What Is It With Other Men’s Women?

Blunkett it transpires had a “messy affair” with a civil servant, Denise Maguire, a secretary nearly 20 years his junior who worked in his Whitehall office when he was Education Secretary five years ago. At the time she was living with another civil servant, Andy Hurdle, who also worked for Blunkett. When Blunkett intervened to stop Mr Hurdle “bad-mouthing” him, it caused a revolt from staff who claimed he behaved “disgracefully”.

After the row Hurdle was promoted to another position in the department and given a pay rise to “buy his silence”. Hurdle told other staff “I cannot believe it: the Secretary of State has stolen my girlfriend.” The affair with Ms Maguire lasted about five months. She moved out of the home that she shared with Hurdle, although they have since got back together and now have a two-year-old daughter.

Blunkett’s spinners in the Sundays claimed “To say the man was promoted to buy his silence is complete rubbish. David has nothing to do with such matters and would never act in such a way.” The spinner denied the relationship was in any way improper owing to the age gap, Ms Maguire’s junior position in Mr Blunkett’s office or the fact her boyfriend also worked in the department.

So clearly top Education department mandarin Sir Michael Bichard wasn’t dispatched to hush it all up and promote the boyfriend out of harms way with a big pay rise as well?




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