Scottish Daily Mail

Mandelson blew out candles with Epstein AFTER tycoon was charged with sex offences

- By Mario Ledwith

GRInnInG as a large cake is placed between them, the two middle-aged men appear not to have a care in the world.

But this image of Peter Mandelson celebratin­g with Jeffrey Epstein in Paris was taken just months after the paedophile financier was first charged with abusing girls.

Tony Blair’s former spin doctor can be seen with a glass of red wine in front of him in the photo taken at Epstein’s £10million apartment on the upmarket Avenue Foch. The image casts yet more light on Lord Mandelson’s relationsh­ip with the businessma­n, who

They called him ‘Petie’

killed himself in 2019 while awaiting trial on sex traffickin­g charges.

At the time, the former Labour MP – who was then working as the European Union’s Trade Commission­er – had enjoyed a friendship for several years with Epstein, who called him ‘Petie’.

They were introduced by mutual friend Ghislaine Maxwell, who was last month found guilty of traffickin­g girls as part of Epstein’s sordid sex ring.

The British socialite was also responsibl­e for introducin­g Epstein to Prince Andrew.

Lord Mandelson, 68, visited Epstein’s private island, Little St James, and dined with various celebritie­s at his $77 million new York townhouse. The Daily Mail previously revealed a photograph taken in 2005 showing the pair conversing in a fashion boutique in the US Virgin Islands.

In March 2005, police in Florida launched an investigat­ion into Epstein over claims that he had paid underage girls to perform sex acts.

In August 2006, he was charged with solicitati­on. The photo in Paris was taken just months after this, reported The Sun, though it is not suggested Lord Mandelson knew of Epstein’s crimes at the time.

Epstein eventually pleaded guilty to a charge of solicitati­on of prostituti­on involving a minor in 2008 and was sentenced to 18 months in prison.

In 2019, a source close to Lord Mandelson said he had met Epstein on ‘no more than five or six occasions’.

A TV documentar­y claimed that Lord Mandelson, who twice resigned as a Cabinet minister, phoned Epstein in 2009 to seek a personal favour.

Lord Mandelson, then de facto deputy prime minister to Gordon Brown, allegedly asked the former Wall Street trader – who was on day release from prison – to arrange a meeting with a billionair­e new York banker.

Lawyers for Lord Mandelson said he had no recollecti­on of the phone call. Lord Mandelson could not be reached for comment.

 ?? ?? Friends: Peter Mandelson with Jeffrey Epstein, months after the paedophile financier was charged by police in Florida
Friends: Peter Mandelson with Jeffrey Epstein, months after the paedophile financier was charged by police in Florida

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from United Kingdom