Asked about his biggest scoop after more than a decade at The Guardian, editor Alan Rusbridger replied: “I’d say Mandelson’s house and the Aitken story.”
But Rusbridger’s first reference Ã¢â‚¬’to the paper’s 1998 story about former Treasury minister Geoffrey Robinson‘s secret loan to Peter Mandelson of Ã‚£373,000, so that Mandelson could buy a home in Notting Hill Ã¢â‚¬’is at odds with the memories of the Daily Mirror’s Paul Routledge.
The truculent columnist had lined up the revelation as the bombshell disclosure in his unauthorised biography of Mandy. But he was to be sorely disappointed.
The publishers sent a package containing the manuscript to Router’s office at the House of Commons for checking, but it mysteriously disappeared.
Equally mysteriously, the package was later returned Ã¢â‚¬’opened.
A chum of Router’s says: “Paul was furious. But he reckons he knows who half-inched it and gave it to her chums on The Guardian. He calls her Ã¢â‚¬ËœFingers’ to this day.
“And if one thing gets Paul even more frothy than usual, it’s Rusbridger continually claiming the Mandy story as a Guardian exclusive.”