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Thursday, January 15, 2009

Job done

Whoever it was who leaked the detailed objections of Paul Murphy on the Welsh Language Legislative Competence Order appears to have achieved their objective.

Within hours of the BBC setting up interviews to lead on the story this morning the Secretary of State for Wales announced that he was going to sign it off and refer it to the Welsh Affairs Select Committee even if he does have substantive reservations about the order:

Although Mr Murphy has agreed the assembly government can publish the LCO, so that AMs and MPs can begin their scrutiny, he has also issued a warning to ministers in Cardiff Bay that he fears some of the provisions will be so controversial that they may not survive into the final draft.

Until this week, Mr Murphy was refusing to include a clause that would mean Whitehall departments could face financial penalties for failing to comply with language equality legislation.

But officials in the assembly government were adamant it should remain, saying it would "focus the minds" of civil servants in England.

I predict a particularly rough ride when the MPs get their teeth into this.
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