Murphy appointment: Alliance welcome

David Ford, leader of the Alliance party, has just told the Letter to Slugger O’Toole:

“It is surprising that the PM has seen fit to move John Reid at a time of crisis like this. However, it is clear that he feels the need for a ‘safe pair of hands’. In Paul Murphy we have an Secretary of State who had experience within the NIO at the time of the agreement and in bringing about a successful partnership government in Wales. His track record is excellent. Alliance will work with Mr Murphy and his ministerial team to restore the devolved institutions as soon as possible.”

One member of the party said her party was over the moon about the appointment:

“People see him as the man to get the institutions up and running quickly. Things had been looking like a long haul. Civic Forum had been asked to return their PCs. The FMDFM offices were moving to Castle Buildings. Everyone was very depressed; they could see the place totally collapsing. But this appears to be very good news.”