Tuesday, April 6, 1999 Published at 21:32 GMT 22:32 UK
CV: Alun Michael
Born: 22 August 1943
Education: Colwyn Bay Grammar School. Keele University.
Personal details: Married to Mary. Three daughters, two sons.
Non-political career: Journalist. Youth and community worker. Magistrate.
Political career: Joined Labour Party 1968; Cardiff City councillor 1973-1989; MP for Cardiff South and Penarth 1987- ; Opposition whip 1987-88; Welsh affairs spokesman 1988-92; Home affairs spokesman 1992-97; Home Office minister 1997-8; Welsh Secretary 1998- .
Profile: Helped devise Labour's more populist "tough on crime" stance while working for Tony Blair in opposition. A principle author of the government's Crime and Disorder Bill. Not in favour of proportional representation.
Long-time supporter of devolution, but not initially keen to leave Westminster himself.
In his own words: "I was arguing for devolution back in the 1960s... I believed in devolution then because I believed it was the best way to make government work for the people, bringing power closer to our communities, finding our own solutions to the problems we face here in Wales."
"If I disagree with Tony Blair I will say that I disagree with him."
"Nice to see it cooked properly" - as he ate banned beef-on-the-bone, which was on the menu of a promotional event for Welsh beef he attended in the company of Prince Charles.
How others see him: Experienced, safe pair of hands; thoughtful, undemonstrative; workaholic.
Interests: Walking. marathon runner. opera.