London, Oct.6 : Britain's new Business Secretary, Peter Mandelson, is said to have savagely criticized Prime Minister Gordon Brown during a private meal with George Osborne, the shadow chancellor, just weeks before joining the Cabinet.
According to The Telegraph, Mandelson is said to have "dripped pure poison" when describing Gordon Brown and also informed Osborne that the next general election will be held in May 2010.
Both men have admitted that the meeting had taken place, with Mandelson going further and threatening to reveal what the shadow Chancellor had told him privately about the Conservatives.
The disclosure will cast further doubt over Brown's decision to bring Mandelson back into the Cabinet in last week's reshuffle.
Mandelson is regarded as a divisive figure in the Labour Party and some MPs close to the Prime Minister fear that he may undermine him in future.
There has been a long-running feud between Brown and Mandelson dating back to the early 1990s although both men insisted over the weekend that their disagreements lay well in the past.
The meeting between Mandelson and Osborne is understood to have taken place in Taverna Agni on the Greek island of Corfu in August. Mandelson yesterday said that the leaking of the conversation was "straight out of a dirty tricks department". He insisted "there was no poison being dripped"..
Osborne declined to discuss the meeting.