Friday, 5 June 2009

Back to the future

With what has become an uncanny gift for being in the wrong place at the wrong time, I'm in Cardiff today, working on a documentary about the BNP, rather than in Westminster.

So I'll leave the predictions to my colleagues closer to the action. There is a natural justice in Peter Hain's return after the police investigation into his deputy leadership campaign came to nothing. His Wales Office comeback will certainly raise its profile in the run-up to the general election.

But there will be widespread sympathy among Labour MPs at the sacking of Paul Murphy. He appears to have done nothing wrong, other than replacing his boiler on safety grounds.

The Torfaen MP left government with a typically gracious statement: "I have been very proud to have served in Gordon Brown's Cabinet for the past seventeen months, and I fully support his remaining as our Prime Minister."

It will be left to the newly-reshuffled Cabinet to explain Labour's performance in the European elections when the votes are counted on Sunday.

With an all-Wales turnout of 30.5 per cent, the potential for some interesting results is certainly there (an observation, not a prediction!).


Amanwy said...

Must be a first, Murphy has been sacked twice in favour of Peter Hain

Anonymous said...

Looking at Rhodri Morgan's reaction to Hain's says a lot I think.

"Mr Morgan said: “I am sure that the Welsh political scene will welcome Peter Hain back to the office of Secretary of State for Wales and I have spoken to him this afternoon to congratulate him on his appointment."

Not a very "warm" statement that, is it?

Then he goes on to say this about Paul Murphy:

“I have also spoken to Paul Murphy and pay tribute to the skills that he brought to the job during the past 18 months.

“He has been an outstanding public figure in Welsh and British politics, and has made a huge contribution to devolution in his time as Secretary of State for Wales.”

Verdict: Angry that Paul Murphy has been sacked, and not very pleased to have Hain back.