Challenge over Mandelson loan


London - Northern Ireland Secretary Mr Peter Mandelson has been challenged over his version of the controversial home loan by the man who leant him the £373,000 to buy a luxury house.

Mr Mandelson has always insisted the former British Treasury Minister, Mr Geoffrey Robinson, willingly proffered the cash, but his version of events is disputed by Mr Robinson in an autobiography serialised in the Mail newspaper.

The former Paymaster General, who was forced to quit along with the then Trade Secretary Mr Mandelson when details of the loan were revealed, insists the minister approached him looking for a loan. A spokesman for Mr Mandelson said the minister would not be commenting on the allegations.