Paul Murphy


Author(s) Paul Murphy

Language: English

Genre(s): Biography

  • September 2019 · 208 pages ·234x156mm

  • · Hardback - 9781786834720
  • · eBook - pdf - 9781786834737
  • · eBook - epub - 9781786834744

About The Book

Born into a traditional Welsh valley community, Paul Murphy has been a member of the Labour Party for more than 55 years. In this book, he describes how the socialist beliefs of that community, and of his parents especially, helped to develop his own very early political consciousness. After three years studying at Oxford, and alongside work as a lecturer in History and Government, he went on to serve on his local council before succeeding Leo Abse in 1987 as MP for his home constituency Torfaen. His time in government from 1997 onwards included seven years as Secretary of State for Wales and for Northern Ireland, in the Cabinets of Tony Blair and Gordon Brown, and the book provides unique insights into Murphy’s leading role at times of major constitutional change, including the pivotal part he played as Northern Ireland Minister under Mo Mowlam in negotiating the Good Friday Agreement.

- 'During the weeks leading up to the referendum, I travelled the length and breadth of Northern Ireland talking to local and regional newspapers, and presenting the case for a ‘Yes’ vote.' Read an extract of Paul Murphy's autobiography here  -


‘When Paul Murphy speaks, everyone listens. Shrewd sympathetic and decent, he’s been a helluva politician to work alongside and observe, as this fascinating memoir demonstrates.’
-Lord Peter Hain

‘This personal memoir reflects the discretion and diligence that have marked Paul Murphy’s career, along with an amiable determination … It truly comes through that Paul always considered his profession to be “about people and personal relationships”. An understated memoir – generous in respect for others – to remind us that modest integrity, level-headed normality, steady instinct, honest reflection and adjustment with a rounded take on life are assets for democratic service that currently seem to be devalued at our collective expense.’
-Mark Durkan, SDLP


List of Illustrations
Foreword by Kim Howells
Early Days
“West Mon”
Apprenticeship 1970-1987
Opposition 1987-1997
Northern Ireland 1997-1999
In Cabinet 1999-2002
Ulster Again 2002-2005
Spies and Wales Again 2005-2010
2010 and After

About the Author(s)

Author(s): Paul Murphy

Paul Murphy draws upon the experience of more than 55 years in politics to provide an insider’s story of life in parliament – first, in opposition during the Thatcher and Major premierships, and then as an increasingly senior figure in the Labour administrations of Tony Blair and Gordon Brown.

Read more