The full text of David Blunkett's resignation statement released to the Press Association:
When the issue of the application for ILR (indefinite leave to remain) for
Ms Casalme emerged on November 28, I immediately asked for an inquiry to be set
Sir Alan Budd has undertaken that inquiry over the last two weeks.
The key issue has always been whether I used my public office for private
Since these issues were first raised, I have always given my honest
recollection of the facts, on the record as I remembered them.
At that time and subsequently I said that the issue of Ms Casalme's
application was not taken up by my office beyond it being read to me initially.
These statements have been based on the recollections of myself and the
officials in my office at the time.
Yesterday, Sir Alan Budd told me there had indeed been a fax and an exchange
of e-mails between my office and the Immigration and Nationality Directorate -
not based on the application form as originally alleged but on the subsequent
letter (informing her of a possible 12-month delay) of which I was always aware
but did not remember holding a copy. I have no recollection of dealing with this
in any way.
However, whether or not I asked for any action to be taken is irrelevant to
the inference that can be drawn.
Given I have no recollection of issuing instructions to deal with the
application, but only to continuing the elimination of the backlog in general,
the easy thing would be to hide behind my officials. I will not do such a thing.
In no way is my office or any individual within the department to blame for what
I believe these issues would never have been raised had I not decided in
September that I could not walk away from my youngest son.
I could not live with
myself or believe I had done the best for him in the long term if I had
abandoned my relationship with him. I only sought continued access to him
through the courts, as I made clear two weeks ago, because all other avenues had
been denied me.
For 34 years, I have built my political career and earned the trust of the
people I have served through being honest and truthful. Everything I have said in the last few weeks about this application I have believed to be true based on
my own recollections and those of others despite the frenzy of allegations made
in the media against me.
I have always been honest about my recollection of events. But any
perception of this application being speeded up requires me to take
That is why with enormous regret I have tendered my resignation to the Prime
I want to thank the thousands of people who have contacted me over the last weeks with such supportive messages. I would also like to thank my ministerial
and parliamentary colleagues.
Above all I want to thank my sons and my closest friends for the tremendous
support they have given me.
In particular I want to thank the Prime Minister -
my friend and the most outstanding international politician of our age. It has
been an honour to serve him and the Labour Government I worked so hard to help