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Jacob Rees-Mogg praises Welsh language as ‘beautiful’ and says he ‘very much values Welsh culture’

27 May 2021 3 minute read
Jacob Rees-Mogg who called devolution ‘foolish tinkering’ this week

Jacob Rees-Mogg has said that his grandfather was a Welsh speaker, that he “very much values Welsh heritage and culture” and that it is “a beautiful language of great antiquity”.

Responding to a question about funding S4C, the Speaker of the House of Commons replied that he supported “its continued use as a daily language”.

His comments come after he was criticised for calling Welsh a “foreign language” and compared it to Latin in March of this year.

Back in March, he said whilst “modest quotation in foreign languages is permissible” it was “reasonable” not to allow “full speeches”. He added that “honourable members might occasionally use Latin quips and that is perfectly allowable”.

Today however he responded that Welsh “is unquestionably a beautiful language of great antiquity in this country”.

“My mother’s father was a Welsh speaker, so this is not the Rees bit of me but the Morris bit of me that very much values Welsh heritage and culture and, of course, its continued use as a daily language,” he said.


He was responding to a question by Kevin Brennan, MP for Cardiff West, who called on the Culture Secretary to give an early statement providing clarity on the improved funding needed for the S4C.

“The Welsh language has been spoken on these islands, indeed on this island, since long before the English language arrived on our shores,” Kevin Brennan said.

“In fact, the Welsh epic poem Y Gododdin describes a battle in the 6th century between Anglo-Saxon invaders and Welsh-speaking warriors from the south of Scotland. The battle took place in modern-day Yorkshire.

“Does the Leader of the House agree that we should have an early statement from the Culture Secretary to give clarity on the improved funding needed for the Welsh language broadcaster S4C so that it can help to ensure that Welsh, spoken daily by half a million people in the UK, continues to survive and thrive in the digital age?”

After praising the Welsh language, Jacob Rees Mogg responded that “it may be better for the Welsh Government to take up these matters, because it is for them to promote the Welsh language, though I am aware that S4C is in a slightly different category”.

Welsh culture is devolved to the Welsh Government, but funding decisions for S4C come from the UK Government.

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2 years ago

Ridiculous that this is decision is being made in Westminster and not the Senedd. Need S4C’s funding (and so many other things) to be devolved sooner rather than later.

Steve George
Steve George
2 years ago

He’s not the Speaker of the HoC. He’s the leader of the House. (Essentially, the person in charge of programming government business in the HoC.) Easy mistake to make. But, a very different role.

Steve Duggan
Steve Duggan
2 years ago

So the charm offensive begins – they must really be scared of the rising independence movement in Cymru. They really don’t want to lose that control !

Shan Morgain
2 years ago

Jacob Rees Mogg responded that “it may be better for the Welsh Government to take up these matters, because it is for them to promote the Welsh language, though I am aware that S4C is in a slightly different category”.

Got him! He’s saying that it would be better if the Welsh Government managed S4C (which of course would mean a transfer of its budget from Westminster).

2 years ago
Reply to  Shan Morgain

Sadly it’s not a got’im moment at all. This UK government makes inconsistency and duplicity a cornerstone of its behaviour so nothing new and certainly not a prompt for change. The thing that needs to change is the supine docile attitude of most people in Wales. It needs to change in our daily lives and ultimately at the ballot box. Despite all their present divisions the SNP shows clearly how to put the wind up the London government by scoring so well in elections. Until our lot get their act together and make that kind of mark the JRM’s of… Read more »

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