Manchester

Lord Mandelson named as Manchester Metropolitan University chancellor

Lord Mandelson
Image caption Lord Mandelson came third in a ballot to become chancellor of the University of Manchester, losing out to poet Lemn Sissay

Lord Peter Mandelson has been named as the new chancellor of Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU).

The peer, who was Britain's European Trade Commissioner and First Secretary of State, was unanimously chosen by the university's governors.

In June, the 62-year-old lost out to poet Lemn Sissay in a vote for the same role at the University of Manchester.

He said taking up the role at "a successful world-class university" like MMU was "a great honour".

Lord Mandelson, once nicknamed the "Prince of Darkness" for his political dealings, was one of the architects of New Labour and its landslide victory in 1997.

He held cabinet positions under Prime Ministers Tony Blair and Gordon Brown, including Secretary of State for Trade and Minister without Portfolio.

'World-class statesman'

Referring to the present government's Northern Powerhouse vision and the devolution of powers to the city, Lord Mandelson said he was "strongly committed to the changes Manchester is undergoing".

"The city has the vision, the professional organisation and teamwork to play a key role in radically reshaping Britain's economy and political system.

"That was an important project for me in my time in government and so I am delighted to accept this offer to contribute further."

The chair of MMU's governors Vanda Murray said that, as "a world-class statesman", Lord Mandelson would "bring immense expertise, knowledge and skill to enhance our relationships with business and international partners".

Earlier this year, Lord Mandelson came third in a ballot for the chancellorship of the University of Manchester behind poet Lemn Sissay and Hallé Orchestra music director Sir Mark Elder.

He will take up his new role on 1 April 2016, replacing MMU's present chancellor Dame Dianne Thompson.

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