BLUNKETT GIRL SPEAKS: David Is 'Lovely' and 'Deeply Passionate'

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Byline: By PETE SAMSON

DAVID Blunkett's friend Sally Anderson yesterday defended her "lovely friendship" with the "deeply passionate" cabinet minister.

Estate agent Sally, 29, insisted she would continue her relationship with Mr Blunkett, 58, because "we are both free agents and our friendship affects no one".

She said yesterday: "David and I have a lovely friendship and have done for some months since we were introduced by a mutual friend.

"It is very true that we have much in common and enjoy many shared interests. He is a remarkable man who is deeply passionate about his role and I have never met anyone more committed to a job.

"This commitment and passion make him the excellent politician that he is. Whatever he chooses to do in his private life or whoever he chooses to see will not alter that."

Mr Blunkett and Sally, of Ascot, Berks, have been on several dates since they met in June at a London nightclub - but his spokesman insists the relationship is "platonic".

Last night her mother Kathy Atkinson, 53, said she had not been introduced to the Sheffield Brightside MP "yet", adding: "I can quite understand why he is so taken with her. …