Blunkett – Bonkers Fantasist?

The PMOS told the lobby today that David Blunkett’s claim to be helping to take decisions in Tony Blair’s absence was fantasy. The disgraced ex-Home Secretary claimed at the weekend he was working with Prescott to cover “a whole range of issues while other good colleagues are taking a break”. Blunkett said he was taking responsibility for helping explain the government’s proposed new laws to tackle extremism. “I obviously have the experience and the knowledge and I help out in terms of having to take, with John Prescott, the necessary decisions in the next couple of weeks,” he fantasised.

The PMOS said that Blunkett was not among the Cabinet ministers consulted by Prescott over the weekend. “The deputy prime minister is in charge while the prime minister is on holiday” Prescott’s office said he always took over in Mr Blair’s absence and “the arrangements have been the same for the last seven summers… This weekend he spoke to four or five of them, some of whom were on holiday.” Blunkett was not among those the deputy prime minister talked to on the weekend. Prescott has had a few run ins with Blunkett so that’s no surprise.

Last week, Home Office minister Hazel Blears said she, not Blunkett, was in charge at the department while Charles Clarke is away on holiday. Her comments came after Blunkett appeared to suggest he was standing in for the Fat Controller. Blunkett back-tracked at the weekend: “Hazel Blears substitutes for the Home Secretary, she is his deputy and she is doing extremely well.”

Blunkett should concentrate on trying to sort out his own department’s mess rather than yearning for his old one. Maybe his amnesia is back and he forgets he is no longer Home Secretary…




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