Mandelson memoirs: Paul Dacre was Gordon Brown's favourite journalist

An interview between Peter Mandelson and Ginny Dougary of The Times sheds more light on Daily Mail editor Paul Dacre’s close relationship with former prime minister Gordon Brown.

Mandelson tells Dougary:

“I always remember having dinner with Paul Dacre, the editor of the Daily Mail – it must be getting on for a decade ago – he liked Gordon, and Dacre was Gordon’s favourite journalist and newspaper editor – quite how they were able to conjure up such warmth – hahaha – I don’t know, but they did.

But Paul made a very interesting observation about Gordon. First, in his view, Gordon was put on Earth by God to do good and had genuine convictions and they were a force for good. Secondly, that he has a tin ear as far as Middle England is concerned; he doesn’t easily get on to their wavelength, hear them or respond. And, thirdly, that he is an incredibly stubborn person. Once he thinks he’s right, once he’s made up his mind, it’s very difficult to get him on to a different track.”

Another interesting media snippet from the interview is the astonishing claim (from the man who practically introduced the term ‘spin-doctor’ to the UK) that he doesn’t read newspapers.

Dougary writes:

Mandelson says that he cannot really be bothered to read newspapers (apart from one of The Times’s rivals, which might be considered somewhat ungracious of him in the circumstances).

“To be honest, I very rarely find anything to read in them, hahahahahaha.” I suppose when you were in government that can’t have been the case? “No, I didn’t read them and, to be honest, not only did I not miss them but I didn’t find that professionally I needed to have them in order to do my job.”

Read the full interview from Saturday’s Times (paywall protected) here.

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