Research Fortnight reports that whilst addressing the House of Commons Business and Enterprise Select Committee on 21 October, Peter Mandelson said that he would have made a strong argument against the decision to shift science to the Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills. Referring to his time in the DTI (when it had responsibility for science and business) he is quoted as saying, "What I promoted at the time was a bridge between the research that took place in universities, the excellent science base that we have in this country and the commercial sector."
Adam Afriyie, shadow minister for science and innovation has interpreted Mandelson's views as a clear criticism of Gordon Brown and his reorganisation of Whitehall. However, Phil Willis, chairman of the House of Commons Innovation, Universities, Science and Skills Committee is quoted in Research Fortnight as saying, "I find it quite amazing that someone who has been out of the loop for the last three years can come in making such statements about another department."
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