Tories say they have ‘proud history of supporting Welsh language’ after candidates’ leaflet calls it ‘divisive’
The Welsh Conservatives have said that they have a “proud history” of supporting Welsh and will “continue to do so” after a leaflet put out by local election candidates branded calls to strengthen regulations around the language “divisive”.
The leaflet was sent out by Jonathon Martin, Stephen Senior and Adrian Lang who are standing in the Panteg Ward, Torfaen in Thursday’s local elections.
It said that the Welsh Conservatives would “oppose divisive Welsh language demands”.
A Welsh Conservative spokesperson however told Nation.Cymru that: “The Welsh Conservatives have a long and proud history of supporting the Welsh language and we continue to do so.”
The Welsh Conservatives’ local government manifesto does not mention the Welsh language but last year’s Senedd manifesto promised to “promote and support the Welsh language with one million Welsh speakers by 2050”.
— Morgan™️ 🐝 (@CantreBreiniol) May 2, 2022
Their response came after the three Panteg candidates, in an article penned for the website Cwmbran Life late last month, the candidates had voiced their opposition to what they called a “nationalist” linguistic agenda.
They said: “Conservatives know that most people here do not want more requirements for Welsh Language. In pushing this, Labour supports the Plaid Cymru Welsh Nationalist agenda.
“Why are applicants being asked about Welsh for jobs that don’t require it? Why do children have a narrower range of GCSE options than those in England because of Welsh Language and Welsh Baccalaureate requirements?
“We know that these are examples of important questions that get little coverage because it’s a topic that is rarely discussed in public.”
Some social media users asked the Welsh Conservative leadership to step in and ensure that the local candidates aligned themselves with the national policy.
Carwyn J. Thomas called on Welsh Conservative leader Andrew RT Davies to “redact” the pamphlet “immediately”. “Or are welsh speakers now a target for Welsh Conservatives?”
Rhian McCarthy asked: “Does the Welsh Conservative party condone this type of electioneering? This smacks of the Welsh Not of past generations.”
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