The Home Secretary, David Blunkett, puts an end to speculation that his guide dog, Lucy, is about to retire

The Home Secretary has quashed rumours of the imminent retirement of his guide dog, Lucy.

An article in The Mail on Sunday last week reported that after “seven years of padding around the corridors of power”, Mr Blunkett’s beloved part-bred black Labrador is due for a quieter life away from the TV cameras, the canapes and the clamour of the Commons”.

The report quoted an earlier remark by the Home Secretary that his “trusted eyes and ears” would soon be due for a rest and that he would miss her.

But on BBC TV’s Breakfast with Frost programme, Mr Blunkett denied Lucy was about to go.

He said the retirement of his guide dog was “a long way off”. “Lucy is very fit and very able,” he told viewers. However, Mr Blunkett went on to says that after a few months dealing with some of the issues he was facing at the moment she “might be glad to retire”.

Lucy is the Home Secretary’s fourth guide dog.

A spokesman for the Guide Dog for the Blind Association confirmed that there is no date yet for Lucy’s retirement, but said the association was always monitoring its dogs and keeping an eye out for potential replacements for all its owners.

Lucy’s more memorable moments in the Commons are said to include the time she was sick during a speech by a Conservative MP who was attacking her master’s education policies.