Lord Mandelson appointed to High Steward of Hull post

Lord Mandelson and Virginia Bottomley
Image caption Lord Mandelson and former Tory MP Virginia Bottomley were both appointed to ancient ceremonial posts at a special ceremony at Hull's Guildhall

Lord Mandelson has been officially appointed to the newly resurrected post of High Steward of Hull.

He follows in the footsteps of his grandfather, Labour foreign and home secretary Herbert Morrison, who was High Steward of Hull from 1956 to 1965.

In a ceremony at Hull's Guildhall, Lord Mandelson vowed to serve the city to his "best judgement and ability".

At the same ceremony, former Tory MP Virginia Bottomley was appointed to the rejuvenated role of Sheriff of Hull.

The Queen gave the city permission for the two ancient ceremonial posts to be reinstated after they were abolished in 1974.

'Faithfully fulfil'

Both roles were scrapped following a local government reorganisation.

The Office of High Steward was created in 1583 while the Office of Sheriff dates back to 1440.

Holders of the posts will act as ambassadors for the city and attend civic events, Hull City Council said.

The High Steward serves for 10 years while the Sheriff serves for three.

In a short speech following his appointment, Lord Mandelson said he would embrace the role of High Steward and "duly and faithfully fulfil the duties of it, according to my best judgment and ability".

When Hull City Council announced Lord Mandelson's selection for the High Steward role, Lord Prescott, who was MP for Hull East from 1970 to 2010, said he was surprised it had not been discussed with him.

But he said: "I also have no interest in being a steward again - I did that job on the liners for 10 years."

Hull City Council commissioned a jewellery workshop in the city to design and create the chain of office for the High Steward and to refurbish the chain of office for the Sheriff.

Funding for the chains came from money left to the council by Col Rupert Alexander Alec-Smith.

Col Smith was Sheriff of Hull between 1949 and 1950, Lord Mayor of Hull in 1970 and 1971, as well as Lord Lieutenant of Humberside between 1980 and 1983.

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