Blunkett refused Paralympics seat

Guide Dog Cosby and David Blunkett MP who lives in Baslow.
Guide Dog Cosby and David Blunkett MP who lives in Baslow.

PARALYMPIC Games chiefs are investigating how Baslow-based Labour MP David Blunkett was refused a seat at the event’s opening ceremony because there was no room for his guide dog Cosby.

The Labour MP for Sheffield and former Home Secretary was attending the Games as a Channel 4 guest but he was forced to write to the Chairman of the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games Lord Sebastian Coe after he was told to sit in a windy gantry instead of the stadium.

A Locog spokesman said: “We’ve spoken to Mr Blunkett about his experience and we’re looking into what happened with our venues team.”

Reports revealed how Mr Blunkett’s letter complained about how he had gone to the ceremony, last Wednesday, on August 29, with Channel 4 non-executive director Paul Potts.

The letter stated he was treated with courtesy at the Olympic Park but at the stadium he was immediately turned away on the grounds that he had his Guide Dog with him.

Mr Blunkett argued that Paralympics had specifically booked him a seat with the understanding he would bring his dog but they were led to moveable, exposed seats on a windy gantry.

A spokesman for Mr Blunkett said: “He is keen that lessons should be learnt and that appropriate action be taken rather than making this into a cause celebre.

“He doesn’t believe this is about him, but rather about getting it right now and for the future for those who do not have the opportunity of raising these matters.”