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Oxfam shop anti-Welsh language tirade ‘must not happen again’

14 Mar 2019 2 minute read
The Oxfam shop in Hay-on-Wye

Oxfam should take steps to ensure a tirade against the Welsh language by an employee at one of their charity shops does not happen again, according to the Minister for the Welsh Language, Eluned Morgan.

Oxfam Cymru has apologised for the incident, saying that they were investigating the matter “with the utmost urgency”.

Eifion Williams, 48, from Wrexham claimed a member of staff told them to leave the shop in Hay-on-Wye because they were conversing in the language.

He said “a man behind the till” told his family to “get out of the shop and stop speaking that bloody foreign language”.

Eluned Morgan said she was “extremely disappointed” to hear of the incident and that “steps need to be taken to ensure this doesn’t happen again”.

She was responding to an apology by Rachel Cable, Head of Oxfam Cymru.

“We are concerned by reports that a member of Oxfam’s team in the Oxfam shop in Hay-on-Wye made an unacceptable comment about the Welsh language,” Rachel Cable said.

“We are very sorry for any offence that this has caused. The alleged remark does not reflect Oxfam’s values and we take allegations of this nature very seriously.

“We strive to ensure that inclusivity and diversity are at the heart of our approach wherever we work in the world, including here in Wales.

“We are now looking into this matter with the utmost urgency.”

Eifion Williams said his family had accepted Oxfam’s apology.

“The crucial thing is that people have the opportunity to learn from their mistakes and think differently next time. Let’s help each other and let’s heal this world,” he said.

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