E&Y bids £40,000 for Prince of Darkness

Ernst & Young has enlisted the services of former trade and industry secretary Peter Mandelson, in an apparent attempt to beef up its links with the Labour government.

Mandelson (above), who was forced to leave his post last December after details of his home loan from former paymaster general Geoffrey Robinson were revealed, is due to speak at a corporate dinner later this month.

E&Y is reported to have extended its offer of work to include a series of similar events, under a contract understood to be worth £40,000 a year.

The firm confirmed that the former minister was being paid to speak at a long-established series of influential dinner events, where strategic clients are introduced to leading politicians and other figures in the public eye.

Recruiting Mandelson, a man who is still at the centre of the New Labour movement, is seen as a move that could help E&Y claw back some of the ground it has lost to KPMG. The rival firm has managed to grab the majority of the government contracts that have been won by the Big Five since Labour took office two years ago.

KPMG’s links with Tony Blair’s government have already been questioned by MPs in the Commons.

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