Salford Advertiser - - NEWS - Todd Fitzger­ald

THE ‘Prince of Dark­ness’ Peter Man­del­son will throw his hat in the ring for a top-level Manch­ester Uni­ver­sity post.

The Labour peer, who was spot­ted last week rub­bing shoul­ders with in­flu­en­tial Manch­ester fig­ures, has con­firmed he in­tends to ap­ply for the hon­orary post of Chan­cel­lor.

His ap­point­ment would be con­sid­ered a ma­jor coup for the city, with the uni­ver­sity at the heart of the strate­gic vi­sion for Manch­ester and its po­si­tion on the science cor­ri­dor.

The for­mer spin doc­tor will bid to take over the cer­e­mo­nial po­si­tion when Ur­ban Splash chair­man, Tom Blox­ham, re­tires this sum­mer.

Lord Man­del­son at­tended an alumni event at the uni­ver­sity last week, fu­elling fur­ther spec­u­la­tion over his in­ten­tions to ap­ply for the po­si­tion.

He has now con­firmed he will make a bid for the job

He said he has ex­pe­ri­ence in higher ed­u­ca­tion as a for­mer cabi­net min­is­ter, tak­ing ‘ dif­fi­cult de­ci­sions on the fu­ture of uni­ver­sity fund­ing’ and pro­mot­ing stu­dent ac­cess and so­cial re­spon­si­bil­ity.

Lord Man­del­son told our sis­ter pa­per the M.E.N.: “I want to play my part in ful­fill­ing the Uni­ver­sity of Manch­ester’s fur­ther am­bi­tions.

“I am strongly com­mit­ted to the val­ues of higher ed­u­ca­tion, I ad­mire the uni­ver­sity’s achieve­ments and I am ex­cited about what’s hap­pen­ing in Manch­ester.

“I be­lieve I have the breadth of na­tional. and in­ter­na­tional ex­pe­ri­ence to con­trib­ute to the uni­ver­sity’s fu­ture suc­cess.”

Lord Man­del­son said the uni­ver­sity – al­ready in the coun­try’s top five – ‘can go fur­ther’, com­pet­ing on the ‘world stage’.

As a for­mer north­ern MP, he said he is ‘drawn to the changes Manch­ester is un­der­go­ing’, with the city ‘lead­ing the way’ in show­ing what a ‘com­bi­na­tion of vi­sion, pro­fes­sional or­gan­i­sa­tion and team­work can de­liver in gen­er­at­ing growth and em­ploy­ment and re­bal­anc­ing the coun­try’s econ­omy and po­lit­i­cal sys­tem’.

Other po­ten­tial con­tenders for the job in­clude for­mer United star David Beckham, his old boss Sir Alex Fer­gu­son and poet Lemn Sis­say.

Nom­i­na­tions close on April 13 at noon. If a bal­lot is re­quired, vot­ing will open on May 26.

The re­sults will be an­nounced on June 22.

Peter Man­del­son and for­mer United ace David Beckham

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