It’s no longer Peter, minister

October 13th, 2008 - 5:21 pm ICT by IANS  

Gordon BrownLondon, Oct 13 (IANS) Commerce and Industry Minister Kamal Nath may from now on have to address his old friend on the global stage Peter Mandelson as the Baron of Hartlepool and Foy.If he really wants to be formal, the Indian minister can call Mandelson by his full designation: Baron Mandelson of Foy in the County of Hertfordshire and Hartlepool in the County of Durham.

But since that could take up the better part of an entire meeting - and time is precious for these two men when talking trade and business - it is a safe bet Kamal Nath will stick to something shorter.

According to a report Monday, Britain’s new business minister wants to be known as “plain Lord Mandelson” - there is no problem with that since he is the only Mandelson in the House of Lords, the upper chamber of parliament.

The former European trade commissioner, drafted into Prime Minister Gordon Brown’s cabinet in a reshuffle earlier this month, had to be made a peer - member of the House of Lords - because he is not an MP.

He is said to have chosen the ‘geographic designations’ of Hartlepool because that was his constituency as MP and Foy because he once owned a cottage in the Welsh hamlet.

“I have decided to be plain Lord Mandelson,” he told The Times.

“Foy and Hartlepool are places in which I lived. But that is not the title. The only one to be used for formal or informal occasion is Lord Mandelson,” he added.

But going by the long-standing association between the two men, chances are it will be business as usual for Peter and Kamal.

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