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Friday, October 15, 1999 Published at 13:44 GMT 14:44 UK

UK Politics

Office for the Secretary of State for Wales

Secretary of State for Wales: Paul Murphy

Mr Murphy replaced Alun Michael as secretary of state for Wales in July 1999.

[ image: Paul Murphy: Can speak in the assembly]
Paul Murphy: Can speak in the assembly
Mr Michael stepped down from the position after becoming first secretary of the National Assembly for Wales.

The secretary of state is Wales' voice in the cabinet and in Parliament and he ensures the interests of Wales are considered when government policy is developed at Westminster.

He has the right to attend and speak at sessions of the national assembly.

The Welsh secretary is also voted the budget for Wales by Parliament, which he then passes on to the assembly.

Mr Murphy is also responsible for steering through Parliament legislation which concerns only Wales.

Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Wales: David Hanson

Mr Hanson was appointed to the department in the July 1999 reshuffle, during which the staff at the Welsh Office were reduced following the establishment of the national assembly.

He works closely with Mr Murphy on Welsh matters which are still the responsibility of Westminster.

The department

The Office of the Secretary of State for Wales was established on 1 July 1999 when most of the powers of the Welsh Office were handed over to the National Assembly for Wales.

The new department remains based in Whitehall and is responsible for the interests of Wales which have not been devolved to the national assembly.

These areas include broadcasting, the National Lottery, economic policy, employment legislation, home affairs, the legal system and social security.

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