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Tuesday, 31 October, 2000, 12:33 GMT
Murphy warns over more Assembly power
Paul Murphy
Paul Murphy says he is effective behind the scenes
The Secretary of State for Wales has fired another warning shot over the bows of those campaigning for the National Assembly for Wales to be given more power.

Paul Murphy warned that voters want better public services ahead of further constitutional change.


We know we draw tremendous strength from our long association with England

Welsh Secretary Paul Murphy
Speaking to a conference on devolution in Spain, Mr Murphy said that suspicion that devolution would automatically bring better schools or hospitals contributed to the very narrow victory in the 1997 referendum.

"It also means that the primary demand in Wales is not for more constitutional change, but for better schools, cleaner hospitals, more doctors and nurses and less crime."

He added: "To say this is not to rule out any future constitutional change but is to remind all of us who are politicians that our job is to serve the people and listen to them, not just satisfy our own demands for more powers and privileges."

Mr Murphy believes his role is to defend the settlement voted on in the referendum.

Preventing disputes

In his speech, he also defended his own job against those who think he has become redundant since devolution.

He argued that he was more effective behind the scenes, preventing disputes between Wales and Whitehall becoming public.

Mr Murphy also added an attack on nationalism.

"We know we draw tremendous strength from our long association with England and we have no desire to walk away from that," he said.

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19 Jul 00 | Wales
Murphy's pledge on Euro funds
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