UK - Home Secretary David Blunkett to be investigated

Home Secretary David Blunkett finds himself on thin ice asinformation about his ex-lover's nanny's fast tracked visa applicationhits the news in a big way. Blunkett says he is not guilty of any wrongdoings, but an investigation will be launched shortly.

TheDaily Mail has published letters from the Home Office to LeonciaCasalme where it says her visa application could take up to a year.Still, another letter received by Casalme a few days later says herapplication will be processed in 19 days and that she will be allowedto stay in the UK indefinitely.

Talking to reporters outsidehis office on Dec. 1 Blunkett said: "I wouldn't be standing here if Ithought there was any doubt whatsoever about what I've done."

ButTory spokesman David Davis said: "It's extraordinary for someone to gofrom effectively a 12 month list to a 19 day one and it does imply thatsomething happened, somebody intervened. Whether it was the homesecretary or not we don't know."

Ex-civil servant SirAlan Budd has been appointed by the government to review the handlingof the visa application and examine all the papers but Mr Davisrepeated that the investigation was neither sufficiently broad norsufficiently removed from Whitehall.

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