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WELSH LEADERS REFERRED TO CRE

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Two Welsh nationalists have been reported to the Commission for Racial Equality for making anti-English statements,...
Two Welsh nationalists have been reported to the Commission for Racial Equality for making anti-English statements, reported The Sunday Telegraph (p10).

John Elfed Jones, the chairman of the advisory group which set up the Welsh assembly, has been reported for comparing the movement of English speakers into rural areas of Wales with foot-and-mouth disease, and Gwilym ab Ioan, the vice president of Plaid Cymru, for saying that his homeland was becoming a dumping ground for England's 'oddballs, social misfits and drop-outs'. Mr ab Ioan resigned after anger over his comment.

The comments were reported to the CRE by Ian Skidmore, a former presenter with BBC Radio Wales, who described them as 'a clear incitement to racial hatred'.

Mr Skidmore, who is English and lives in Anglesey, told the CRE: 'These remarks are a clear incitement to racial hatred which no white or black minority would be expected to ignore. Twenty years ago I would have thought race riots in Oldham and Burnley would have been impossible. Unless some action is taken, I fear that a decade hence we will be seeing similar outbreaks here'.

Campaigners for racial integration in Wales have backed Mr Skidmore's complaint.

Naz Malik, director of the All Wales Ethnic Minority Association and a former chairman of the Swansea Race Equality Council, agreed the remarks by Mr Elfed Jones and Mr ab Ioan were 'racist'. He said: 'These comments are no different to saying the problems in England are because of black people'.

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