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Sequin | 12:30 UK time, Friday, 3 October 2008

He said he was a fighter, not a quitter. Now Peter Mandelson is back for a third time.

Funnily enough, I had a chat with Mr M last week at the Labour Party conference - I was asking him what he'd do when he finished him time as a Commissioner and he said he didn't know - maybe another career beckoned? I promise I would have told you if he'd said he was in top level talks with Gordon Brown about a return to government. Sadly he didn't! But he seemed in VERY good spirits.

Consensus so far. The Left are pretty horrified. Labour insiders tell me that this is something Gordon Brown had to do i.e. come up with a bold, controversial decision because he's been criticised for being so cautious up to now. But he's had to weigh that up against the fact that Peter Mandelson is a very divisive, controversial figure.

As for the other moves - John Hutton has always, I'm told, hankered after the job of Defence Secretary - so he gets his wish following the departure of Des Browne. And the unions and some in t he business community may well be happy to see Hutton go, if some of their recent comments are anything to go by.

Another blast from the past is back - Margaret Beckett - as a "cabinet enforcer" figure. She's always hailed by people within Labour as someone who can "steady the ship".

Other moves:
Geoff Hoon to Transport
Creation of a new cabinet job - Energy and Climate - going to Ed Miliband . What does that mean for Hillary Benn's Environment department?

Lots of reaction tonight - and we're also going to ask a cartoonist and a sketchwriter how they will greet the news


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