20 May 2008

Male Role Models and the Need for a Father

I note that David Blunkett voted for clinics to consider the need for a Father and /or male role model.

During his time as Home Secretary, Blunkett admitted to having a relationship with Kimberly Fortier, an American publisher. The three-year relationship ended acrimoniously in August 2004 with Fortier choosing to return to her husband, Stephen Quinn. Fortier has since reverted to her married name.

Blair regarded it proper for Blunkett to remain Home Secretary while pursuing his pregnant former lover in the courts to ascertain paternity of her unborn child as it appeared of no relevance to his ministerial position. However, at the end of November 2004, it was alleged that Blunkett abused his position to assist his ex-lover's Filipino nanny, Leoncia "Luz" Casalme, by speeding up her residence visa application. Though there was no evidence Blunkett was responsible for the email or its title, he resigned as Home Secretary saying that questions about his honesty were damaging the government.

In late October 2005, David Blunkett began to feel the pressure of the media for a second time. Two weeks before the 2005 Genral Election he took up a directorship in a company called DNA Bioscience and bought £15 000 of shares in the company. Blunkett was asked to explain why he had not consulted the Advisory Committee on Business Appointments regarding the directorship. Having placed the shares into an independent trust, "Mr Blunkett said he had asked his three grown-up sons from his first marriage to authorise trustees to "dispose of" the shares. They agreed to the request." Blunkett's political opponents claimed that a conflict of interest was created by him having been director of and holding shares in a company proposing to bid for government contracts to provide paternity tests to the Child Support Agency – part of the DWP, of which he was Secretary of State.
An investigation – asked for by Prime Minister Tony Blair – found that although Blunkett had not broken the Ministerial Code by becoming a director of the company or buying its shares, he should have consulted the Advisory Committee before doing so.

His personal life has been colourful, Blunkett divorced his wife, by whom he had three sons, in 1990. In 2004, with news of his affair, Blunkett asserted that he was the father of Quinn's two-year-old son, William and also perhaps of her then-unborn child. Quinn denied this, claiming that both children were her husband's. In late 2004, Blunkett began a legal challenge to gain access to William. In late December 2004, as was widely reported in the media, DNA tests confirmed that Quinn's two-year-old son, William, was Blunkett's child. In March 2005 it was confirmed that Blunkett was not the father of Quinn's newborn son, Lorcan. In 2005 there was more speculation about Blunkett's private life, this time regarding a young woman and for not disclosing free membership to an exclusive London nightclub. The matter with the young women has been cleared up following a full apology from the newspaper which printed the original story and his membership at the nightclub has been forfeited.

See David Blunkett Paternity Case

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