Tuesday, 25 March 2008

Murphy's sure

Are we about to see the second resignation of a Welsh Secretary this year?

Is Paul Murphy about to follow Peter Hain in falling on his Cabinet sword?

Er, no. Mr Murphy has let it be known that he is happy with the compromise on embryo research announced by the Prime Minister today.

Mr Murphy, a Papal Knight, shares the views of other Catholic MPs on issues such as the creation of hybrid embros in the name of medical research.

Government Whips floated the idea of allowing unhappy Ministers to abstain on the controversial parts of the Bill. Privately, Mr Murphy argued that abstention was not an option for him, although reports that he threatened to resign were more than a little overblown.

This afternoon, he's signalled that he will vote in favour of the Bill as a whole, but with his conscience on the key areas where Gordon Brown will allow Labour MPs to have a free vote.

The nature of the compromise may mean that he ends up voting for a law that expands embryo research in a way that is abhorrent to many Catholics but he will only do that having voted with his conscience during earlier stages of the Bill.

No comments: