Paralympics gaffe probe

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AN INVESTIGATION has been launched into how Sheffield MP David Blunkett was refused entry to the Paralympics because he had his guide dog with him.

Organisers are probing why the former Home Secretary was refused access to his seat at the Paralympics opening ceremony.

Mr Blunkett, who was attending as a guest of broadcaster Channel 4, said he was told by a ‘stroppy and insensitive’ official he could not take up his place because it was unsuitable for his dog, Cosby.

The veteran Labour MP, who has been blind since birth and is one of the country’s most high-profile guide dog users, said he was eventually found an alternative seat behind the TV cameras ‘on a gantry exposed to an increasingly chill wind’.

“My experience shows how far society still has to go to change attitudes towards the challenges faced by people with disabilities,” he said.

Mr Blunkett added he hopes the incident was ‘entirely isolated’.