October 3, 2008 (InfoPowa News) — Peter Mandelson is a name which online gambling industry observers have become familiar with over the past year due to his leadership of the EU team pressing the United States on the discriminatory nature of that country's online gambling bans.
Acting at the behest of the Remote Gaming Association, a trade association that counts most of Britain's major gambling companies among its members, Mandelson has been active for the past four years as the European Union's Trade Commissioner, and has been involved in initiating investigations into the inequities of the U.K. system and the damage this has done to EU-based companies.
Mandelson will no longer remain engaged in EU matters following news from the U.K. as the week ended, however. He has been invited by Prime Minister Gordon Brown to join the U.K. Cabinet … for the third time. His responsibilities will be as Business Secretary, a busy and important appointment that precludes his continued attachment to the Brussels headquarters of the EU.
The Leader of the House of Lords, Baroness Ashton, will replace Mandelson in Brussels.
The EU trade commissioner was twice forced to resign from former Prime Minister Tony Blair's cabinet, reports the BBC, which quoted Prime Minister Brown as saying that he needed "serious people for serious times" and that Mandelson had unrivalled experience in global trade. "He has built up a reputation over the last few years as someone who can get things done," said the Prime Minister.
Mandelson has been a controversial figure, resigning twice from cabinet posts — once over a loan from his ministerial colleague Geoffrey Robinson and once over allegations of misconduct over a passport application for the Hinduja brothers. He was later cleared of any wrongdoing.