BBC broadcaster Huw Edwards has hit back against Rhondda MP Chris Bryant after the latter bemoaned his “opining” on the subject of protecting Wales’ place names.
Huw Edwards had been responding to a petition signed by almost 9,000 people calling for the Senedd to stop Welsh place-names being changed to English.
The petition states that “little by little, the country is losing its heritage” and “this must be stopped for the sake of future generations”.
Huw Edwards commented to say that “it’s been going on for years — with some really gruesome and offensive examples — and virtually nothing’s been done about it”.
Labour Rhondda MP Chris Bryant responded to Huw Edwards’ comments on Twitter, saying that: “I’m really not sure why the BBC thinks it’s ok for its senior journalists regularly to opine like this.”
Huw Edwards later responded with: “Oh Chris. I’m a Welsh speaker standing up for my cultural heritage. We live in an age when minority cultures are meant to be respected. I’m genuinely sorry that offends you.”
Other Labour politicians have however called for protecting place names, including former First Minister Carwyn Jones.
“The Tregyb Arms in Brynamman was opened in 1865, and there in 1891 the first branch of the Coal Miner’s Union was formed,” he said.
“The building has changed a lot over the years but during the last few days an English name has displaced the Welsh one. The owners need to rethink.”
Blaenau Gwent Senedd Member Alun Davies said: “I agree with Huw. This has been appalling for years. It demonstrates no respect for our culture, history or heritage.”
North Dorset Conservative MP Simon Hoare also backed Huw Edwards. “As a Welshman living in England, I agree entirely with Huw. We’ve a rich culture in Wales and we mustn’t stand by while it’s salami sliced. It’s too precious to lose.”
The petition set up by Robin Aled Davies reads: “There is a pattern throughout Wales where new owners are changing their house names into English.
“There is no need to go far to find the evidence! Little by little, the country is losing its heritage. This must be stopped for the sake of future generations, whatever their language.”