A leading Indian media figure, named by controversial British MP David Blunkett as the father of his former lover Kimberly Quinn's 1-month-old son has categorically denied the allegation.

There are also unconfirmed reports the more famous half of the publishing power- couple Stephen and Kimberly Quinn has also rubbished the report.

M.J. Akbar, 54, who heads Delhi-based The Asian Age group of newspapers told Gulf News through his London-based lawyer Arlington Sharmas yesterday that the "insinuations and innuendo being made against him were completely false and inaccurate."

The law firm said they had received reports that Kimberly had denied she had an affair with Akbar, who was named by the former British Home Secretary as the father of Kimberly's 1-month-old baby Lorcan.

DNA test results that were leaked showed the former Labour MP was not the father of the child. Earlier DNA tests had already established that Blunkett, who had a three-year affair with Kimberly was the father of her two-year-old son William.

The urbane Akbar, the media mogul at the centre of the speculation, said allegations he and Kimberly were lovers were "insane". He said Kimberly was "a good friend" and that at the time the baby was conceived, he was in India covering elections to India's parliament.

"I was definitely not in London."

Blunkett was forced to resign after it emerged that he fast-tracked a visa for Kimberly's Filipina nanny.

The current brouhaha erupted after a report in The Sun, headlined "Did Kimberly Have Asian Baby?"

The newspaper which supports Labour, quoted a "source which stated: "There is talk of Kimberly having had a fling with a media figure prominent in India."

The American society hostess now based in London is the publisher of the right-wing Spectator magazine.

Stephen Quinn, the publisher of Vogue, and Kimberly's husband said: "We are angry that Mr Blunkett has, yet again, chosen to talk to the press about matters concerning our family. He breached our family's privacy causing further upset."

He added: "The results of the DNA tests referred to by Mr Blunkett have been known for over two weeks. As for the suggestion that Lorcan looks Indian you would have to be demented to dream that up.

He derided as "totally absurd" suggestions that Lorcan looked Asian, adding: "He looks like an Irish rugby player."

A person close to the Quinns said: "Blunkett is eaten up with jealousy that he isn't the baby's father."

Crucially, the Quinns's emotional statement delivered on the doorstep of their Mayfair home, stopped short of stating that Stephen is the biological father of Lorcan.

Blunkett is to renew the bitter legal fight with his sworn enemy and former mistress over their two-year-old son.

One well-placed source said: "David remains absolutely committed to William. He loves him. He wants to be a dad to him."

Blunkett is "more determined than ever" to pursue his claim for access to William, over fears he will be damaged by his mother's "hedonistic" lifestyle.

The former home secretary has told friends he fears Quinn is mixing in the wrong circles and runs the risk of neglecting her family.

A close friend of Blunkett said: "David is becoming increasingly concerned about the hedonistic behaviour of Kimberly Quinn.

"He feels he fell into a hedonistic set of wealthy and powerful people who have few values and codes of behaviour. He feels so disappointed that William's mother is behaving the way she has."

Despite another bout of damaging headlines, Blunkett remains determined to return to front-line politics. He regards his enforced spell on the back benches as a "time out" allowing him to recharge his political batteries and while the acrimonious High Court battle over access to William is far from resolved, political sources say the former minister has been deluged with invitations from Labour MPs to campaign for them in the run-up to the general election.

"He has loads left to contribute," said a source. "He is using this time to talk and to listen and to do a lot of thinking."

A source close to Quinns said: 'It's agreed that Lorcan was conceived at the time when Kimberly was clearly trying to get out of her affair with David Blunkett. At that time she was, unquestionably, not having any other affair. Blunkett was absolutely convinced that he was father to the second child and it has come as a tremendous shock to him that he is not."

- With inputs from Evening Standard