It’s Mandelson v Becks in battle for top 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. AN estate agents has been forced to apologise after telling people Manchester Cathedral was due to be turned into flats for an April Fools joke.
More than 100 worried people called the Cathedral after seeing Tiger Property Partners’ posts on Twitter and Facebook that the historic building was up for sale.
Messages posted on the Didsbury property company’s social media pages said: “Manchester Cathedral is to be converted into 15 luxury apartments.
“Tiger Property is now taking deposits.”
The posts sparked panic among worshippers, who contacted the Cathedral asking why the building was to be sold.
Out sister paper the M.E.N. understands the posts were made by a freelance PR consultant paid by Tiger Property Partners to run social media accounts, with staff unaware of the prank.
The company has now apologised – but said other people had also rung the office asking how much the deposit for the new flats would be.
A spokeswoman for Tiger Property Partners said: “We are sorry for any distress caused to people who thought the Cathedral was for sale.
“Maybe it was not as obvious as an April Fool to people not in property circles.”