David Blunkett

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David Blunkett was the British Home Secretary from 2001 to December 2004.

Blunkett was also Secretary of State for Work and Pensions from May 2005 to November 2005

In November 2004, Blunkett became embroiled in Nannygate, a scandal concerning allegations that he fast-tracked a visa application to allow his lover's Filipina nanny to stay in Britain. [1]

Blunkett responded to the allegations by setting up a purportedly independent inquiry, headed by Sir Alan Budd who was chief economic advisor to Conservative Chancellors during the 1990s [2].

However, he was forced to resign after Budd's inquiry established that Blunkett's office had intervened in the visa approval process [3].

Affiliations

Entries from Register of Members's Interests

5. Gifts, benefits and hospitality (UK)

October 2003, upgrade flight with Virgin Atlantic to St Lucia. (Registered 21 October 2003)

8. Land and Property

Second home in London, from which I temporarily receive rental income.

Within weeks of being forced to resign from the government, for the first time, last year, David Blunkett picked several jobs, consultancies and after-dinner speaking engagements which earned him around £70,000. Blunkett, was associate consultant to Indepen, a London based firm which advises utility companies around the world on their relations with government regulators. He was paid between £15,000 and £20,000 for giving seminars between January and April in 2005. [4]

Blunkett, was a paid adviser to the charity World ORT, he received between £15,000 and £20,000. However, he seems to have been confused about the charity's name. In the register of members' interests he says he earned the money working for the Organisation for Research and Technology. ORT is known as the Organisation for Rehabilitation through Training. [5]

The register of members' interests shows Blunkett earned £5,000- £10,000 for a speech at an asset managers' awards evening, up to £5,000 for a speech at a seminar, £10,000-£15,000 for for writing columns in the British tabloid, the Daily Mirror, and up to £5,000 for an article in the British tabloid, the Daily Mail. [6]

Special advisers whilst Home Secretary

From an old copy of DodOnline's profile of David Blunkett, via the Google cache [7]:

Blunkett's Second Resignation

On 31 October 2005 Blunkett was forced to sell shares he bought for his children in a company called DNA Bioscience, a company specialising in genetic testing, that tendered for a contract at his own department. Blunkett also chaired DNA Bioscience for two weeks after resigning as Home Secretary. After serving in a ministerial position, MP’s must declare any private interests which might merit a conflict of interest. The fact that he did not is a breach of the ministerial code. The fact that Blunkett sold his shares came too late to avoid any damage. [8]

Blunkett stands to make more than £450,000 for his family from his links to the firm after advising it on the government’s views about DNA technology. The return comes from an investment of just £15,000 made in DNA Bioscience in April 2005. [9]

An investigation by Cabinet secretary Sir Gus O'Donnell found that although Blunkett had not broken the Ministerial Code by becoming a director for, or buying shares in the company, he should have consulted the Advisory Committee before doing so. [10]

Blunkett declared that he would not be resigning quoting to a newspaper "I have done nothing wrong." A statement by Downing Street said that the prime minister, Tony Blair did not believe that Blunkett's mistake should stop him doing his job. [11]

Opposition parties called for an enquiry after a series of events which broke rules of political conduct set by an independent Whitehall watchdog. Under the Ministerial Code of Conduct, former ministers are required to consult the Advisory Committee on Business Appointments over any appointment they take up within two years of leaving office. [12]

However on 1 November 2005, in a statement to the press Blunkett said: "I clearly have broken the Ministerial Code of Conduct. When I say I have done nothing wrong, what I mean is I have actually not in office taken any steps, been involved in any discussions, had any talks, or misused my position in any way. I am guilty of a mistake and I am paying the price for it. I make no bones about saying that is my fault and I stand by it. I am deeply sorry for the embarrassment that I have caused to the Prime Minister... It is the Prime Minister that some people want to target." [13]

Blunkett was replaced as Home Secretary by Charles Clarke who had previously been Education Secretary. [14]

SourceWatch resources

  • Oracle Capital Group Advisory board, organizational web page, accessed January 8, 2016.
  • People, National Citizen Service, accessed February 23, 2015.
  • Thrive People, organizational web page, accessed May 2, 2013.
  • Helena Kennedy Foundation People, organizational web page, accessed May 24, 2013.