Blunkett High Court battle goes public

A previously-secret High Court battle involving British Home Secretary David Blunkett and his married ex-lover will reach a dramatic conclusion in public, it has emerged.

A previously-secret High Court battle involving British Home Secretary David Blunkett and his married ex-lover will reach a dramatic conclusion in public, it has emerged.

It is understood that a judgment hearing is among cases listed at the High Court in London today.

It is being made by Mr Justice Ryder and is due to take place in an open session of the High Court Family Division, sources say.

There were reports earlier in the week that Mr Blunkett had begun a legal fight for access to the child he believes to be his.

Mr Blunkett’s former lover, Kimberly Quinn, has a young son and is seven months’ pregnant with her second child.

The Sun newspaper reported that a full hearing would take place in public under Mrs Quinn’s former name of Fortier.

Any child involved in family court proceedings is normally guaranteed anonymity.

Friends of Mrs Quinn and husband Stephen have claimed that Mr Blunkett fast-tracked a visa application for their former Filipino nanny.

British Home Office mandarin John Gieve ordered an inquiry into the claims, to be led by former government adviser Alan Budd, earlier this week.

On Wednesday, Mr Blunkett insisted he had done nothing wrong. A high-profile court battle was likely to further complicate Mr Blunkett’s position.

A Home Office spokesman said: “We do not discuss ministers’ private lives.”

Mr Quinn pleaded for a publicity ceasefire after his wife was admitted to a London hospital suffering stress, said to have been brought on by the public row with Mr Blunkett.

Speaking outside his London home yesterday, Mr Quinn defended his wife and appealed again for her to be left alone.

He said: “She is not the greatest sinner this country has produced. It’s not really fair to keep on saying: ’Oh my God, it’s terrible’, or whatever. We must have a sense of humanity, fairness, justice and reasonableness. It’s not right to keep attacking her about access and things like that.

“The issue really is that when Kimberly has her next child in February and when she can be rational, together and reasonable, we will deal with this.”

Mr Blunkett and the 44-year-old publisher of the Spectator magazine began their three-year affair just three months after she married Mr Quinn, managing director of Vogue.

Mr Quinn said his wife was very distressed that her nanny, Leoncia Casalme, had told her story to the media.

However Mr Quinn said he did not feel betrayed by Ms Casalme and had made no attempts to contact her.

“It’s nonsense to say: ’She said this or something that’. It’s just tittle-tattle really and it’s hurtful. It’s damaging to her (my wife) when her health is quite frail.”

The call follows a Daily Mail newspaper report in which Ms Casalme gave her side of the story and said the Home Secretary must have become involved in the process which led to the granting of her visa at a later stage than he had previously admitted.

Mr Quinn said his wife was “not terribly well” and he was not sure when she would be leaving hospital.

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