Who is more in the wrong, David Blunkett or Kimberly Quinn? Everyone has a view. Let me tell the story. I have deliberately chosen not to talk to Kimberly Quinn, who is publisher of The Spectator. Nor have I spoken to David Blunkett, or anyone who works for him.
Last July Kimberly Quinn (she then called herself Kimberly Fortier) told Mr Blunkett that their three-year affair was over. Mr Blunkett was very unhappy about this. He was in love with Mrs Quinn, and seems not to have acted particularly rationally. He wanted at the very least to establish his paternity of Mrs Quinn’s two-year-old son, as well as the child she is expecting in January. There was in Mr Blunkett’s office a young assistant who was having an affair with a senior executive of News International, which publishes the News of the World and the Sun. A connection was established between Mr Blunkett’s office and News International. In August Mr Blunkett had a meeting with senior executives of the News of the World, which subsequently carried a story about his affair. The Home Secretary’s behaviour in publicising his liaison with a married woman was, to say the least, highly unusual.
However, it might all have ended there, since, as Mr Blunkett must have calculated would be the case, no newspaper called for his resignation. The one paper that might have set out to destroy an erring minister in other circumstances — the Daily Mail — stayed its guns. Mr Blunkett has had a very warm relationship with that newspaper, whose editor, Paul Dacre, holds the Home Secretary in high esteem. But while the story fizzled out in the public arena, much was happening behind the scenes. Mr Blunkett remained besotted with Mrs Quinn, and told friends about his continuing infatuation with her.