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Manics Nicky Asks Blair For Welsh Job - The Sun, 2nd November 1998

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Title: Manics Nicky Asks Blair For Welsh Job
Publication: The Sun
Date: Monday 2nd November 1998
Writer: Dominic Mohan & Victoria Newton

Manic Street Preacher Nicky Wire has written to Prime Minister Tony Blair asking to become the new Welsh Secretary.

His request follows the resignation of disgraced Cabinet minister Ron Davies from the post.

Songwriter Nicky, who is bass player with the top Welsh band, wrote to Downing Street from his Cardiff home offering his services the day after Davies stepped down.

Nicky, who ranks Tony Benn and Ken Livingstone among his heroes, said: "I'm a diehard socialist.

"I'm really up for getting into politics and trying to make a difference.

"It's something I have been thinking about for some time. If Tony Blair is looking for a new Welsh Secretary he knows who he can speak to.

"I've written to him and now he has my number."

Davies resigned last week after admitting to "a moment of madness" at a notorious gay haunt on Clapham Common in South London.

He told police he was mugged and his G-reg Ford Granada, mobile phone, wallet and House of Commons pass stolen.

The Manics picked up a gong for Best Band In The World at the Q Awards on Friday, when fellow Welsh band Catatonia dedicated their award for best single to the shamed minister.

Nicky and fellow Manics, singer and guitarist James Dean Bradfield and drummer Sean Moore, always have the Welsh flag draped over their amplifiers when they go on stage.

Formed when James, Nicky and Sean were at school together in Blackwood, Gwent, the Manic Street Preachers were hit by tragedy when their bandmate Richey Edwards disappeared in 1995 - presumed to have committed suicide.

They have built a reputation for writing political songs.

Their new album This Is My Truth Tell Me Yours - the follow up to their platinum-selling Everything Must Go - is packed with political statements including a song critical of the police over the Hillsborough stadium disaster. The Manics have even lambasted Wales soccer boss Bobby Gould for his handling of the national team.

They changed the words to their song Everything Must Go at a gig in Cardiff - and sang Bobby Gould Must Go.

The band are currently in Barcelona starting the Spanish leg of their world tour.