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Last Updated: Thursday, 16 December, 2004, 14:41 GMT
Was David Blunkett right to resign?
David Blunkett
David Blunkett has resigned his post as home secretary following a series of allegations about fast-tracking a visa for his ex-lover's nanny.

Tony Blair said Mr Blunkett was a force for good in British politics who "left government with his integrity intact".

Downing Street has named education secretary Charles Clarke as Mr Blunkett's replacement.

What is your reaction to David Blunkett's resignation? Do you think he was right to resign?


The following comments reflect the balance of comments received so far:

I am saddened that he has had to resign. Looking at this from Paris, Mr Blunkett's domestic affairs have no place on the world stage and are, dare I suggest, indicative of a nation of "small" people. I can not believe that we have wasted so much time and money on such a futile exercise. Do we honestly believe that this is money well spent? He did his job well.
Donald MacPherson, Paris/ Connel, Argyll and Bute

He did the right thing in the circumstances
Ryter Sadbett, Plymouth Devon
He was foolish to put himself in such a situation, but he's not the first and is unlikely to be the last. He did the right thing in the circumstances.
Ryter Sadbett, Plymouth Devon

He will be back. No decent country can keep a good guy down. He is one of the last of the old type Labour - honest to his roots.
Ivy, London

Mr Blunkett has not left with integrity, as Mr Blair suggested. Mr. Blunkett tried to cover up events that essentially boiled down to his private affairs interfering and dominating his role within Cabinet.
Rupert Cheyne, Knightsbridge

David started out well but like all good Socialists in office his leadership abilities refined and he became more right wing leaving him exposed to criticism from all sides. I am pleased that he, unlike many other New Labourites who have been exposed, has done the honourable thing and resigned.
Barry Keating, Cruden Bay, UK

It is wonderful to finally see someone in this government that has the integrity to take responsibility for his actions. I applaud Blunkett for this move.
Katie, UK

Let's hope this is properly investigated
Bob, UK
There seem to be a lot of people wondering why David Blunkett has resigned with no proof of wrong-doing. Clearly the proof was evident to Mr Blunkett and he didn't want it made quite so public when it did come out. Let's hope this is properly investigated and when he gets his ID card that it carries the information of his misdeeds, for all to see, for the rest of his life.
Bob, UK

No. No. No. This is not right. Why has such a relatively small action led to such a huge result? He should not have resigned and I feel he has not done 'wrong enough' to feel obliged to do so.
Alison Hayward, London

Given all the lost civil liberty sneaked in the back door in the name of terrorism this is surely a good day. Let's hope Mr Blunkett now finds his calling in life.
Richard Davies, Dundee, Scotland

When Tony Blair became aware of the facts, why did he not sack him?
Paul, UK
Mr Blunkett had to go, purely because of his actions and attitude towards his job and the power it gave him. He was caught with his hand in the cookie-jar over the visa and the rail-ticket. To say he was unaware of the rules is unbelievable. The only question mark is this - when Tony Blair became aware of the facts, why did he not sack him? Or is it OK to have cabinet ministers who will abuse their office and break the rules whenever it suits their purposes?
Paul, UK

While I admire Mr Blunkett's honesty, integrity and strength in the face of adversity, I cannot help but celebrate his resignation. His attempt to turn Britain into a totalitarian dictatorship was beyond forgiveness. However, I fear that things will get little better while Labour is still in power. I can only hope that, without Blunkett to take the blame for him, the British people will see Blair for what he truly is.
Ronald Collinson, Whixall, Shropshire

He has had the guts to put his name to policies that cause most politicians to run for cover
Paul, London, UK
I don't like politics. I don't like politicians. I don't vote labour (new or old). I have been a teacher and police officer. I believe he has been the best home secretary for many, many years. He has had the guts to put his name to policies that cause most politicians to run for cover. He may not be right, but he appears to have values. A sad day for honesty and trust, especially trust.
Paul, London, UK

Well he should have resigned weeks ago not waited until they found a little proof and then gone. He has been found out for what he really is.
John Piskekmost, London, UK

Blunkett's departure is a loss to the government. If every minister were whiter than white we would not have a government with the drive and creativity to govern effectively.
Ken Broomfield, Florida USA

He may have committed a trivial offence, in using his position to help a friend, as most people would. However, he also persistently and categorically denied having done this. His statements have proved to be untrue, and that is why he had to go.
Mark Walters, Southport, England

A crying shame
Kevin Armstrong, Bradford, UK
A crying shame. Let's hope his legacy of intelligent policy-making with integrity continues.
Kevin Armstrong, Bradford, UK

No, he should have been sacked. Blair's reply to his resignation letter indicates that this Government don't understand what Blunkett did wrong.
Tim Steele, Cambridge, UK

I've got no sympathy for him. When you've abused your position in any way he has then you have to face the consequences. Hopefully Blair will be next.
James, UK

We have lost a fantastic home secretary whose objective was public safety for all. Not political self promotion! This is a loss for the country as a whole, and in the context of running a country it is a series of trivial errors he has made!
Matt, Bolton, Lancashire

It is inevitable that someone so close to Tony Blair will make it back into politics, regardless of any wrongs done. Peter Mandelson has managed to make his way back into politics no less than twice.
Graeme Phillips, Guildford, UK

With the privileges, status and responsibility of such a position comes accountability
Alex Bowles, California, USA
As a British Citizen living in the USA, I have followed 'Blunkett-Gate' with interest. What has shocked me most is not Mr Blunkett's affair, abuse of his political position, or subsequent timely resignation, but the many 'excuses' people have made on his behalf. It is sad that so many believe it is entirely justifiable to father children by another man's wife, and then use your political position to expedite a visa. This really does go a bit beyond stealing the odd paperclip from the office! Yes, Mr Blunkett arguably did a fair job in his professional life, but surely he should have realised that with the privileges, status and responsibility of such a position comes accountability to those whom he served? This is not the first time a political figure has had to resign over a woman, and I doubt it will be the last. Why do they never learn?
Alex Bowles, California, USA

It's disgusting. I thought the government was meant to running the media, not the other way round! This is a disturbing example of how much power the right wing press wields in this country.
Graeme, Surrey

Don't forget you have more friends than enemies
John Denham, Sheffield, UK
I emailed you as one of the many Sheffield people who are proud of your achievements for the many. I listened to the radio Sheffield programme recently and it was brilliant. As an old fellow student at Richmond College, Sheffield many, many years ago, may I wish you all the very best for you in the future. And finally, don't forget you have more friends than enemies.
John Denham, Sheffield, UK

Blunkett was right to go, not only because of his recent visa scandal but also because he was an authoritarian home secretary. You never know there might be a place for him in the Tory party yet!
Leah Jennings, Uppingham, England

I am deeply saddened that he has resigned. I think he was pushed out.
Karla, Kent

So what if he did a favour for someone he loved
David F, Peterborough
I am not a fan of Labour, but I feel today is another sad day in the political scene. Blunkett was not my favourite politician and I feel some of the policies he was pursuing were a little too much on the 'security' bias. However, to lose such a sound politician in such inconsequential circumstances - so what if he did a favour for someone he loved, who can honestly say that they would not do the same in his place? - is another problem with modern politic. What do we expect form our politicians? That they behave like robots? I hope not and this is all part of the so called 'PC' state of the country. I wish this country would 'chill out a little'.
David F, Peterborough

It is disgraceful that an honest man, a superb politician and a man of integrity has been hounded out of office in this manner. The government is poorer for his leaving and the country has lost a very worthy and capable Home Secretary.
Paul Key, England

It is about time too. It was clear from the start that dodgy dealings were afoot. The thing that gets me is Blair still defended him at the end. This proves how corrupt the Labour Party has become under Blair. This is why I will never vote Labour again. They are too much like the Tories.
Dave Stubbs, Newcastle under Lyme, Staffs, UK

Has he been pushed before further revelations come to light?
Barry Rogerson, Altrincham, Cheshire UK
He claims that he has done nothing wrong, so why has he resigned? Surely he hasn't for the benefit of his party? He has already created damage for Labour through the inquisition of the last few weeks. Has he been pushed before further revelations come to light?
Barry Rogerson, Altrincham, Cheshire UK

Iraqgate: Blair stays. Kellygate: Hoon stays. Lover's Nannygate: Blunkett goes.
WLM, Finland

It's not so much the visa scandal; rather, his slagging off his cabinet colleagues in the recently-published biography. Once you've lost their backing, the only way is out.
Paul, London, UK

I think it is a shame that David Blunkett felt he had to resign. I have always regarded him as an honest decent man. Today is a victory for the gutter press and their witch hunting.
Stan Garner, Swindon, England

A man of great integrity and intelligence
David, Stafford. Staffordshire
I first met David Blunkett in 1980 when he was leader of Sheffield City Council and he helped me to organise an event at the polytechnic. He was then, as is now, a man of great integrity and intelligence, having worked tirelessly and with great positive impact throughout his rise through the political ranks. He has now suffered the severe sharp-end of a woman, both scorned and with a powerful influence on the media. I cannot believe he will not make a rapid return to the front-bench. Take a look other European governments - Ministers are judged on their political performance rather than what happens in their private lives. Compared to the number of Tories who have served time for their assorted misdemeanours, this is hardly a hanging matter.
David, Stafford. Staffordshire

That's one huge electoral liability gone - just Blair, Straw & Hoon to worry about now.
Garry Doherty, Fareham, England

Whether he was right or wrong to resign is one issue - however the fact that he has gone is good news. Maybe now his ill conceived ideas regarding identity cards will be consigned to the dustbin
Mark Jackson, England

He'll do his best for all as a back bencher in the House of Commons
Steve B, Thailand
Sad but given the stories it was inevitable. I've always thought that David Blunkett was someone that should be admired, given his blindness. I am sure of his honesty and also certain that he'll do his best for all as a back bencher in the House of Commons.
Steve B, Thailand

Its a shame that media foiled a great politician's career.
Babs, Wolves

I think this country has lost out today. Blunkett was a strong force. We cannot afford to have a soft home secretary running this place. He'll be missed.
Dave, Bolton

Why is it that if a member of the public did something like this, nothing would be said about it. It is just because it is an important member of the country that everyone is kicking up such a fuss. Now thanks to everyone going on we have lost the best home secretary we have ever had. Under Blunkett we have had record numbers of police, and crime is down by 30%.Who can do more than that? The country has lost one of its greatest political figures and will suffer from it.
Mr Chilton, Great Britain

Good, he will now have time to dress as Batman and fight for Fathers for Justice
James Bateman, Marlow, UK

Hopefully Blair will be able to find a suitably robust replacement home secretary
C N Brown, Steventon, Hampshire
David Blunkett was one of the few government ministers in the last 20 years to address politically taboo subjects with no short term political gain. He was ahead of the electorate in his thinking, as much of the reactions show. It is unfortunate that most people don't realise privacy and security are opposing aims - but Blunkett got the point fortunately. His policy on ID cards was regrettably watered down by "colleagues" in the cause of political appeasement - hopefully Blair will be able to find a suitably robust replacement home secretary to see this strategy through. Meanwhile, the terrorists must be rejoicing at his departure and our collective naivety.
C N Brown, Steventon, Hampshire

I could not be happier. This man is responsible for legislation which can send and keep people in prison without evidence or legal representation
Chris C, London

Unwarranted intrusion into private affairs can lead to unwelcome consequences
Hany Mustapha, London, UK
Unwarranted intrusion into private affairs can lead to unwelcome consequences. Let that be a lesson to you, your successor and your erstwhile boss. "Nothing personal, David"....to paraphrase many Labour statements and ideas.
Hany Mustapha, London, UK

How ironic that the man, who has been accused of helping to create a "nanny state", should be brought down over a scandal involving...a nanny!
F James, Cambridge, UK

Definitely a good thing he's gone. The people we entrust to design our laws need to have the highest integrity and be beyond reproach.
Brad, Birmingham, UK

If the Home secretary cannot keep his own home in order how can we trust him to keep our nation in order
Christopher, New Orleans, USA
Blunkett did the right thing to resign. Fast tracking the visa was an abuse of his power but the greater issue was his fathering of children out of wedlock to a woman who was married to someone else. What sort of message does this send to our teenagers today? Mr. Blunkett's new children are expected to live without their father in their home. If the Home secretary cannot keep his own home in order how can we trust him to keep our nation in order.
Christopher, New Orleans, USA

"If you've got nothing to hide you've got nothing to fear." Does that sound familiar? I'm not sorry to see him go, whatever the reason. I just wish his policies would go with him.
Liz, Manchester

As part of a school project some years ago I wrote to 50 MP's - only 2 of them replied - Donald Dewar and David Blunkett. Both of them are now out of public life. I feel this says a lot about the state of politics in this country. A sad day indeed.
Ian Jones, Southampton, UK

I hope his replacement is less shallow and less dangerous
James Shah, London, UK
Blunkett was more right wing than even his Tory predecessors. On crime he failed to recognise the true causes but instead played to people's fears. He frequently played the race card by referring to "immigration and crime" in the same sentence, implying the main cause of crime in this country is immigration. I hope his replacement is less shallow and less dangerous.
James Shah, London, UK

People laughed at Michael Howard when he said he would sack dishonest ministers - but it has to be better than this shambles.
Bob Hotson, Manchester, Lancs

Oh come on big deal, how many of us can say we are that squeaky clean to have never bent the rules to get what we want a little quicker? He hardly robbed a bank did he? You would think there would be more important issues to deal with.
steve, London

I think he should have resigned when it was brought to light that he had given his ex-lover first-class train tickets. Paying the money back does not clear the guilt.
Mehmet Bakkaloglu, Denbigh, Wales

It seems that newspapers can fabricate stories about politicians with complete impunity
David, New York, USA
Can someone please explain to me why Blunkett resigned? Personally I have no idea, as none of the charges against the man have been proved. It seems that newspapers can fabricate stories about politicians with complete impunity. It's about time newspaper editors raised their game and concentrated on what's good for the country and not their own political affiliations!
David, New York, USA

It was the only reasonable thing to do. Now could someone please explain to our politicians in the USA that resigning if you do something monumentally stupid is the proper thing to do.
John Mycroft, Asheville USA

I would like to think that Mr Blunkett's resignation signals a re-think within labour, and results in abandoning the totalitarian stance that the government has taken over recent years. Can we please get back to the socialist agenda that the vast majority of labour voters demand?
Frank Harwood, Glastonbury

He'll be back as Chancellor under our next Prime Minister, Gordon Brown.
Chris Coleridge, Royston Herts

I have always respected the intellectual honesty of David Blunkett
Peter Royce, Cambridge UK
I cannot conceive any conditions under which I would vote Labour, but I have always respected the intellectual honesty of David Blunkett and think it unacceptable that he should have felt the need to resign on such trivial grounds. Having said that, I think the whole political and media culture of this country is childish, consisting as it does of the endless quest to find some evidence that a politician is less than 100% perfect.
Peter Royce, Cambridge UK

I almost jumped for joy on hearing the news of Blunkett's departure. Strong and wrong is how I will remember him. Unfortunately, too late to reverse the plethora of ill-conceived policies he pushed through.
Richard Watkins, UK

About time too. This man has demonstrated a total lack of integrity, mind you he is not alone in the present government.
Bob Evans, Weston Turville Bucks

I think the whole affair is a bit pathetic really and for all his faults he clearly worked very hard for this country and I'm sorry to see him go. By the way, four days for a visa really isn't unusually quick - there are plenty of agencies out there who can 'fast-track' visas, last month I received a Russian Business visa in less than 3 days.
Colin Tucker, Portsmouth

This pettiness has cost the country a good cabinet minister
Sam, Haywards Heath
Who really cares if he had an affair and fast-tracked a visa? He was very good at the job of Home Secretary. This pettiness has cost the country a good cabinet minister.
Sam, Haywards Heath

Well I am glad that he has gone, but he has not gone for the right reasons. Surely the erosion of our civil liberties is a greater scandal than having an affair?
Laurence Turner, Nottingham, United Kingdom

What a funny country. Illegal wars are not a reason to leave office but pushing a visa through and being rude to your colleagues is.
Graham, Woking, UK

Why the delay? An honourable man would have gone a week ago.
Terry Jones, Grays UK

Stupid reason to resign, after all the hard work he has done on the law and order front. I am sure all the other ministers call favours too. I work in the private sector and we have directors calling favours all the time. These are unspoken perks of the job!
Nyika

I am happy. I'll be happier when Blair is gone - and he should go soon. That will leave Labour unelectable. A fitting end.
Giuseppe, Barnsley

Another New Labour scalp for the Tory press. Just who is running this country?
Andrew M, Walsall, UK

Good, Blunkett finds out just how annoying people find having their personal interests violated is. Oh the irony!
David , Newcastle, England

I for one will miss his honesty
Charlé Spence, Middlesbrough, UK
It's a sad day when a decent politician, and there aren't many of them, is hounded out of office over something as trivial as using his influence. Politicians who live in glass houses should not throw stones and in truth not one of them would admit to using their position. David Blunkett was the most truthful politician I know. He said what he meant, and meant what he said. I for one will miss his honesty. Shame on those who gorged themselves over this incident.
Charlé Spence, Middlesbrough, UK

Blunkett's gone at last! That's the best news I have heard all week. The reason I am glad is that that man wanted us to fork out pounds of our own money (under pain of a heavy fine) on a stupid ID card. Whilst at the same time giving burglars, criminals, traffic wardens and the police a free reign of fines and crimes over the decent general, law abiding citizens.
Paul, South Wales

All politicians are bent. The trick is never to get caught. Where is the British sense of sword - falling? Blunkett should have seen the light much earlier!
John Chelliah, Aberdeen, Scotland

Why do we expect our politicians to be the holy of holies?
Peter, Redhill, Surrey
A good man who wasn't afraid to speak his mind hounded out by a sanctimonious press who need to be reined in, He did nothing wrong in real terms. I have French friends who find the whole thing amazing. There isn't a contributor here who hasn't used there job in some way to help them along. Why do we expect our politicians to be the holy of holies?
Peter, Redhill, Surrey

Blunkett's resignation is long overdue, and he gets no respect for this tardy action. Now I feel Tony's reign as overlord is soon to end. However, who will be his replacement? Our money is on Brown as an attempt by Tony to humiliate the poor chancellor.
David Jackson, York, UK

Even though he clearly had to go, I do fear it leaves others with less vision running the government.
Patrick, Kent, UK

I cannot see why David Blunkett had to resign as like the rest of the cabinet he is responsible for nothing and accountable to no-one!
Don Hunter, Ayr

Thank goodness for that
Alison R Noyes, London, England
Thank goodness for that. Not so much for this issue but for his terrifying totalitarian policies, which I hope this government will now drop or modify so that I can feel safe voting labour again.
Alison R Noyes, London, England

About time, I was seriously thinking this man believed he has done no wrong!
Billy B, Scotland

The fact that he hasn't resigned before is typical of the arrogance this government. This man is an adulterer yet preaches home values to others in the same way that the rest of this government is imposing a nanny state on us.
David Stansfield, Crewkerne England

Britain has lost the services of a great man through what?
Richard Davie, Burntisland Fife

I only wish the proposed national ID card and detailed tracking database would go with him. I've got nothing to hide, but David Blunkett made more afraid to be mistaken for someone with something to hide.
David R, Plymouth UK

This much of a cloud hanging over his reputation made it fairly inevitable that he would have to resign
David Bean, St Andrews, Fife
Whilst it is difficult to know the full extent of the truth behind the claims against Mr Blunkett, it has to be said that this much of a cloud hanging over his reputation made it fairly inevitable that he would have to resign - especially considering the embarrassing contents of his book.
David Bean, St Andrews, Fife

What a pity! He was one of the few ministers capable of doing the job.
Dave Clews, Charnock Richard, England

Disgraceful. Why are we hounding out our great and most successful politicians?
Ahmed Butt, London

Hell has no fury like a woman scorned and there is no more lethal and immoral a weapon than a tabloid newspaper or a Sunday rag!
Dick, Scotland

If he had any honour at all, the Right Honourable David Blunkett would have resigned days ago.
John R Smith, UK

He has made an error of preaching the good news, then setting poor examples himself
James Hewson, Bristol, UK
Mr Blunkett was not a New Labour master of spin; sweeping difficult facts under the carpet was not his style. His life had enough challenges thrown at him to make him choose otherwise. Unfortunately, he has made an error of preaching the good news, then setting poor examples himself. If you tell people to live a wholesome life which have demands to social demands to be met, you must be able to jump over these hurdles yourself. He voided his card.
James Hewson, Bristol, UK

Even if he did fast track the visa, it's just so trivial when compared to the scams and lies perpetrated by Tory politicians when they were in power. It clearly wasn't a pocket lining exercise and therefore isn't a sufficient abuse of power to warrant his resignation.
Jonathan Minor, Brighton, England

Perhaps if Blunkett had not been so right wing himself, people would have been more forgiving of what is in honesty a fairly trivial affair. You reap what you sow. Good riddance.
M, London

I think "brass neck" are words that spring to mind. He can't remember the visa application, he didn't know the rules on free rail travel...
John, Nairn, Scotland

The most reactionary and extremist Home Secretary since Michael Howard has gone
John M, London, UK
At long last, the most reactionary and extremist Home Secretary since Michael Howard has gone. But at least he didn't struggle on like some have in the past, so credit must be given to him for that.
John M, London, UK

I feel like Christmas has come early. Let's hope the rest of Labour follow suit come the next election.
Chris, Cardiff

I'm not especially concerned with the visa scandal, the affair or the comments on other MP's; however, a man whose policies were mainly based on stoking national paranoia will not be missed by me.
James, Nottingham, UK

Once again the Prime Minister's judgement comes into question after backing Blunkett to the hilt. Surely it's time for Tony to also say bye-bye and bring some integrity back to the Government.
Daniel, Leicestershire

A good man has been hounded out by the press
Jane, Dunstable
Why did he resign? A good man has been hounded out by the press. He had the support of the people, but we all know the one thing that doesn't count in our so-called democracy is the will of the people. Good luck, David.
Jane, Dunstable

Fair play to the man. I'm not a Labour voter, but this man has always had the guts to say what he feels and he has resigned out of respect for others. It is shame that other politicians don't follow suit and respect the electorate.
Ben, Kintbury, Berks

The most dangerous man to personal privacy felled when his private life was revealed. Somehow it seems fitting.
Jeffrey Lake, London, UK

A sad day. We seem too busy loosing the good cabinet appointees and keeping the bad ones. I trust those who started the messy little rumour-mill that has caused this, are pleased with themselves.
Steve Brereton, York, UK

He did not deserve this
Doug, UK
This is terrible. He is not even given a fair chance to be judged. Who else in the new labour actually answers a question straight? He did not deserve this. Why should we vote in elections when they treat all the honest MP's with such wanton abandon?
Doug, UK

What an absolute waste of a good minister and for such a Mickey Mouse reason. He shouldn't have resigned.
Neil, Southend, Essex

At last he's finally capitulated and done the honourable thing as a man who has abused his position - with a bit of luck he'll drag Tony down with him!
Anne Bebbington, Gloucester, England

What a total waste. Yes, he had things he should be criticised for, he was often totalitarian, but the crimes that have felled him are so trivial! All he has been accused of is taking mild advantage of his job - how many people can really say that they have not done something similar? Pathetic - we've got rid of one of our few straightforward politicians.
Gordon McKenzie, London, UK

All the rubbish is getting in the way of successful politics
Quienei, York, UK
I think this is stupid and it's the worst news. All the rubbish is getting in the way of successful politics. It just shows how the media and straying wives are now running the country!
Quienei, York, UK





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