Blunkett 'asked official to check son's A-level results'

Click to follow

Mr Blunkett denies the allegations, but the journalist who made the claim stood by his story and said officials had been shocked by the incident. On Monday, the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority (QCA) will meet to decide whether to investigate any calls they may have received on Mr Blunkett's behalf.

The new claims surfaced while Mr Blunkett is on an official visit to Canada in his new role of Work and Pensions Secretary. He returned to the Cabinet following the election in May, just months after being forced to resign as Home Secretary over the Nannygate visa row.

Martin Bright, of the New Statesman, maintains an official was asked to find out whether the Cabinet minister's son was caught up in a 1998 exam grades crisis. At the time, there was widespread concern that a computer problem meant some youngsters' A-level results were wrong. The senior official was asked to make discreet inquiries with the QCA, according to Mr Bright.

"I have no idea what his motivation was," he told ITV News. "I have no idea whether he was simply trying to look out for the best interest of his son... Officials within that department or that agency found that behaviour shocking."

Mr Blunkett was forced to resign from the Home Office in December, after it was discovered that his office had made inquiries about a visa application by the nanny of his son by The Spectator publisher Kimberly Quinn.

A QCA spokesman said that none of the current QCA executives had been in post in 1998. He added that the QCA did not hold information about individual candidates, and it would have been the exam board that Mr Blunkett needed to contact to find out if his son was affected.

Tim Cornford, a member of the QCA management team at the time, last night was reported by The Sunday Times to have said they warned that the marking crisis had become more significant because of the possible involvement of Mr Blunkett's son.

"Nick Tate [the chief executive] came into a meeting one day and said something like 'The issue is a matter of more significance because David Blunkett's son may have been involved'," he told the paper.