Magazine article New Statesman (1996)

Charlie Whelan Says ... Don't Believe It: "Punters Back Blunkett"

Magazine article New Statesman (1996)

Charlie Whelan Says ... Don't Believe It: "Punters Back Blunkett"

Article excerpt

It took a while, but eventually one of Rupert Murdoch's rags came up with an opinion poll on "Nannygate". And guess what? It revealed that the voters back David Blunkett, the Home Secretary.

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The problem for the Times is that the poll was conducted before the Mail on Sunday revealed a previous lover and its sister paper ran extracts of Blunkett's new official biography, in which he slags off the rest of the cabinet. Even without the present crisis, this book could have finished him off--it certainly ends any chance the Sheffield MP had of ever becoming Labour leader.

Like most people, I don't give a monkey's whom Blunkett chooses to sleep with, and even have a certain sympathy with him. But his problem inside the party is that many MPs dislike his politics and his arrogance. He says that he had to take on Gordon Brown early in new Labour's first term. Was he referring to the time, shortly after the Chancellor had made the Bank of England independent, when Blunkett met the bank's bosses in secret to demand they cut interest rates? …

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