Journalist slammed for ‘mocking Welsh poverty’ over ‘Prince Charles’ bridge

Rod Liddle’s column (left) and Prince Charles (left).

 

A journalist has been criticised after suggesting that the name of the Second Severn Crossing linking Wales to England does not matter as long as it allows people to “get out of the place, pronto”.

Rod Liddle, writing in the Sunday Times, suggested that the Second Severn Crossing be called “something indecipherable with no vowels, such as Ysgythysgymlngwchfwch Bryggy” (a name that includes eight Welsh vowels).

The bridge, he said, linked “their rain-sodden valleys with the First World”.

Liddle is an associate editor of The Spectator and former editor of BBC Radio 4’s Today programme. He began his career working at the South Wales Echo, and then worked for the Labour Party.

He was writing in response to an online petition to oppose the renaming of the Severn Bridge as The Prince of Wales Bridge, which has attracted over 25,000 signatures.

Plaid Cymru MP Liz Saville-Roberts said his comments “mocks poverty in Wales” and “belittles the Welsh language”.

She said the bridge was the “gift that keeps on giving” in terms of revealing unionist attitudes towards Wales.

Rod Liddle, however, did not have kinds words for Prince Charles either, calling him “a venal, grasping, deranged (if Tom Bower’s new biography is accurate) heir to the throne”.

A protest was held yesterday in The Hayes, Cardiff city centre, demanding that the people of Wales be asked their opinion about the name change.

It was announced this week the Second Severn Crossing would be renamed The Prince of Wales Bridge later this year to mark Prince Charles’ 70th birthday year.

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