DAVID BLUNKETT

 

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David Blunkett's former lover Kimberly Quinn kept detailed diaries of their affair. Tout le monde has been buzzing with rumours about the Spectator publisher's close relationships with other prominent men.

 

DAVID Blunkett’s love life has long been a turbulent tale – revealing him as a man beset by the sort of passions usually found only in a bodice-ripping Mills and Boon novel.

 

But yesterday (27-01-09) it emerged that a new chapter is ready to be written, with the announcement that the former Home Secretary is set to marry again.

And in true romantic-novel style, the veteran Labour MP asked his fiancee’s parents for her hand in marriage.

Mr Blunkett, 61, who was born blind, and Dr Margaret Williams, 50, who works at a Sheffield health centre, made their engagement announcement last weekend at her birthday party.

They have been going out with each other for three years.

Mr Blunkett, MP for Sheffield Brightside and a former leader of the city council, said: “We’re looking to the future but have not yet arranged a date. We’re very pleased to be setting out on a new and happy journey together.”

Dr Williams proudly showed off a diamond engagement ring at the party.

The mother of twins Claire and Helen, 15, and Kate, 17, was previously married to dentist Phil Williams.

Two of Mr Blunkett’s four sons from his first marriage and all three of Dr Williams’ children were at the party at her home in Sheffield.

Dr Williams’ parents Peter and Joan, whom Mr Blunkett asked for permission to marry her, were also present.

Speaking yesterday at her Sheffield home, Dr Williams’ mother said: “We are absolutely delighted. We were introduced to David some time ago after he and Margaret met socially in Sheffield.

“He was a thorough gentleman and asked our approval to marry our daughter. Of course we said ‘yes’, and they announced the news at the birthday party.”

Mr Blunkett’s first marriage to Ruth ended in divorce in 1990.

But in 2004 he was drawn into a maelstrom of publicity after it emerged he had fathered a child by married magazine publisher Kimberly Quinn during a three-year affair. He resigned as Home Secretary in the wake of claims that a visa for Mrs Quinn’s Filipina nanny had been speeded up.

The relationship with Mrs Quinn – 14 years his junior – ended in bitterness and she returned to her husband.

But until the baby was a given a DNA test, Mr Blunkett also believed that he was the father of another son Mrs Quinn had been expecting.

Speaking of his “little lad” in a tearful resignation interview, Mr Blunkett said his son would “want to know not just that his father actually cared enough about him to sacrifice his career but he will want to know, I hope, that his mother has some regret.”

He later admitted that during the custody battle he had “cracked” and that “at one point I really did think I was going mad”.

Mr Blunkett appeared to dive headlong into London’s cafe society.

He became a well-known face at Annabel’s, the London nightspot more used to minor royalty and flashy millionaires than Labour politicians.

There was another storm when it emerged that Mr Blunkett had failed to declare an honorary membership to the club worth £3,000.

He returned to high office after the 2005 general election as Work and Pensions Secretary but was forced to quit again following a row over his business interests.

It was at Annabel’s that Mr Blunkett developed a close friendship with 29-year-old estate agent Sally Anderson – who betrayed him and sold her story to a newspaper.

As a boy of four, Mr Blunkett was packed off to a council boarding school and his parents were allowed to visit him only once a month.

Then, when he was 12, his father was killed in a horrific accident at work, falling into a vat of boiling water.

Mr Blunkett and his mother were left virtually penniless and fought a long battle for compensation from the gas company.

 

 

 

David Blunkett and Tony Blair

 

Sneak preview of Kimberly's Diary!

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Hi there, adorables. Well, here I am, still in little old England, and simply on top of the world - not to mention half London's menfolk.

My New Year resolution? To limit myself. "Kimberly," I said to myself as I stared at the looking glass this morning and did a twirl in my ra-ra skirt, high heels and Barbie curls, "Kimbo precious, we're gonna start a new regime."

From now on it's no more than three guys in any one week.

Sundays don't count, of course. A girl's gotta be allowed to nibble on a bone once in a while.

Leoncia, our new Filipina servant, has made a good start. Has learned to stand to attention when I enter the room, do the correct salute, sing the Horst Wessel song and call me 'princess'.

English not perfect, but better than John Prescott's. (JP has compensating virtues, though. Am sure he'd be all man. Grrrr!)

February

Folk sometimes say English men are cold. Not once I've warmed them up a little, they ain't. Had Blunkers round here this morning, hot as a Spanish sausage. Touched me all over like a Braille menu.

Had only just shown him the door an hour later, and was barely through with restoring my Alice band and smoothing the creases out of my fat-ankle length skirt, when boyfriend number two came on the line to demand one of our 'business lunches'.

"Simon Hoggart, you are insatiable!" I exclaimed with a girlish gasp. And with that I whipped out my Filofax, conjured a pen out of thin air and fitted him in before my trip to the gynaecologist.

The Spectator is doing well. Naturally, I take all the credit. Boris, the editor, is in no position to complain. He and I have a little secret.

Dan Colson, sidekick of our owner Conrad Black, came on the squawk box this afternoon saying he wanted to fix dinner so he could 'look over one or two figures' and 'talk options'.

Say, Dan, that's not such a bad idea, big boy. Let's fix on somewhere cosy where the lighting is not too bright.

March

Leoncia brings in the morning mail while I'm in my asses' milk bath, having a facepack - cucumber and essence of hazelnut, said to be soothing for the pores and a good source of karma and humility.

Not that I need any humility. It's only for the little people.

"Lady," says Leoncia. "Here big stiffy." My left eye sure popped wide open at that, let me tell ya.

Leoncia was speaking the truth. In her hands was a big, gilt-lettered invitation. Kimberly Solomon shall go to the ball! Naturally, my mind flew straight back to November 2003, when Blunkers took me to the Buckingham Palace state dinner for George Bush.

What a night. The cream of London 'society', and I was the cat that got to lick it. Purr, miaow, purr. Lick, lick, lick.

How will I ever forget the sight of Prince Philip? So handsome in his outfit, and just the age I like them frisky pensioners.

Didn't think much of the Queen's tiara but was impressed by the constructive, silent way Her Maj took my criticisms.

"Liz, honey," I said, "believe me, diamonds are so last year - and is that gem-encrusted choker truly such a great choice? Should we really be drawing attention to the royal neck at our age? I don't think so!

"As I was telling Barbara Amiel only the other day, scraggy dewlaps do nothing for a girl."

Sadly, this invitation was not to another do at the palace. (Told it may be some time before I get asked back though am sure it was nothing I can have said.) It was just some boring publishing party.

Publishing? Who cares? Boring words, words, words. It's not as if I ever have much time for reading - though I wouldn't mind taking a John Mortimer to bed occasionally. Or a Melvyn Bragg. Now there's a thought.

April

Drove Lazlo to the vet this morning to get him castrated. I did warn him not to misbehave but he simply would not listen. So snip, snip, it was.

Lazlo? Didn't I tell you? No, he's not some new Italian waiter friend. He's my pet dog, a Dandie Dinmont terrier, and he has been fighting with Blunkers's guide dog, Sadie. Castration is the only way to make him less aggressive.

I wonder if the same is true of men. Take that John Humphrys. Not a bad idea, say I. Take him anytime, I would.

But seriously, there is one ballsy guy. Maybe a trip to the vet would calm him down. Blunkers is always complaining about Humphrys. Maybe I should have a discreet word with gorgeous Alastair Campbell.

Talking of broadcasting swoons, I caught Sir Trevor McDonald on my box later on. Trev, baby, you can bing my bongs any day you like. What a great newscaster. The way he tilts that noble head of his. Woof, woof, says Kimbo!

May

Why DO I get the flushes over these media boys? Take those Guardian guys - they're just so sweet I feel I could eat them.

Their editor, Alan Rusbridger, is the little lost boy, with his Harry Potter glasses and ruffled hair... far too young for Kimbo.

But the other day, I came across Hoggart's colleague, political editor Michael White. An authoritarian little pencil moustache to go with a champagne socialist house in France. Now, he could be my type.

I feel positively itchy for more.

June

Still awaiting the call-up to Sir David Frost's summer drinks party. Have decided that if none is forthcoming by the end of this week I am going to walk round to Frostie's house and give the old fella a flash of my assets the moment he opens the door.

"Hello, good morning, and you're welcome to it," I could say, while flinging wide my very best Bloomingdale's fur coat.

I must, must, must get to that party. Michael Grade, Yentob, wicked Willie Hague, pert cock Robin Cook. All likely to be there. It is the Everest of social-climbing - and I am Sherpa Tenzing.

Leoncia's residency documents have all been 'sorted', with Blunkers's people so v. helpful, saying: "Of course, Mrs Quinn, whatever you say, Mrs Quinn."

Wonder if I can call on their good offices again. Our TV licence renewal form has arrived and it is just so complicated for a poor, tiny American girl like me.

Maybe they could have a word with the authorities and get us let off it for just this weeny teeny year. Please? You will? Oh that's wonderful. Big kisses.

July

More paperwork. Leoncia says we need new photographs for our sports centre membership cards.

I wonder if Lord Snowdon is available? Well, silly question. There's one Brit who is always available. His motordrive is always set to automatic.

Been feeling a bit sick in the mornings recently. Went to the doc - a Harley Street hunk with attractive hands and a really cute way with that ticklish stethoscope. Turns out I'm pregnant.

"Now comes the hard part," says the doc kindly, showing that he understands how pregnancies can be painful.

"Hard part? Too right," I snarled. "We've gotta work out who the goddamn father is, for starters."

August

 

Houston, we have a problem. The papers have got hold of my little friendship with Blunkers and have splashed it all over their front pages.

My husband, Stephen, is being soooo understanding. That dear man is the most sweet-hearted doormat any woman ever had.

Of course, the paparazzi have been lodged outside the door. And of course I have been giving a lot of thought to my wardrobe.

Do we play it glamorous? Or do we go for victim chic - you know, dark clothes and black make-up under the eyes?

My PR friend Julia Hobsbawm is always full of ideas. Maybe Yves St Laurent and Fendi would be interested in chucking me a few free outfits to model in front of the nation's press.

September

My little secret with Boris is out. As the entire free world now knows, Goldilocks has been at it like a man on a pneumatic drill. Takes one to know one!

The object of his affection was that cussed little floozy Petronella Wyatt, she of the cocktail-stick legs and posh English accent. Calm down, Kimbo. Don't hyperventilate. Where are the 'erbal sedatives? Deep breaths, now.

Despite massive Press interest, Boris is still cycling to work and leaves his Raleigh in the downstairs corridor.

"Is that the office bicycle?" inquired one dashing Labour MP who is currently meant to be spending more time with his family (yeah, likely one).

"Darling," I replied, "we have several office bicycles here. And you can step up into my saddle any time you like."

October

Andrew Neil has been appointed to run the Spectator. I suppose I should feel outraged at his being appointed over my head, but, you know, I have enormous respect for Andrew. I consider him a visionary. He is a goliath, a leviathan. Which shows you, I hope, that this little New York girl has not forgotten the art of flattery.

Hey, look. If Sven Goran Eriksson can be appointed manager of the England football team, what's to stop me strutting my stuff as queen bee of the British magazine world? The Boris story has brought lots of photographers to the doorstep of the Spectator.

This caused a bit of a problem for one of the boyfriends today (a leading journalist not averse to interrupting me and making me catch my breath at his boldness).

He was about to pay me an unexpected visit, to ravish me across my office desk or something like that, when he suddenly saw all the lensmen and had to do a rapid handbrake turn, before fleeing in the other direction down Doughty Street.

November

A business lunch with D. Lawson, editor of the Sunday Telegraph. No, no, not that sort of 'business lunch', like I used to have with Hoggart.

This was a more serious matter. I was able to tell Dominic a few Home truths (note the capital H, friends).

Blunkers has become positively loopy about which kids are his. Says he wants to know who the father is. Join the club, buster! Things getting really ugly and so it was decided that I should play the tragedy card and limp off to hospital.

Stephen thought this might be 'overdoing' it, whatever that means.

December

Blunkers has resigned. Drat. That takes away much of the leverage I had over him.

Had to go and see a man called Sir Alan Budd who was holding some sort of inquiry into the whole fandangle.

Bearded. Gloomy. Just my kind of little bunny rabbit. Sadly, he didn't quite fall for my mesmerising charms, but I did get a telephone number, you can rest assured.

The end of the Blunkers affair means I now have a vacancy for a leading man.

Will start auditions once I have this baby shot out of the cannon. But one sadness. No more Home Secretary means I'll never ever get to ride in one of his ministerial limousines again.

They were fun, you know. I liked practising my pretend royal wave from the windows as we were sped through the streets with the motorbike outriders.

This story first appeared in the . For more great stories like this, buy the Daily Mail every day.

 

 

 

 

 

 

                         

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