boost for Labour in Scottish YouGov poll
The Sunday Times is reporting a significant increase in support for Labour in Scotland – which could have a bearing on the Glenrothes by election. It put the Westminster voting intention shares at: LAB 38%: SNP 29%: CON 20%: LD 11%. The Labour figure is only one point below what they got in Scotland at the general election.
PB to participate again in the Tote Ten to Follow competition
Peter the Punter, Peter Smith, is once again organising an site entry in the “Tote Ten to Follow competition”. This was great fun last season although we did not make any money and I’ll certainly be taking part again.
Full details are available on the new PB Channel 2.