Blunkett, cont.

Is it so clear that Mr Blunkett did fiddle his expenses to the tune of £179 of taxpayers’ money over those bloody train tickets? Because according to the Commssioner on Parliamentary Standards’ report, there’s no documentary evidence at all for the fiddle, beyond Blunkett’s own ‘fessing up:

12. The Direction of Operations in the Department of Finance and Administration, Mr Terry Bird, informed me on 13 December of the outcome of the Department’s check of their records. He confirmed that they had received a cheque for £179 from Mr Blunkett on 6 December in reimbursement for the value of a journey which the Department understood from Mr Blunkett’s office to have been taken from Doncaster to London on or around 19 August 2002. Mr Bird sent me a list of warrants recorded by the Department as having been used by Mr Blunkett over the period 1 January 2002 to 31 March 2004. This list is reproduced at WE6, It does not record any journey involving travel between Doncaster and London King’s Cross on or around 19 August 2002.13. Mr Bird told me that in view of this, the Department had checked their records of every Parliamentary travel warrant used from 10 August to 14 October 2002. They had also failed through this exercise to match Mr Blunkett’s repayment with a recorded journey using a warrant signed by him.

So Blunkett “remembers” the fiddle, and has repaid the money — but then again, we know that his once-legendary memory’s been paying funny tricks on him of late. Is there anything else worth remembering about this story?

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