TORFAEN MP Paul Murphy collected an honourary degree yesterday from the University of South Wales.

The MP, who lives in Llantarnam, told the Argus: "I'm extremely pleased and honoured to receive the doctorate, not least because I very much regard myself as a Valleys boy and in many ways this is the university of the Valleys.

"This institution incorporates the only university we have in Gwent. For some years me and others campaigned for us to have a university in Gwent, and we got one. It still has the campus in Newport and Caerleon and it's very important for us.

"This is a fine local university and a great honour for me," he said.

Mr Murphy, who is an honourary fellow of his alma mater Oxford college, Oriel, and also at Wrexham's Glyndwr University, said he felt "very privileged" to be receiving his third academic honour.

"I'd normally be in parliament but this was a very important date in my diary," he said.