The Rt. Hon. The Lord Blunkett
The Rt. Hon. The Lord Blunkett was Member of Parliament for Sheffield Brightside and Hillsborough 1987-2015, and a member of Tony Blair’s Cabinet for eight years from 1997. He served as Education and Employment Secretary, Home Secretary and Secretary of State for Work and Pensions.
David Blunkett was awarded a peerage in the dissolution Honours List in 2015, taking the title of Lord Blunkett, of Brightside and Hillsborough in the City of Sheffield.
Lord Blunkett was born with with a rare genetic condition that left him completely blind. Growing up in poverty, David’s circumstances were made even tougher when at the age of twelve he lost his father in a work accident. Rejecting the dismissal of many, and with the help of evening classes and day release from work, he entered the University of Sheffield and went on to become the youngest ever councillor in the city.
David then entered Parliament and held shadow portfolios in health, education and employment. Then as Labour Party Chair he became a key player in the development of New Labour.
After Labour’s election win, he was first in charge of education and employment. He thrived in this role and won big increases in funds for schools, while consistently insisting on improved standards of literacy and numeracy, by standing up to teaching unions. Rising to become Education and Employment Secretary, Home Secretary and eventually Work and Pensions Secretary in Tony Blair’s Cabinet, David was promoted to Home Secretary after the 2001 general election.
David stepped down as an MP after an impressive 28 years. He is currently a Professor in Practice at the University of Sheffield, Chair of the Board of the University of Law and involved in a range of voluntary and charitable organisations locally and nationally.
He is an avid supporter of Sheffield Wednesday Football Club and married, with four sons and three step daughters, he enjoys the countryside, reading and good food.
A regular writer and commentator in the media, David has published The Blunkett Tapes (sub-titled My Life in the Bear Pit) and appeared on Mastermind.
As a speaker Lord Blunkett speaks on a range of subjects including –
- Diversity & Inclusion
- Government and Politics
- International Affairs & Security
David spoke with great eloquence and humour about his life experiences and there were some very clear, relevant messages for disabled colleagues at Lloyds in the audience. We have had extremely positive feedback from the attendees. We hope he enjoyed the event as much as we did.
— Lloyds TSB
The feedback from our debate on Europe last Wednesday has been hugely enthusiastic and immensely complimentary about our speakers! It will come as no surprise to you, David that your contribution was singled out as particularly outstanding! Your deep understanding of international political events and your pithy humour were greatly appreciated by the delegates. Thank you so much for agreeing to participate in what can only be described as an unqualified success. You were immense and we are very grateful to you!
— Cantor Index
Really well received, and the delegates really enjoyed his talk. Many of them even quoted him or his ideas in later discussion so we think he definitely had the inspirational/thought provoking impact we had hoped for.
— Reckitt Benckiser