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Wednesday, 16 October, 2002, 10:43 GMT 11:43 UK
Paul Murphy

Date of birth

25 November 1948

Political profile

Paul Murphy's political career has been one of constant success.

His election to the Commons in 1987 followed a decade as a local councillor.

Soon after entering parliament he became a spokesman on Welsh affairs and remained on the opposition frontbench in various roles until Labour came to power in 1997.

He joined the Northern Ireland Office as a junior minister until, after the Welsh Assembly was set up, he became the first post-devolution secretary of state for Wales.

Although he has been in the cabinet for several years, he is still very little known.

This is partly because of the narrow nature of the remaining role of Welsh Secretary, but partly because he is naturally an unflashy backstage fixer rather than an ostentatious firebrand.

However, he was pushed into the limelight when he returned to Northern Ireland as Secretary of State in October 2002.

As a junior minister there, he played a crucial, though low-key, role in the Good Friday Negotiation agreements and is known as a skilled builder of partnerships.

He is a Catholic and opposed to abortion and stem cell research.

Contact

Constituency office 01495 750078

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