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Last Updated: Monday, 26 September 2005, 10:03 GMT 11:03 UK
Blunkett attacks 'tittle tattle'
David Blunkett
Mr Blunkett said stories about his private life were "tittle tattle"
Work and Pensions Secretary David Blunkett has threatened action against the Mirror over reports of his "friendship" with a 29-year-old woman.

Mr Blunkett said he would report the newspaper to the press complaints commission when asked about its story headlined "Me and my blonde, 29".

He is reported as saying: "It is a platonic relationship and I am entitled to a private life."

Mr Blunkett told BBC Radio 4's Today programme the item was "tittle tattle".

'Enormous challenges'

Asked about the Mirror headline, he said: "I recorded that interview and I never said that and I will be taking the Mirror to the press council."

Asked whether he could continue to do his job amid such publicity, the former home secretary replied: "I know that the public can differentiate between somebody getting on with their job, taking on the most enormous challenges, balancing a radical social policy alongside the radical economic policy of Gordon Brown and Tony Blair.

"They can distinguish that from the tittle tattle that we have to put up with in our newspapers."

According to The Mirror, Mr Blunkett said he was "getting on with my life" following the "hell" of the aftermath of his relationship with American magazine publisher Kimberly Quinn.

He reportedly admitted he was "entirely guilty" of having bullied former Metropolitan Police Commissioner Lord Stevens while home secretary, as he was "three years ago into a dramatic change in the delivery" of services.

Mr Blunkett told Today: "The reason I've not answered this tittle tattle blow by blow is because the moment I get down into the gutter and start answering these accusations, I start ending up having the kind of discussion that you've just initiated and, from now on, I'm not going to deal with them at all."

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