David Blunkett - ‘I got up the noses of Cabinet colleagues’

David Blunkett
David Blunkett
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Former Home Secretary David Blunkett has said that being blind led to him offending and upsetting cabinet colleagues.

The MP for Hillsborough and Brightside, who is standing down in May, said difficulties were caused because he was unable to read ministers’ facial expressions.

Mr Blunkett also served as secretary of state for education and employment.

He said: “I wasn’t good with colleagues in Cabinet.

“If I had my time again I’d be a great deal more diplomatic.

“I might not be any less bumptious in terms of not ever wanting to lose an argument and fighting my corner to the nth degree, but I might have tried a bit harder to understand other people and how I got up their noses, because I undoubtedly did.

“Here’s a thought: if you can’t see, you can’t see someone’s face, you do get the messages eventually from body language and verbal messages, but it takes a bit more time.”

Mr Blunkett also admitted he had frequent clashes with Gordon Brown, then chancellor.