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Last Updated: Thursday, 23 December, 2004, 12:55 GMT
Do you agree with Budd report?
Former Home Secretary David Blunkett
Sir Alan Budd has reported the findings of his inquiry into whether David Blunkett fast-tracked the visa application of his ex-lover's nanny.

He has confirmed that there was no attempt to destroy the relevant documents or a deliberate cover-up. However, he says that the "chain of events" does link Mr Blunkett to the visa application being speeded up.

Mr Blunkett resigned as home secretary over the allegations last week.

Do you agree with Sir Alan Budd's findings? Will Mr Blunkett make a comeback or is his political career over?

This debate is now closed. Read a selection of your comments below.

The following comments reflect the balance of opinion we have received so far:

I have to admire Mr Blunkett for resigning before the report was published - even though this has not found direct evidence of his involvement. What does concern me is that this is yet another example of an enquiry commissioned by this government to investigate wrong doing that has avoided making any specific accusations.
Rob Lever, Oldham, England

As we say in these parts, absolute power corrupts absolutely. It's a shame - he was on the ball on so many issues.
Mark Roberts, Sheffield, UK

It is more like an episode from "Yes, Minister" every week.
Peter Sketchley, Bromley, England

Just what chance do we have in future of getting to the bottom of such matters with the government's policy of wholesale email deletion after three months?
George Ross, Perth, Scotland

What's the fuss for?
Dani, London

What's the fuss for? Half the world is starving and we are messing around worrying about whether a visa application was speeded up or not!
Dani, London, UK

Despite feeling great personal sympathy for David Blunkett, I'm afraid the Budd report confirms, by its pointed absences, if nothing else, that a major political scandal has ensued. And it can't be covered up by officials having conveniently short memories.
Paul, London

Honesty and integrity is no longer a requirement to hold high office in this arrogant government.
John James, West Sussex

I'm in no position to agree or disagree with Budd's findings - after all, I've not seen the evidence first hand, or spoken to any of the individuals involved. Perhaps those who are so quick to judge (either in favour of Blunkett or against him) might care to reflect on the sources of the information upon which they have formed their opinions.
John, England

I'm quite content with Sir Alan's findings. They're not terribly important, and I suspect Mr Blunkett is currently more concerned about access to his child than about a come-back.
John, Fleet, UK

Storm in a teacup. Too bad, as Blunkett seemed to be one of the few in government who "gets it" regarding the potential for terrorism in the UK.
Stan, Ex-pat

I do agree with the findings of the Budd report, but to be perfectly honest I don't really feel that the issue is particularly important any more. Why can't the press just move on? As long as this wretched government doesn't put taxes up again, I'm happy!
Jamie, Leicester, UK

It was clear from the outset that Mr Blunkett intervened
Brian Loveday, Cambridge

It was clear from the outset that Mr Blunkett intervened to speed up the visa application. The people who process these documents would have no idea who the person was, let alone being a nanny to the home secretary's ex-lover. Mr Blunkett told them and they did his bidding. Similarly, Mr Blunkett obviously knew the rules concerning the freebie rail ticket, otherwise we'd all get one wouldn't we? As for Mr Blunkett making a comeback, of course he will. This government's motto has always been: "You cannot break the law here - we make it legal".
Brian Loveday, Cambridge, UK

Aren't we missing the issue here? Why did a serving Home Secretary - the third most senior man in the cabinet - make such vicious, demoralising and politically dangerous comments about his colleagues to his biographer? There is something more here than a wronged father who has been lead by his heart.
Jeremy, London, UK

Don't know what all the fuss is about. Everyone does favours for friends within jobs now and again. Yes ok, it was a highly important job and one that concerns most of the country, but it was a one off, and he's served his country extremely well over the years.
Timo, London

Would those who support Mr Blunkett still think he had done nothing wrong if he had been a Doctor who had moved a friend up the waiting list?
Caron, England

Whether he makes a comeback may not be in his hands. The comments about his colleagues in his biography will no doubt ensure nobody would want to work with him again. His demise should be cause for celebration not mourning.
Les, Morpeth, England

Of course David Blunkett will make a come back, just like Mandelson, I don't quite see why he resigned, after all he says, just like Mandelson, that he did nothing wrong. It goes without saying in the Labour party there is no such thing as a member of the party regardless of position doing anything wrong. Are they not inviting Alistair Campbell back for the election campaign?
Pat, Sussex

Anybody who has been through the process of visa applications will know that something is not right
Brian, Standish, UK

My wife's nationality application has been with the IND since March and has not yet been processed. Recently it took 10 weeks from initial request to return her passport when she needed to return to her home country to visit her terminally ill father. Within those ten weeks we faxed, emailed and called several times every working day for two weeks (but nobody actually answered the phone).

We never received an answer until the passport was returned 10 weeks later with a letter saying that they may need it back when somebody is assigned to the case (and this is nine months after the initial application). Anybody who has been through the process of visa applications will know that something is not right.
Brian, Standish, UK

Firstly, I am no fan of Blunkett's authoritarian policies but I do think the knives have been out for him. He has first hand experience of an application for a visa and is genuinely concerned at how long it will take. He thus gets onto people in his department enquiring why it takes so long and suggests that something should be done about it. And consequently the particular application in question does get speeded up.

If my boss was concerned about a particular aspect of work I was involved with and I felt I could make some effort to speed things up, I would. So why is this suddenly all considered to be so sleazy? It's hardly in the league of cash for questions or what Jonathan Aitken got up to, is it? It seems people have very short memories.
Robert, Sheffield, UK

Many people are missing the point entirely. Ministers and civil servants are bound by a strict code of practice on the handling of matters in which they have a personal interest. Mr Blunkett clearly breached these rules. Government is there to represent all peoples' interests fairly - not to do favours for their mates. If one visa application is processed more quickly it is a the detriment to someone else's application - is that fair?
Ben, London

No one's perfect. From what I know about him he does a good job so let's hope he does make a comeback.
Patrick, Copenhagen

Nobody minds him helping a friend. What's the use in having contacts if you don't use them? To my mind the railway tickets are a worse offence. And if all culprits could just apologise and repay monies they have misappropriated, where would that leave us?
Andy, S

I think that this is unfortunate for Mr Blunkett. It's only what happens in normal business processes. If you were the member of staff processing a claim with Mr Blunkett's name attached to it, you would automatically speed it up to ensure he saw you actually could do your job properly. It's only natural. Perhaps only a rap on the knuckles was necessary, as Mr Blunkett obviously did not intend to abuse the system.
Dan C, Shropshire

I totally agree with the findings. I regret that some elements of the media have tried to make more out of this story than it was. There is more spin coming out of the media rather than the government these days.
Peter B, Birmingham, UK

It allowed the real truth to come out
Mal Pearson, Hornsea

Yes I agree with the Budd report. Not because of its findings but because it allowed the real truth to come out. I'm disappointed that Mr Blunkett lied to us. Having said that, how many of us do favours for our friends/relatives from our place of work? If I were Home Secretary I wouldn't hesitate to get on the phone to rush something through for my girlfriend. There was no harm done. Do we really expect our politicians to be whiter than white? None of them are. Has David Blunkett done a good job in his tenure? I think not so bad. At the end of this are we better off now? Or not?
Mal Pearson, Hornsea

I largely agree with the findings of the Budd report. But I still retain doubts about whether there were no efforts made to cover up the trail of evidence. My civil service experiences have been that all papers, documents, emails are retained as well as notes taken of all discussions. What remains to be seen is whether the current government has simply changed the culture completely, or whether they have been selectively destroying such papers whenever an inquiry comes along.
Ian, Edinburgh, UK

I note Blair paid a surprise visit to Iraq today. Typical to be out of the country and putting a safe distance between himself and bad news. However, as with previous enquiries into this sleazy government the Budd report seems full of weasel words. As usual something was wrong but nobody was at fault.
J Chadwick, Manchester, England

Years ago I used to be a housing benefit officer in an area which had better remain nameless. When an MP called about one of their constituent's benefit claim, it was dealt with quicker. That seemed to be established policy in the department and was why people got in touch with their MP in the first place. What's the difference? Even if Blunkett had asked for Ms Casalme's application to be dealt with quicker, he didn't make the decision. Why has he had to resign?
Andy Puttnam, London

Who cares about this anymore, clearly the only reason there has been so much media coverage is because there is sex involved. There happens to be more important things going on in UK politics: ID cards, Iraq and Climate Change. So why do give such a disproportionate level of interest to something now totally irrelevant?
Daniel, Leeds, UK

I thought there wasn't much wrong in what Mr Blunkett did. The visa application was not rejected or illegal. How many people with power and responsibility have done something to help out family, friends or loved ones? I think the matter has been over criticized.
Ian Mc, NW, England

If the application had been approved when it would otherwise have been declined I would see a huge problem. For it to be fast-tracked because someone knows someone that knows someone is hardly a hanging offence and certainly not worth spending public money on inquiries to find out if it did or did not happen.
Fred Thomas, Weymouth, UK

Had there been a cover up Mr Blunkett would have been squirming and changing his story, or elaborating on it, as the facts of this sorry affair came out. And as we have now been told, this was not the case.
David R, Plymouth, UK

David Blunkett should and will make a comeback
Lee Civico-Cambell, Sheffield, UK

David Blunkett should and will make a comeback. The media have been over critical in a period when they can find no other interesting stories. David Blunkett's only crime is being honest too late. If we were to delve into the lives of other politicians, I fear Mr Blunkett would look like a saint. It's time the media went back to reporting real news instead of bloating out stories which could be covered in one line.
Lee Civico-Cambell, Sheffield, UK

Budd said that he could not determine whether Blunkett had explicitly ordered fast-tracking or not - but everyone who's worked with a dodgy manager knows that explicit instructions for wrongdoing are never given. You are expected to just understand.
Alex Swanson, Milton Keynes, UK

The only thing I can say, is when I was in the RAF a young clerk misused his travel warrant for his girlfriend. He was sent down for 30 days and dismissed from the RAF. One rule for all?
Pez, Eastleigh, UK

Blunkett was very selective in his words of denial, everyone knows he personally did not ask for the visa to be speeded up, but lets face it if your own boss mentioned the fact that he had a friend who required a favour that was within your control who would say no, especially in this day and age when jobs are hard to get and even harder to keep. Blunkett is guilty and it's just as well he went before he was pushed.


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