Martin Bright, in the Observer 18 September 2005, reveals more information on Labour minister David Blunkett:
After Blunkett resigned as Home Secretary, 'a friend' of the MP rang the Observer and said:
'If you had actually planted her [Quinn] it would be a sort of Secret Service plot. Get someone as close as possible [to someone] in one of the high offices of state and then pull them down.'
The Observer reported the source's comments.
The Labour party issued a categorical denial of the story.
The Observer "has now decided to publish evidence that the Labour statement was untrue. The call from the source was made at 8.27am on Saturday 18 December 2004, and the words were recorded on voicemail. This newspaper still has the recording of that message and a later conversation with the same source. In the later conversation, the source asked for the comments to be off the record. We agreed. We will not reveal our source, but there is no doubt David Blunkett knows who it is.
"Yet Blunkett must have agreed, later that evening when the story appeared, to the Labour statement, which read: 'Neither David Blunkett or anyone who speaks with his authority has said this.'
"The statement was emailed to The Observer at 10.47pm by a party press officer, Matthew Doyle. He is now Blunkett's special adviser and was fielding calls last week about separate claims that Blunkett intervened over his son's exam results.
"In a flurry of phone calls that continued late that night, The Observer made clear to Doyle that if the Labour party continued to disown the comments, we would release the voicemail tape and the subsequent conversation. Labour withdrew the statement that evening.
"Doyle confirmed this weekend that the original statement to The Observer, in which Blunkett denied that he or anyone authorised to speak for him had made the comments, was 'modified' to reflect our objections and 'was not given to other newspapers'. There is no suggestion that Doyle has done anything wrong.
"The Observer did not publish details of the subsequent exchange with the party because the comments were off the record. In addition, Blunkett had resigned from high office.
"However, after the election he was appointed Work and Pensions Secretary after less than six months in the wilderness. Now he is tipped for a return to the Home Office. In a week in which Blunkett has been called duplicitous by one of the country's most respected former police chiefs and a liar by his biographer, The Observer has decided to reveal these details."
1. Last week Lord Stevens, the former Metropolitan Police Commissioner, accused Blunkett of being 'duplicitous and intimidating' and his biographer, Stephen Pollard, said: 'Whatever else he may be, Blunkett is indeed a liar.'
2. As Home Secretary, he had to resign because of his poor recollection of details of the visa application for the nanny of his former lover, Kimberly Quinn. An inquiry by the former senior civil servant, Sir Alan Budd, last year found 'a chain of events' linking the Home Secretary to the visa application.