Brown Appoints Archrival to Rejoin Cabinet

Blair ally returns to British government in surprise move
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 3, 2008 7:48 AM CDT
EU Commissioner for Trade Peter Mandelson speaks in Brussels, Thursday July 17, 2008. Mandelson will return to London to serve in Gordon Brown's government and be made a lord.   (AP Photo/Virginia Mayo)
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(Newser) – Gordon Brown shocked the British political establishment by reappointing one of his long-time enemies to his Cabinet. Peter Mandelson, who with Brown and Tony Blair was an architect of New Labour, will be made a lord and become the new business secretary. The return of Mandelson, currently serving in Brussels as the EU's trade commissioner, is "the most astonishing political reconcilation of modern times," writes the Times of London.

Mandelson's decision to back Blair over Brown for the Labour party leadership in 1994 led to a decade-long spat between the two politicians. He served as a minister under Blair twice, resigning each time amid scandals, but he remains highly popular. Mandelson's appointment is part of a larger-than-expected Cabinet reshuffle as Brown tries to capitalize on a relative improvement in his fortunes.