Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev. Richard Nixon and Mao Tse Tung. Noel Gallagher and Damon Albarn.
There have been many unlikely handshakes throughout history, but today The Huffington Post UK witnessed one of the most unexpected yet
Lord Mandelson, the so-called Prince of Darkness himself, was talking to journalists outside the conference hall at the Labour Party conference in Brighton this afternoon.
Emerging through the doors on the opposite side of the room was new Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell, a man never bought into the New Labour project.
Huffington Post UK Politics reporters were on the scene, and set about bringing the two together for what would be an historic meeting.
PEACE IN OUR TIME! John McDonnell and Peter Mandelson meet! https://t.co/TGh8jXzK0J— Owen Bennett (@owenjbennett) September 28, 2015
Alerting other journalists to the two key figures in the room, the media worked together to bring the men together.
McDonnell appeared the more reticent, and time seemed to stand still as the pair locked eyes before actually shaking hands.
Well, if it saves one life... https://t.co/CPSgJe8ti2— Dan Kelly (@DanKellyEsq) September 28, 2015
Relations appeared cordial, and Channel 4 reporter Michael Crick asked the pair if they were “great friends now.”
McDonnell replied: “We’ve known each other over the years, we worked together ten years ago.”
Lord Mandelson added: “Jeremy Corbyn says there is room for every single opinion, every single viewpoint in the party. He wants everyone to contribute to the policy making.”
Crick decided to see just how thawed relations now were. “Let’s have a hug then!” he suggested.
Amid laughter, McDonnell chided: “Now you’re pushing your luck.”
And with that, the two men went their separate ways.
On the spot reaction to THAT handshake https://t.co/YrGGNwlBco— Owen Bennett (@owenjbennett) September 28, 2015
Hear the cordial exchange between McDonnell and Mandelson, and reaction to suggestion of a hug pic.twitter.com/CP1uL5lPNW— Graeme Demianyk (@GraemeDemianyk) September 28, 2015