Thursday, 24 January 2008

Paul Murphy: Steady as he goes...

Paul Murphy is our man in London from today, and someone out there has been busy updating Wikipedia all day, on his behalf.

Paul Murphy originally became Secretary of State for Wales on 28 July 1999, until appointed as Secretary of State for Northern Ireland from 24 October 2002 to 5 May 2005. On leaving government he became chairman of the Intelligence and Security Committee.

Born in 1948 in Usk, Gwent, Paul Murphy was educated at St. Francis RC School, Abersychan, West Monmouth School at Pontypool and Oriel College, Oxford. He began his career as a management trainee with the CWS and later became a lecturer in Government and History at Ebbw Vale College of Further Education.

He was a member of Torfaen Borough Council from 1973-87 and became MP for Torfaen in 1987. In Opposition he was Shadow Spokesman on Welsh Affairs (1988-94), Northern Ireland (1994-95), Foreign Affairs (1995) and Defence (1995-97). After the 1997 Election he was appointed Minister of State at the Northern Ireland Office with specific responsibility for Political Development. Following the negotiation of the Good Friday Agreement he was appointed a Privy Councillor in the 1999 New Year Honours.

Welcome back Paul!
Miss Wagstaff will be expecting all future reference to LCOs - by the media - to be referred to as 'Murphy's Law'.
Update 1: David Cornock (BBC) reminds us how opinions can change when you have responsibility.
Plaid Cymru leader Ieuan Wyn Jones (2001):
Paul Murphy is clearly out of touch with the growing feeling in Wales, and within his own party in the National Assembly. Those of us who have to work within the current settlement see its obvious flaws and a growing number of Labour AMs are coming out to support a law-making Parliament, because they are frustrated at the Assembly's failure to deliver in key policy areas. Paul Murphy and the 'dinosaur tendency' in the Labour Party are being left behind in this debate.
Plaid Cymru leader Ieuan Wyn Jones (2008):
I welcome Paul Murphy's appointment and look forward to working with him. His role will be pivotal in steering the Welsh Assembly Government's bids for the right to legislate through Westminster and in working with us to deliver the One Wales programme of Government.
Update 2: Job separation - It seems what's good enough for Wales isn't good enough for Scotland.


Suze 24 January 2008 at 20:05  

Can't understand why he was removed from government in the first place. He's competent and was always the best candidate.

Anonymous 24 January 2008 at 20:53  

Ieuan Wyn Jones would say that if a tory was in charge.

Anonymous 24 January 2008 at 22:54  

paul Murphy mmmmm
he does like the coalition does he

Southpaw Grammar 24 January 2008 at 22:56  

"paul Murphy mmmmm
he does like the coalition does he"

I would be certain Paul would carry out the job with integrity regardless of his own views per se. He did this well in Northern Ireland, i am pretty sure even the Welsh Assembly dont squabble like that lot! (i jest)

Gordys conscience 25 January 2008 at 00:50  

Brown has left himself wide open on the subject of Secretary of State for Scotland.

Anonymous 25 January 2008 at 00:56  

Peter is an excellent choice and has the added bonus of being liked by Wales Office staff.

Anonymous 25 January 2008 at 01:03  

Watching how he works with Labour's coalition partner will be fun.

Anonymous 25 January 2008 at 01:04  

Paul is an excellent choice and has the added bonus of being liked by Wales Office staff.

Anonymous 25 January 2008 at 03:05  

Ieuan Wyn Jones:

More faces than the Town Hall clock.

Miss Wagstaff 25 January 2008 at 08:42  

Anon 00:56 and 1:04 - I take it that you meant to say Paul originally.

Miss Wagstaff 25 January 2008 at 08:46  

Southpaw Grammar - I agree with you when it comes to Paul's integrity. He'll do a great job.

Gordys Conscience - That was a silly mistake made by Gordon Brown which I'm sure he'll regret over the coming months. He should've realised by now that you have to nip things in the bud.

Anonymous 25 January 2008 at 10:56  

IWJ's comments do show an ability to change opinions butthen what's the option, say he doesn't want to work with Murphy?

Biggest question as Adam Price raised last night is why do we need a Welsh Secretary at all?

Les 25 January 2008 at 11:03  

"Biggest question as Adam Price raised last night is why do we need a Welsh Secretary at all?"

Because we need a voice at Cabinet level. To steer Wales related legislation through parliament. We are only partially devolved.


Anonymous 25 January 2008 at 11:05  

Adam Price hasn't got a proper job in the Commons which is why he has the time to stir party politics up a little. This is a backbencher's luxury.

Dotcommentator 25 January 2008 at 11:14  

About Update 2, I think Brown has shot himself in the foot. Paul Murphy's job involves much more work with legislation, LCOs and so on than Des Browne's Scottish remit. However, Browne's 'other job' is the defence portfolio and I think a lot of people are quite angry that defence is deemed a 'part-time job'. The SNP, also, will be able to say that Brown is insulting Scotland as well.

Robert 26 January 2008 at 11:01  

Forever the diplomat, Paul has been particularly diplomatic and consoling in his media interviews.

Anonymous 26 January 2008 at 11:09  

Murphy is a clever politician, and will be pretty fair, but as has already been said it is very unlikely that any Labour MP is going to be overly enthusiastic about further devolution. But I don't think the Liberals are being exactly fair about this, they should at least give the man a chance.

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