Mandelson hopes for wind of change

Lord Peter Mandelson after being officially appointed as High Steward of Hull with Baroness Virginia Bottomley, who was made Sheriff of Hull, at the city's Guildhall
Lord Peter Mandelson after being officially appointed as High Steward of Hull with Baroness Virginia Bottomley, who was made Sheriff of Hull, at the city's Guildhall
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HULL’S new High Steward Lord Mandelson has promised to do what he can to bring German manufacturer Siemens to the city.

The Labour peer was sworn in the resurrected ambassadorial role his late grandfather Herbert Morrison once had at Hull’s Guildhall, along with Baroness Bottomley, who takes up the post as Sheriff.

The peer, who helped forge links between Siemens and Hull when he was Business Secretary under Labour, said he hoped to “beat the drum” for the city. The region has been on tenterhooks awaiting an investment decision by the company over a £210m wind turbine factory at Alexandra Dock.

He said: “Times are very difficult with Europe’s economy. Siemens is a great global company with huge strengths but also great pressures. So I am going to help others refocus Siemens on their commitment to Hull and hopefully they will follow through.”

Asked whether he was concerned about treading on the toes of former Deputy Prime Minister and Hull East MP Lord Prescott, who sent a testy letter to councillors, after being overlooked for the honorary role, he smiled and said: “I know from past experience and my friendship with John that it is best to do everything possible to avoid his toes.

“He has been very welcoming to me in taking up this post and I look forward to working with him and others in Hull’s interests.”

Baroness Bottomley, Chancellor of the University of Hull, is championing the city’s bid for City of Culture 2017.