Wednesday, 27 February 2008

Paul Murphy waltzes

Paul Murphy's Commons comeback turned into something of a love-in.

His first half-hour question time as Secretary of State for Wales was largely taken up with warm welcomes from colleagues and opponents - and his gratitude for their good wishes.

He told his Tory shadow, Cheryl Gillan: "I look forward this evening to waltzing with her to "Me and My Shadow" - a reference, I think, to the Wales Office St David's Day party in Gwydyr House this evening.

Mr Murphy did face one or two awkward questions about the relative performance of the NHS either side of the England/Wales border.

Some things, he believes, have got better since he was last in the job: "Differences between England and Wales are far less than they were in the past."

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