Blunkett comments: 'I am mortified and very sorry'

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Indy Politics

These are comments made by David Blunkett in interviews last night with the BBC's political editor Andrew Marr and Adam Boulton on Sky News

On his former lover Kimberly Quinn and her son, which he claims he fathered

"I did not in August initiate the terrible trauma of my relationship coming to the fore. I did not in late November start the plethora of linking my private life with public events again.

"I misunderstood what we had. I misunderstood that someone could do this, not just to me, but to a little one (Mrs Quinn's son) as well.

Mr Blunkett said he had come to a second "realisation" three months ago. "If I was ever going to see my youngest son again, if I was ever going to hold him as I did as a baby in my arms, there were going to be consequences. I hadn't fully grasped the enormity of those consequences. But in time people will understand what I have been through, what I am prepared to go through, what I was prepared to sacrifice along with my three elder sons for that little boy."

On honesty

"The thousands of people who wrote to me and rang me and e-mailed me believed in my honesty and integrity. And that, above all, is critical not just to me but also for the integrity of Tony Blair who has backed me to the hilt."

On the visa application

"The difficulty is that we were accused of fast-tracking the application form. I think everyone will find that Sir Alan Budd will conclude that we didn't. But we didn't have a recollection - I don't just mean me, I mean throughout the system - of the letter that actually I knew about and I raised with the department, having actually been put into the system.

"The department then spewed it out and the system, in the end, did fast-track that particular application along with many others. And a memo was sent back to the general secretary's office that actually said no favours, but slightly quicker. Once I found that out yesterday I realised that I had to resign. I just know that it is important that nobody in this department is blamed."

On his friends

"I am proud to have friends like that, even those I have broken up with (his ex-wife Ruth), and I am a very lucky man." He had been "overwhelmed" by the support of "the Prime Minister, my sons, my family, people who have never known me who have been in touch."

On a possible return to the Cabinet

"It is entirely dependent on what I have done, how I have handled myself. I believe in making a difference to people's lives."