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Rothschild "won't back down"

Robert Peston | 16:38 UK time, Tuesday, 21 October 2008

I have learned that Nat Rothschild is not going to back down in respect of the allegations he has made that Mr Osborne was interested in receiving a donation for the Tory Party from the Russian billionaire Oleg Deripaska.

He would be prepared to defend his claims in court - and I understand that one of his close friends would also provide testimony apparently supporting his claims.

Oleg DeripaskaMr Rothschild feels that Osborne has abused his friendship, by allegedly encouraging newspaper reports that embarrassed two of his other friends, Oleg Deripaska and Peter Mandelson.

The hedge-fund partner feels that friends who accept his hospitality should be entitled to feel that what they say and do in his home is private, and won't appear in the press.

Fairly or not, Mr Rothschild holds Mr Osborne partly responsible for media insinuations that have embarrassed Mr Mandelson and Mr Deripaska - such as that Mr Mandelson, who at the time was the European Union's Trade Commissioner, was guilty of a conflict of interest in accepting hospitality from Mr Deripaska on the aluminium magnate's superyacht

George Osborne was - until the past few days - a close friend of Mr Rothschild.

The relationship dates back to their days at Oxford University, where both were members of the raucous, public-school Bullingdon Club.

This summer George Osborne was Nat Rothschild's guest at his lavish property in Corfu for a fortnight. Mr Osborne's wife, Frances, stayed on at Mr Rothschild's house after Mr Osborne left.

During their stay, Mr Osborne was allegedly keen for Andrew Feldman, a Tory fundraiser, to visit them at Mr Rothschild's house.

When Mr Feldman was on his way, a decision was taken that they'd all go across and meet Mr Deripaska on his yacht.

Before they went on to the yacht, Mr Osborne and Mr Rothschild discussed the possibility of Mr Deripaska making a donation to the Conservative Party, according to someone present at the time.

This was a detailed conversation, which involved discussion of whether it would be against the rules for Mr Deripaska to make a financial contribution since he is not a British national.

The idea was mooted that Mr Deripaska could make the donation through a UK company he controls, LDV, which is based in the Midlands and makes commercial vehicles.

After Mr Feldman arrived, they all went out to Mr Deripaska's yacht on Mr Rothschild's dinghy.

According to one of those present, there was only a brief discussion then of whether Mr Deripaska would make a donation. This person added that they all stayed on the yacht for at least a couple of hours (this is disputed by Mr Osborne, who has said that his two meetings with Mr Deripaska have never last more than an hour).

After they returned to shore, Mr Feldman left to return to his family. But Mr Osborne then had dinner with Mr Rothschild. At this dinner, Mr Osborne allegedly talked more about the possibility of Mr Deripaska making a donation.

One of Mr Rothschild's friends is alleged to have witnessed most of these events and is prepared to testify to that effect, should the issue ever come to court.

Mr Rothschild has normally avoided the spotlight in his spectacularly successful moneymaking career.

As co-chairman of a hedge fund called Atticus, Nat Rothschild has accumulated a fortune of several hundred million pounds. He is a descendant of the world's most famous banking dynasty, and his father, Jacob, is a noted financier and patron of the arts.


Page 1 of 3

  • Comment number 1.

    "Make him dance to the left", said Blair to Mandy

  • Comment number 2.

    Mr Peston - close your Labour mouthpiece over a NON STORY . We know your background in politics. Labour.

    Why did it take Sophie Raworth to ask the questions that you so called reporters would not - and why grovel to a person who is proven to be corrupt - finally, WHY, when Nissan is cutting back production, the UK is dying, and the Clown is borrowing MORE money, ARE u not really quizzing Labour, instead of an if and but and maybe story. The answer, even as an ex Labour voter, is obvious. BIAS.

  • Comment number 3.

    And what has all this speculation and innuendo to do with your post as Business Editor?

  • Comment number 4.

    Ah, the rich and their playground tiffs. Nice to know Ozzie is being put in his place.

  • Comment number 5.

    You have been even more disgraceful this time Robert. Shooting yourself in one foot might be a mistake, doing the same to your other foot looks like someone has been leaning on you very hard indeed.

  • Comment number 6.

    When Mandleson does nothing improper but his judgement is called into question it gets a couple of minutes on a Sunday morning BBC show.

    When Osborne does nothing improper but his judgement is called into question it gets wall to wall coverage on every news broadcast going at the BBC.


  • Comment number 7.

    The time to claim this is Labour bias is over. Osborne needs to give some answers.

    He played with fire by starting the process, and now his fingers are well and truly burnt.

    I know the Tories on here want to attack Labour and make this a non-story but it's a valid piece that requires open answers from Osborne (or a resignation). With the information now available Sophie Raworth would be asking substantially different questions.

    Change the name of the key character (i.e. Osborne = Darling) and ask yourself if it would still be a non story.

    I'm all for quizzing Labour but you've got to quiz the Tories too.

  • Comment number 8.

    Robert - Are you not the business editor? When you jump into a political story when it embarrasses the Conservatives but stayed away when it embarrassed Labour - are you really surprised that people query your motives?

    "I have learned" - come on a bit less of the passive loss - you learned? from whom did you learn?

  • Comment number 9.

    Rothschild is an idiot to have escalated this battle of the handbags.

  • Comment number 10.

    Well, I guess Bilderberg's got a few problems now. Firstly, a PM who attempted to play the National Interest card to gag the opposition and then immediately dishonoured the deal in an attempt to recover a few brownie points from the electorate, secondly a Conservative Party whose reaction to that cheap trick has been to go to the mattresses, burn the boats, break out the weaponry - I'm surprised they're still prepared to appear in Parliament, in fact, such is the evident rancour resulting.
    What do I mean? This started with Cameron's recent attack on Brown, calling off the truce. The attack on Mandelson was phase 2 of their campaign, and has backfired somewhat spectacularly. Whether declared or not, the electoral campain started this weekend - or if it didn't, then I shudder to think what they've got planned for then, either way they'll destroy the country's reputation between them.

  • Comment number 11.

    Are Rothschilds going into retail banking, taking out RBS?

  • Comment number 12.

    How do we know this hasn't all been got up by Dave as he wants to get rid of Tory Boy who has shown himself a lightweight?

    Why is this story being given so much prominence when the economy is going to the dogs?

    Who cares who said what at a probably drunken dinner party attended by a load of over-exercised egotistical hoorays?

    The silly season is over Robert, we just don't care about any of this. We now know who are your sources and we still don't care.

    I suggest everyone gets back to work.

  • Comment number 13.

    99% of the population couldn't care less.

    Back to the crunch please Mr Preston.

  • Comment number 14.

    This is beyond a joke! Robert Peston is supposed to be the Business Editor. When is he going to go back to doing his job, instead of commentating on political tittle tattle? There are very serious business stories in the news today!!!!

  • Comment number 15.

    #2 and 3

    The relevance is, if the Tories win the next election Osborne will most likely be running the UK (business) economy.

  • Comment number 16.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 17.


    As business editor - maybe you should be talking about business things.

    How about people losing their jobs?

    I think there are two people not far from here who are likely to direct experience of this real soon.

    Arguing over talking for 'more than a millisecond' -- how many angels you got on that pin head over there?

  • Comment number 18.

    My friend and I say he said this, he denies it. Are you serious? This is playground stuff.
    There was no donation, no prima facie, no case

    Questions needing answered include

    What decisions did Mandelson make which benefited Rothschild

    What decisions did Mandelson make which benefited Deripaska

    Why is an EU Trade Commissioner accepting hospitality from people who will directly benefit from his decisions, clear conflict of interest.

    Why do Rothschild, Murdoch, Deripaska and Mandelson wish to promote this story, what exactly are they trying to hide?

    Has Mandelson accepted any other hospitality from Deripaska and Rothschild?

    Is it coincidence Rothschild chose to write to the Murdoch Times?

    Why has the BBC been incredibly silent about any of the above questions>

  • Comment number 19.


    I'm deeply surprised that you haven't mentioned that Rothschild and Cameron were at Eton together (albeit in different years). How could you ignore such an obvious sign of a right wing establishment cabal plotting to take over the world, revive the twitching corpse of Thatcherism under a modern facade and crush the forces of neo-Brownite Blairism beneath their so elegantly stitched Jermyn Street loafers?

    Or am I misinterpreting your true leanings here?

    Yours, Eamon Old-Etonian.

  • Comment number 20.

    Some comments on here complain about those not falling for this spin being Tories. Is that the best you can come up with?
    There are more than 2 parties in this country and coming from Scotland I can safely say I know very few Tories. I am however sick to the back teeth of NuLabour spin. I also fail to see why this subject is being debated by the Business Editor. Has financial meltdown been averted? Is the economy booming again. I would suggest my previous questions would be a better start for a business journalist.

  • Comment number 21.

    Osbourne has published a full account of his contacts -- will you be asking mandleson for his?

    And while you are at it - will you be publishing details of your own contacts with members of the labour party?

    Come on -- you do wan't this cleared up dont you?

  • Comment number 22.

    If this had been a labour politician involved in the allegations the Tories would be all over it with accusations of sleaze and corruption. But because its a Tory its a "non story" . Why does that not surprise me.

  • Comment number 23.

    yet more neu labour flim flam off-setting people away from current affairs, take the ecconomy off the menu and hide it behind lesser stories.
    let alone the current investigations into the 1 million pound tobacco advertising donation that neu labour recieved a few years back even though they retuirned it they still exempted F1 motorsport from blanket tobacco advertising ban.
    so the not so squeeky clean neu labourites should be warned there past record is a minefield of poor choices and financial errors.

  • Comment number 24.

    Perhaps Mr Preston should be asking why Rothschild has apparently go a THIRD version of his letter...perhaps the Times could publish all three versions so we can see how Mandy/Blair got him to change it?

    Perhaps we will see Nick Robinson now talking economics on his blog since Mr Preston seems to think he is a political journo now (or would that be Labour Party press release publisher...)

  • Comment number 25.

    All politicians of all political persuasions are bent.

    You can tell when they're lying....their lips move!

  • Comment number 26.

    If anyone wondered why disgraced former minister Mandelson was brought back into the government, now they know.

    It just goes to show that the government are more concerned with trying to wrong-foot the Tories than running the country.

  • Comment number 27.

    This story looks as if it has the hands of the recently enobled Lord Mandelson all over it.
    If true it shows a breathtaking lack of judgement by Mr. Osborne and if not it looks like a well organized stitch up.
    I have argued beofore here that I would absolutely defend the freedom of the press but I am afraid that these leaks and scoops are increasingly making the supposedly impartial BBC look like a mouthpiece for the constant drip feed of leaks from Government departments - i.e the banking ones and this looks like a well-aimed smear job.

  • Comment number 28.

    What's this to do with business? This is politics --- oh sorry, you are New Stasi's outlet for poisonous leaks, aren't you?

  • Comment number 29.

    Osbourne has put out a detailed description of what happened. Why don't you be even handed and write that up?

  • Comment number 30.

    Robert, I am a Conservative supporter but it looks like you have proved the stereo type, if you look shifty it is probably because you are shifty.

    I have always considered GO to be a liability, he appears to be too arrogant for the role and it would do David no harm to push him to one side before GO does some real damage.

  • Comment number 31.

    #16 , #18 I agree - Mandy, Rothschild and Deripaska must realise that by blowing this story up to such proportions, they are shown in a much worse light than the (shock horror) revelation that an opposition politician is considering legal ways of accepting donations.

    It is either a gross miscalculation or a deliberate smoke screen. Is the real story something completely different?

  • Comment number 32.

    Look we're not interested in who dripped what poison on who and when or whether donations were discussed AT a dinner table.

    Message to all politicians and the media.............



    Grow up the lot of you!

    Shame on you Mr Peston...I had you down a serious Journalist and Editior not a Rag Mag Editor!!!!!!

  • Comment number 33.

    Well that was all quite painless wasn't it.

    I woke up this morning and read this item from the BBC business editor and it would appear that all our troubles are over.
    The economy must be booming, unemployment must be at it's lowest level ever, the country is no longer in mega debt.

  • Comment number 34.

    I have read the Osborne/Feldman statement.Now,either you have been a part (and a very serious inside part)of a labour smear against them, or you must stand up your unnamed alleagtions which accuse them (withot attribution) of lying. I have lost all faith in any independence you had. No doubt you will just fade away on this, leaving the smear "out there". Well done, Sir Robert.

  • Comment number 35.

    Not much happening on the business front, Peston? If I wanted Labour's opinion on this story I'd read Nick Robinson. I don't need yours too.

  • Comment number 36.

    foreign nationals can make donations through firms they own based in the uk? looks like a fig leaf?

    still with 'friends' like these....?

  • Comment number 37.

    Or is the real news today....

    Further EU banks may fail says IMF.

  • Comment number 38.

    The moral of this is 'choose your friends carefully'. So George Osborne mixed with a hedge fund manager (architect of the sort of financial product that got us into this mess), a mafia-style russian businessman, and a labour politician who has had to resign repeatedly for questionable activities. What did he expect to happen?

  • Comment number 39.

    #15 Isn't the relevance to business also that Mr. Mandelson at the time was trade commissioner, Mr. Deripaska the owner of the worlds biggest aluminium company, and Mr. Rothschild a hedge fund manager and deal broker?

    Why is everyone talking about the (hypothetical) tiny sum of 50k?

  • Comment number 40.

    In the Scottish Parliament Ms Alexander had to resign because of allegations of a mere £1000 from the Channel Islands. I wonder if the SNP will be as keen to complain about the Tories ?

    On a more positive note it is good to see (that despite some of the public posturing) our politicians are cultivating good relations with Russia.

  • Comment number 41.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 42.

    I guess there's nothing interesting in the world of business to report so saintly Bob has decided to muscle in on Nick Bobinson's patch, to merrily re-tell second and third hand stories without a shred of substance behind them.

    Funny that.

    Still, it makes a change from depressing bank share prices. How is the economy doing? FT100 up? Down? Who cares.

    If only Sophie Raworth could be business editor...

  • Comment number 43.

    It's a bit of a non story when you consider the BBC were unable to find blogspace for the matter of the IR report on corporation tax dodging.

    A good journalist could find heaps to discuss were he to ...
    1. Define exactly which companies are culpable.
    2. Which of their executives have contributed to the Labout Party.
    3. Which of them were eventually ennobled.

    The implication being that the Labour party has been subsidised by money that should belong to the nation.

    And as for ennoblement !!!

  • Comment number 44.

    Come on, all you gloomy commentators up to #29 - well almost all of you - of course it's a fascinating story and Peston, brilliant hack that he is, is delivering to us the juicy facts that we want to hear. And of course he can only do that because he's in contact with these guys. Such is life. At least the curtain is being drawn back little in the process.

    Sure, boy George is getting a beating. But that was inevitable for two reasons:

    1. Brown bringing back Mandelson was a masterstroke, like it or not. (I liked it, right away. For the corniest of reasons, about the 'New Labour family' coming back together in the hard times. The Labour party is like that, much more than the Tories. Look at the way they treated Thatcher. Of course it's partly ironic and postmodern but there's enough truth there to keep proles like me happy!)

    2. Osborne's lack of discipline in bubbling away about the 'poison' dripping from Mandy about Brown after this jaunt with Rothschild and co

    It's all terribly unfair and enormously funny at the same time.

    What it also does is point us a little more to how the world really works.

    Not the simplistics of the toddler-grade conspiracist. Osborne was invited to Bilderberg, remember, the last two times. So he's one of 'them', right, with buddy Rothschild - a name that has launched more conspiracy theories than most. Well, not right now he isn't, clearly.

    On the other hand, we've got to get a whole lot more realistic about what does go on, even after years of emphasis on 'standards in public life'. The key EU trade official Peter Mandelson schmoozes with the super-rich. Who ever is going to stop that kind of thing?

    The key point is what we were beginning to talk about on the 'fairer society' thread. Rothschild is currently punishing his old friend for breaching the privacy of private conversations. I actually agree with him about that.

    But the privacy argument can be taken too far, especially in elite fora like Bilderberg governed by the 'Chatham House rule'. What it can come to mean is this: we will plan world government in private, thank you very much. Anybody then who talks about it - or dares to criticise it, whether we invited them to our private meetings or not - is a idiot or a pariah or both.

    That is taking things just a bit too far, dontcha think? But a clever (and up to now somewhat successful) tactic, one has to admit.

  • Comment number 45.

    One of Mr Rothschild's friends is alleged to have witnessed most of these events and is prepared to testify to that effect, should the issue ever come to court.

    Who is this friend? Name him.

    Besides, can anyone seriously imaging senior Tories (even Eton-educated ones) doing dodgy deals while Mandelson is lurking about?

  • Comment number 46.

    The bottom line is this - did the Tories receive any funding from illegal sources - yes or no? If no, it's a non story, spun to high heaven by 'Meddlesome' & Nu Labour to distract us from the disaster that is the economy under Nu Labour.

    As usual the BBC are making a meal of it (because it the Tories?) but failed to do the same with the Mandelson story, which is substantially more interesting and potentially more incriminating.

    As others have said, what's the business editor doing getting involved in this?

  • Comment number 47.

    As others have said, what's the business editor doing getting involved in this?

  • Comment number 48.

    It seems to me a classic case of "people in glass houses not throwing stones!Osborne's comments about "dripping blood" regarding Mandleson have rebounded with added interest !bad judgement from a man who seeks to have charge of this country's economy!I had little faith in him up to today, and now I have none !!

  • Comment number 49.

    Looks like a good day to 'bury' bad economic news.

    I wonder what that news was.

    I wonder whether the BBC Business Editor will tell us.

  • Comment number 50.

    Thanks for making it clear which side your bread is buttered. Make way for the clear out of Labour mouthpiece's at the BBC when the Tories take power. Good riddance to bad rubbish.

  • Comment number 51.

    er okay, so something might have happened or not ? I guess there is a story somewhere in this dirt but can't really see it at the moment.

    Politics is nice and all but as I understand the UK - all of the parties are pretty much the same. They all do dodgy stuff and the only chance we the public have of getting our way is via investigative journalism and then getting annoyed about the reports.

    Would be nice to have some reporting to clarify some of the stuff that has happened with the banks:

    1) Where exactly did the 600 billion pounds loaned out to the public come from ? Some say pension funds, some say China, some say the East ? How and when is/has this money got to be paid back ? Lots of muddy water but no clarity.

    2) How did the high street banks get out of holding too much debt and not having enough capital ? I understand that the debt was being packaged up and sold on to someone - but who was doing the packaging and how were they related to the high street banks ? who's idea was it ? who has bought the debt ? I hope it is not our pension funds ?

    3) Can you give some more information on the CDS market ? What is it used for exactly ? Where does the money the banks pay go ? Obviously the insurance is ultimately paid out by someone so who is liable for all these debts if they fail ? do they have the capital to cover it ? What is the rating of UK debt compared to other countries ?

    4) Some mention has been made of high inflation rates in 2 years time because of the money being spent currently - is this a corerct assumption ? What can we the public do to try and limit the damage ?

    By the way. I've practically given up on you Mr Preston, I had high hopes of someone in the BBC actually having some cahuna's but it seems as it's all back to washing the dishes.

  • Comment number 52.

    It's a laugh. Osbourne must go. Mandleson shouldn't have been givin another chance.

  • Comment number 53.

    What is really SAD is the way that once again, senior BBC journalists have been led by Mandelson and Campell to follow the news story they want them to follow, rather than the real news which the Labour Government really don't want the rest of us to know about.

    It is really just very, very poor journalism.

    Highest Government borrowing ever?

    Job Losses?

    Labour unable to get legislation through the House without guilotines and giveaways?

    The CPS study which brings all the PFI, Pensions, Not-Work Rail and Northern Wreck debts on to the Government balance sheet and shows us to have borrowing at about 150% of GDP?

    No, like a heroin addict getting a sniff of some brown sugar, they're hooked on "tory sleaze" - a little feed from Mandy and they're off like a faithful bloodhound - on the wrong scent.

  • Comment number 54.

    When you met Mr Rothschild were you being entertained did you talk to him about money did you claim BBC expenses?
    I think that shows you how tittle tattle and innuendo you are peddling works.
    Tell us all now your sources or deny they are from no10 .

  • Comment number 55.

    The bias shown toward Labour on this is an utter disgrace. The real story is Mandelson who was trade commissioner and now government minister being too close and in a conflict on interest situation. You carefully choose to ignore that fact which now as far as I am concerned means the following:

    1) The BBC is Labour bias and the mouthpiece of a discredited government
    2) What ever you write in the future is pointless it will have no credibility
    3) Why are you reporting on politics is that not Nick Robinsons job to twist the facts in the favour of Nu labour?

    I and many others no longer view the BBC news as an honest assessmnet of the facts and as such will campaign for your provatisation and removal of the despicable tax that funds your lifestyle

    Enough said

  • Comment number 56.

    One thing's for sure Robert. You won't be invited to the Rotchschild mansion in Corfu anytime soon for dragging their name through the mud.

    But at least there's a good side to this new style of social reporting of yours. We can now safely assume that the recession has been cancelled as banks are lending again (3m LIBOR down to 3.83), stock markets are going back up and the media has become bored with the fear fest.

    Long may frivolous journalism reign. I have a house to sell!

  • Comment number 57.

    No doubt Mandy is behind all this trouble making, of course the BBC would not want to lead with any negative Mandy or New Labour stories....hmmmm I wonder why??

  • Comment number 58.

    I've read your blog for a while now and have grown increasingly interested as each of your stories 'breaks'. It's not easy, babe, I know. But you got too close, got too well known, lol. Well you've either a) been suckered by the Bilderbegers (Enter Mandy - stage right - in faux horror), or b) more likely are a USUKA medop plant. Say it aint so, Robert! Tom Wolfe will spit on your grave :-)

  • Comment number 59.

    The story about Mandy staying with Deripaska on his yacht has been in the papers for almost a week. He said he had been "billetted there" - what a strange expression for an all-expenses paid trip on a luxury yacht owned by a Russion billionaire when one is the EU Trade Commissioner.

    Deripaska had nothing to gain from meeting George Osborne, and everything to gain from meeting (not for the first time, friendship going back 2 years apparently) the EU Trade Commissioner.........

    Funny the BBC never mentioned this story until now, when they managed to turn it into a story against the Conservatives. No sign of any impartial reporting there, then!

  • Comment number 60.

    I read the other day that the new labour thought police were looking at regulating blogs because they think we the dim-witted electorage get confused over what can be trusted on the internet and what cant.

    I dismissed it out of hand - 'buyer beware' on the internet I thought, every one knows that - however, maybe there is a case to be made for regulating blogs hosted by organisations that would usually be considered reliable (such as the BBC).

    I see your colleagues are being a bit supportive of your bizzare position.

    R4 news headlines "tories have declined a donation offered by company owned by russian...'

    Deliberately giving the impression that they have just declined it, implying that it was declined because of this fuss you have kicked up -- whereas the offer was declined last month, before any of this fuss.

    Odd that you would think that someone would ask for a donation and then decline it.

    Mind you, it would make the 'fixer' look stupid if he had offered to ensnare a politiician for a rich friend and then it all blew up in his face, because the politician was HONEST and couldn't be trapped so easily.

  • Comment number 61.

    Mr Rothschild is going home and he's going to take his ball with him

  • Comment number 62.

    "The main thing which makes blogs different from a newspaper column or even TV or radio broadcast is that it is a conversation between the author and the audience. So the success of this blog will depend on you letting me know what you think about the news, and indeed about what I've written myself"

    Who wrote that, I wonder?

    Mr Peston (assuming you do actually read these posts) you should, I think, address the allegations of bias, since they are, very obvious, concerns of the audience.

    To misquote The King:

    "A little less spinning and a little more conversation, please"

    Answers, please, on a blog.


  • Comment number 63.

    Osborne says he didnt, Rothschild says he did!! So one of them is not telling the truth ? It matters not what the Tory party says , they were not there ! Osborne has no choice but to sue " If he does not , then his position is hopeless.

  • Comment number 64.


    Please see your moderator's own rules on 'defamation'.

    "Don't make these common mistakes...

    Repeating others...
    If you repeat defamatory remarks about people or organisations made by other people, you will be just as liable to be sued as they are.

    In spite of its use in a popular current affairs panel game, adding the word 'allegedly' to a statement you cannot prove does not stop it being defamation.

    Jumping to conclusions...
    If Mr X is seen going into a hotel room with a call-girl, this does not necessarily mean he enjoyed a 'night of passion', and will certainly not prove that he did.

    To say Mrs Y doesn't recycle her waste paper may sound harmless. But to people who know that Mrs Y is a Green Party activist, the implication is that she is hypocritical in her politics.


  • Comment number 65.

    Interesting stuff (even if it's not business news exactly). It makes the characters involved seem almost human. Perhaps the real rulers of the world are not in total control.

  • Comment number 66.

    Robert Peston: BBC Business Editor
    Peter Mandelson: Secretary of State for Business

    Peter Mandelson: spinner-in-chief, incapable of passing up a good opportunity to spin, especially since he has been an immediate victim.

    Robert Peston: pawn, naive, too fond of his own voice on the airwaves

    Peter Mandelson: Tony Blair supporter, keen to divert attention from the Ecclestone story's reemergence

    Robert Peston: pawn, naive, too fond of his own voice on the airwaves. Oh, and keen to keep in with the new Secretary of State for Business.

  • Comment number 67.

    Ofcom should be looking into this blatant anti-Tory bias at the BBC. I'm inclined to write to them, although I don't know if it would do any good, the regulators are so toothless.

    And why is Robert Peston even reporting on this, when it is not part of his remit as Business Editor?

  • Comment number 68.

    While you are playing around with this non-story, the following BBC Business News headlines are in your in-tray:

    Factory gloom ‘worst since 1980'
    Retail tycoon criticises UK banks
    House sales slump 53% across UK
    Argentina ‘to take over pensions’
    Bang & Olufsen to cut 300 jobs
    Further banks may fail, says IMF
    Production switch hits Lockheed
    Mandelson pledges business help
    Gas exporters’ group to be formed

    Stop playing politics and get on with your real job, please.

  • Comment number 69.

    Yet again we see the labour faction of the BBC reporters avoiding their primary duty which is to report the news in an unbiased fashion. Here we have the country going to the dogs and all the BBC business reporter can come up with is a Tory breaking the rules on party subscription. Not that this is unimportant, because it is, but the priorities are that this is the worst financial mess this country has been in for decades overseen by a man who was chancellor then Prime Minister. That is the big story.
    It is the same with Brian Taylor the BBC Scotland political reporter who is unashamedly labour and all his blogs are rabidly anti SNP and pro labour.
    What is happening here is what the Americans call Black Ops. Spread disinformation around and avoid discussing the real situation. I wonder how many of those reporters will still be in a job when labour are kicked out of office.

  • Comment number 70.

    Abusing "Nat's" hospitality, what a terrible thing - bet George was his fag at Eton, wasn't he? - or the other way around - or, oh god who cares ...

  • Comment number 71.

    For goodness sake, Peston, enough with the pregnant pauses. By the time you get to the end of a sentence, I have either forgotton the beginning, nodded off, or am well on the way to giving up the will to live.
    I don't know what part you are auditioning for, but you'll never get are much too heavy on the 'ham', dear boy!!!

  • Comment number 72.

    The BBC has become nothing more than a mouthpiece for the worst spin doctors of the worst Government this country has ever has. You Sir are a parody of a serious journalist. It surely cannot be you are peddling this titttle-tattle because Mr Osbourne (quite rightly) is backing the complaints made about you to the SFA?
    You are a disgrace and the organisation you represent is a disgrace

  • Comment number 73.

    As Mr Osborne's statement said at the end This statement constitutes a full and detailed explanation of Mr Osborne and Mr Feldman's dealings with Mr Deripaska. We would now urge Lord Mandelson to provide the same.
    May I suggest that is where you should be looking for the tittle-tattle you are now calling "business" news.

  • Comment number 74.

    I wonder what delightful anecdotes from the benevolent overlords will be on the menu for us obedient serfs tomorrow.
    "Bankers are bleeding from their benevolent hearts at the thought of desperate peasants turning to cannibalism" would be quite good fun.
    It would be a million times better than today`s pitiful offering.

    P.S Don`t we just love pravda-esque tosh?

  • Comment number 75.

    Oh come on everybody - grow up - as I've said elsewhere - the Rothschilds have been playing the chess game with us mere mortals for centuries - this is just yet another example. Machiavelli is their middle name or didn't you all know that?
    RP is merely their pawn.

  • Comment number 76.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 77.

    And we see who our political parties really represent...

    Anyone with money.

  • Comment number 78.

    Robert Preston is now not only content with being the source of leaked information from the government on what or not it is doing in finance, he now thinks he is the king of political journalism as well. Having caused panic in the financial markets he now fancys himself it would seem as a political guru and is working up to telling people who they should vote for no doubt. Does his vanity have no bounds?
    I would suggest he gets on with his job and stops all the sensational stuff that he gets fed with by his Labour cronies, who have been the obvious source of so much information to him.
    As for Mr Meddlesome, Mandleson, would I be surprised if this Report on what Mr Osborne did on not say was all a set up ? no! Would I be surprised if Mr Mandleson is a supplier of the spin?- But then as was said in a well known political book 'you may say that, I could not possibibly comment!

  • Comment number 79.

    @14, this is highly relevant, especially when the world of high finance and the De Rothschilds are mentioned in the same breath.

    Nat's a typical Rothschild, orchestrating things behind the scenes and not wanting undue press attention. The De Rothschilds are apparently worth trillions, so maybe we should ask them to bail the banking system out. The trillionaire Rockerfellers can do the same in the USA, seeing as both sets of families have milked the useless eaters for all their worth all these years.

  • Comment number 80.

    Dear Robert
    ER-- Exactlty what were all these high profiles doing in Corfu,? Some thing does not add up, ESPECIALLY as Mnadelsons name is included. EXactly what as all this about?

  • Comment number 81.

    Yes, yes, yes - very good. Senior politicians attempt to do something underhand regarding party funding. Tell as some NEWS. Anyone who thinks politicians of any party can' won't or don't do this is barking made. Ask Lord Levy. As wots-her-face from Scottish Labour

    Politicians are low-life of even lower morals and people who think otherwise deserve the contempt with which these sneering frauds treat them.

    Now, on to important things. It's Champions League football tonight & tomorrow. This is what the masses want. Not more evidence of something they already knew, politicians are trash.

    In a bit the various rabid party packs will be on here objecting to posts favouring the other side to get the 'mods' to pull them. More predictable than the sun rising tomorrow.

  • Comment number 82.

    Nat Rothschild and George Osborne go back further than University. They were both in the same year at prep school - Colet Court.

  • Comment number 83.

    Mr Preston I think you are flying very close to the wind sensationalising a non story. I was not impressed with your performance nor that of many others on radio 4 this evening. You were struggling to put a coherent sentence together when asked direct questions. I wonder why? Lord heseltine I thought was quiet brilliant dismissing your story as a non story. the trouble here is you Mr p still drawling over the Northern Rock affair are trying to maintain your ego.

  • Comment number 84.

    Robert, I despair - in recent weeks you've been consistently brilliant - now this. I've no idea why you're involved in this trivial and squalid little story - the stench on BBC blogs today is overwhelming.

    I cannot imagine why any right-minded person would give this brain time, let alone air time on the BBC. It absolutely reeks of all the things for which the country rightly despises Mandelson and his cronies - the only reason I don't feel compelled to jump on the "BBC Labour bias" bandwagon is that this story simply serves to remind us what appalling self-indulgent and self-serving people currently occupy positions of power in this country, and why we so desperately need change.

    The (majority of the) public, mercifully, are not nearly as stupid as these upper-class twits like to believe. BBC journalists on the other hand...

  • Comment number 85.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 86.

    Peston, you've lost it.

    The real story is Mandelson- a mate of yours is he?
    There is so much worry about in this country, so much heartache going on with the normal people (non-westminster) and you see fit to fill the airwaves with a nothing story- this is bordering on the absurd. 10 minutes on Radio 4 (PM) this afternoon, and the fact that Mandy may have influenced deciusions for his rich mate gets hardly a mention.

    And then there's Gordon strutting around like a turkey- people are in despair- jobs are going at 55,000 a month, where's teh humility.

    Seriously, get a grip. Your job at this point in time is to hold the Government accountable at every turn, clearly you're too wrapped up trying to please your mates on the left

  • Comment number 87.

    RP - I have been enthralled with your business reporting in general and this blog in particular since the credit crunch and associated economic fallout began to affect us all.

    I am now utterly gob-smacked as to the contents of your last two "smear campaigns" - I don't think I shall call them stories.

    Are you now having to pay the piper for your inside scoops?

    You need to decide whether you want to be a journalist or a government mouthpiece mate.

  • Comment number 88.

    It bothers me that so many people on this blog have only scorn for Robert Peston's reports today. I find the mixing of politicians, playboys and media tycoons on a yacht, and what went on there at a very critical time, to be of great significance and relevance.

    We have all been reeling at the collapse of banks and the causes of the collapse - the informal nature of the rules and lack of transparency being at the centre of the crisis.

    Now we appear to be seeing a phase in the collapse which was inevitable as a power vacuum results from the loss of trust in the current system.

    I believe the situation is very serious - I wouldn't be surprised by any amount of sleaze. It would be in keeping with the vast fortunes and power at stake for there to be total mayhem.

    I read an article on the consequences of light regulation in banking and the ghastly financial collapse of a whole country, written only eight years ago, which was supposed to act as a warning to us. That country was Albania and it was seen as impossible for the sophisticates of Europe ever to create similar conditions for such a mistake.

    Well, it's here and it's happened. The next phase is quite bloody, if I remember correctly, as all the scoundrels responsible for the bankrupting of a nation fought for their position and power and grabbed all the money they could, while the suckers who'd kept their noses to the grindstone were left penniless or worse.

    You'll find some stunning parallels in the article here:

  • Comment number 89.

    Mr Peston, as you are the son of a Labour Peer can I remind you of the BBC Editorial guidelines:
    * We must treat matters of public policy or political or industrial controversy with due accuracy and impartiality in our news services and other output.
    * We must not express an opinion on current affairs or matters of public policy other than broadcasting.
    * We must not campaign, or allow ourselves to be used to campaign.

    Why in your original article 'Rothschild v Osborne' did you start with a background of Rothschild to suggest that you believed his side of the story ...'does not make allegations lightly'.

    Would you consider that Osborne would make a denial of 'soliciting' a donation lightly - or were you not ensuring balance in your article?

    Should you not be disclosing your conflict of interests in your articles, namely that Senior members of the Tory party have asked for an FSA investigation into the leaking of market sensitive news in the last few weeks?

    You were Gordon Browns biographer were you not?

    Did the Independent not suggest that you were identified as being part of the 'Brown' camp in their review of your book back in 2005?

    The Independant also noted...
    "Peston's weaknesses as a modern-day British Kremlinologist are that he is not a full-time political specialist, and his information on the Blair-Brown relationship is one-sided."

    Perhaps a history of bias?

    Are you prepared to be open - as open as Osborne has been, by denying that a member of the Labour party (perhaps even Brown) was the source for your recent 'scoops' on the banks?

    If not, perhaps we should wonder whether you are in fact paying the piper in reporting this story under Business news?

  • Comment number 90.

    Mr Peston

    How much are you being paid by the labour party? no money exchanged, whats the problem?

  • Comment number 91.


    'Why was Rothschild meeting with the EU trade commissioner?'

    Most probably for the same reason he was meeting the possible future UK Chancellor of the exchequer...

  • Comment number 92.




  • Comment number 93.

    Remind me to avoid Corfu for my holidays especially in August!

  • Comment number 94.

    I have a hard day at work trying to keep my business afloat and come home to a bunch of politicos fighting over dinner.


  • Comment number 95.

    OK, so you know Nat Rothschild,who is very rich and very upset, and George Osborne might have been hoping for a donation from a Russian.

    What is illuminating is your own palpable, breathless excitement about it all.

    It has cost you credibility.

  • Comment number 96.

    I very much enjoy your blog and much of what you write normally appears to make good sense, however I was very much surprised to hear your Radio 4 broadcast commenting on the times article.
    It really seemed like you were stepping out of the character you were receiving my respect for and now it just looks like your part of the gutter press/gutter bbc journalist world. Very dissapointing and maybe its best to stick to facts.
    Thankyou though for the more appropriate business commentary.

  • Comment number 97.

    This is so dull.

    Settlement of Lehman CDS today and Peston is rambling on about a non-story.

    If you were on a billionaries yacht would you ask for a few quid? So what.

  • Comment number 98.

    Alll this says is that people should stay in their own parish. Might know about hedges but this is not his game. But who cares, game on Mr R.

  • Comment number 99.

    I'm Robert Peston, the BBC's business editor. This blog is my regular take on the business stories and issues that matter.

    could'a fooled me !

  • Comment number 100.

    To all those Tories who jump in and say that Robert Preston, as business editor, shouldn't be reporting this, I can only say - get lost.

    We need to know about all this, Robert Preston, and we need you to keep on reporting.

    Courage, comme on dit. (the French language infuriates them even more).


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