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Ahoy! He speaks

BLUNKETT, of course, has broken his silence with a message of support to campaigners in Trafford, as we report this week. But sssssshhhhhhh: the rest of you aren't supposed to know about this.

It came in a press release from Trafford MP (and environment minister) Bev Hughes. But when a Diary colleague, who heard of a rare sighting of a Blunkett quote, post-Ripon, called the MP's office for a copy, he received shrt shrift.

After a brief lecture chiding the media for confusing a campaign against the 11-plus for one against grammar schools, Ms Hughes refused to fax the release, saying it was for local consumption only, and not for the nationals.

This top-secret document urges parents to sign the ballot and even contains contact numbers for the campaign. But she obviously didn't want Number 10 to know that.

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