Investigation launched into why former home secretary David Blunkett was refused Paralympics seat because of guide dog

 

The London Games organisers are looking into how former home secretary David Blunkett came to be refused access to his seat at the Paralympics opening ceremony because he had his guide dog with him.

Mr Blunkett, who was attending as a guest of Games broadcasters Channel 4, said he was told by a "stroppy and insensitive" official that he could not take up his allocated place because it was unsuitable for his dog, Cosby.

The veteran Labour MP, who has been blind since birth and is one of the country's most high-profile guide dog users, said he was eventually found an alternative seat behind the TV cameras "on a gantry exposed to an increasingly chill wind".

He told the Daily Mail: "While in no way wishing to undermine the celebration of talent and courage displayed during the Paralympic Games, my experience shows how far society still has to go to change attitudes towards the challenges faced by people with disabilities."

A spokesman for the London organising committee, Locog, said: "We have spoken to Mr Blunkett about his experience and we are looking into what happened with our venues team."

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