Crabb comes out of his shell as he's grilled by MPs

Away from the bearpit atmosphere of the Commons chamber, Stephen Crabb has this afternoon been grilled by MPs on the Welsh affairs committee.

It was a slightly gentler occasion than this morning's question time. Unusually, he used first names when answering committee members' questions. So what did we learn?

1. He sees himself as an "outsider". (Everyone is anti-establishment these days, even the establishment).

2. He thinks devolution has created "a very strong, tight-knit political/media village in Cardiff" that he has been getting to know recently. He prefers "village" to "bubble" because that's derogatory.

3. He can't remember in nine and a half years as an MP anyone "on the doorstep" raising devolution or more powers with him.

4. His predecessor David Jones was "a great guy to work for, a great secretary of state".

5. Welsh business Minister Edwina Hart is "a very practical pragmatic person - the kind of person I enjoy doing business with".

6. He has set himself a deadline of St David's Day next year as a "landmark moment" to get four-party agreement on "a common baseline set of commitments" about what the next stage of devolution will look like.

7. He sees "a long-term coming together of devolution that they all start to look a bit more like each other".

8. Resolving the Valleys rail electrification "impasse" he inherited is proving difficult.

9. His ambition is to come up with a settlement "so that what we don't have in future is political discourse in Wales dominated year-after-year by discussions around devolution".

10. If Britain gets concessions from the EU, he'll have no problem campaigning for a 'yes' vote in a referendum: "As someone who is married to someone you might style as an EU migrant I fully recognise the benefits of freedom of movement."

The most interesting of the 10 probably the St David's Day target for a cross-party agreement. Devolution deadlines have come and gone before (the UK government's response to the Silk commission transcended seasons) but the impetus from the Scottish referendum process has left Mr Crabb bold enough to set a public deadline.