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Wednesday, 27 September, 2000, 15:38 GMT 16:38 UK
Murphy's double-barrelled attack
Paul Murphy
Paul Murphy told the party it faces a tough fight
Welsh Secretary Paul Murphy has stepped up political campaigning with a double-barrelled attack on Plaid Cymru and Conservative leader William Hague.

Mr Murphy told the Labour conference in Brighton that the party faces a tough fight at the next general election.

William Hague
William Hague: Record attacked
With few policy responsibilities following devolution, Paul Murphy devoted most of his speech at the Labour conference to attacking his political opponents.

He accused Plaid Cymru - who held their own conference in Llandudno last week - of being a party of professional whingers talking down Wales at every opportunity.

"They voted against any increase - I mean any increase - in pensions this year," he said.

He accused Ieuan Wyn Jones of leading a party that will say anything for a few votes, of supporting petrol taxes in duty but opposing them in the National Assembly for Wales.

'Stalking horse'

He said the real threat from the nationalists is that they would be the "stalking horse for the Tories".

"Already in places like the Vale of Glamorgan the nationalists are propping up Tory rule. Week after week they vote with the Tories against Labour," he said.

Mr Murphy also attacked William Hague's record as Secretary of State for Wales.

He said that when Mr Hague was in office, he cut the number of nurses and doctors in Wales.

And he attacked the Conservatives over compensation for sick ex-miners: "It was this government that agreed to pay the compensation that William Hague, Ann Widdecombe and their Tory pals spent so many years resisting in the courts," he said.

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See also:

24 Sep 00 | Labour
Labour conference schedule
16 May 00 | Wales
Murphy under pressure over jobs
19 Oct 99 | Guide to the UK Government
Office for the Secretary of State for Wales
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