MANDY AND BECKS BATTLE FOR UNI POST
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