Paul Murphy and Peter Hain elevated to House of Lords

Both politicians served in Northern Ireland at critical times of the peace process

Peter Hain, who replaced Paul  Murphy as Northern secretary in 2005. Photograph: Tim Whitby/PA

Peter Hain, who replaced Paul Murphy as Northern secretary in 2005. Photograph: Tim Whitby/PA

 

Two former Northern secretaries, Peter Hain and Paul Murphy are to be elevated to the House of Lords after the British prime minister, David Cameron, yesterday handed out 45 new peerages.

Both Mr Murphy (66) and Mr Hain (65) were involved in politics in Northern Ireland at critical stages of the peace process. Mr Murphy, who also served as Welsh secretary, was Labour MP for Torfaen in Wales from 1987 until his retirement in 2015. He was Northern secretary from October 2002 to May 2005 and was also a junior Northern Ireland minister from 1997 until 1999.

Along with senior politicians such as Senator George Mitchell, Bertie Ahern, Tony Blair and Mo Mowlam, and the leaders of the North’s main parties, apart from the DUP, he was heavily involved in the negotiations leading to the 1998 Belfast Agreement.

He played a significant role in the Strand 2 element of those talks dealing with North-South relations. As Northern secretary he was engaged in a number of failed efforts to bring the DUP into powersharing government at Stormont.

Mr Hain was Labour MP for Neath from 1991 until 2015. He replaced Mr Murphy as Northern secretary in 2005.