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Friday, October 22, 1999 Published at 20:20 GMT 21:20 UK

UK: Wales

Murphy lashes out at 'divisive' opposition

Paul Murphy accuses the opposition parties of being "divisive"

Welsh Secretary Paul Murphy has launched a strong attack on opposition parties in the Assembly over their tactics in the National Assembly for Wales.

It is the latest move in the aftermath of the censure vote against Agriculture Secretary Christine Gwyther.

The opposition is trying to forge a blame culture in Wales, according to Paul Murphy
The attack was contained in a speech at the start of Mr Murphy's tour of Wales to celebrate 100 years of the Labour party.

He accused the opposition parties of trying to forge a blame culture in Wales and cited the nationalists' support for the censure motion on Christine Gwyther.

Defending Ms Gwyther, Mr Murphy said that the Welsh Agriculture Secretary had done all she could to help farmers.

[ image: Ieuan Wyn Jones says attack is unwarranted]
Ieuan Wyn Jones says attack is unwarranted
He said the parties' would undermine public confidence in the work of the Assembly and was a "divisive force in Wales".

His attack is a further sign that Labour are standing by the agriculture secretary following pressure on her to stand down over her failure to secure an all-Wales calf processing aid scheme.

But Plaid Cymru, the Party of Wales, has hit back. Members warned the Secretary of State for Wales that he should not be using his Cabinet post as a "conduit for party political attacks".

The party believe he should not enter the arguments taking place in the Assembly.

Plaid Business Manager, Ieuan Wyn Jones AM, has said that Mr Murphy's "intemperate and unwarranted" attacks showed that the Labour Party in London did not understand what devolution meant.

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