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Tory MP accused of acting like ‘colonial ruler’ by DUP after Welsh language post

23 Jun 2021 2 minute read
Simon Hoare (left) and Sammy Wilson (right). Pictures by Chris McAndrew (CC BY 3.0).

A Tory MP who pointed to the Welsh language as an example Westminster could follow in legislating for an Irish Language Act in Northern Ireland has been accused of a “colonial” mindset by the DUP.

Simon Hoare, the Chair of the Northern Ireland Affairs Committee, said that he would vote for an Irish Language Act as a Welsh Language Act had not done any harm to Wales.

“I’m a Celt and I love the rich diversity of language and culture across our islands,” Simon Hoare, who grew up in Cardiff, said. “The Welsh Language Act didn’t lead to a rise in nationalism but a cultural flowering and richness.

“If it comes to the Commons I will vote for an Irish Language Act. We will act if Stormont fails.”

But DUP Westminster Chief Whip Sammy Wilson MP responded in the House of Commons to criticise him for sounding like a “colonial ruler” or a “viceroy”.

“It doesn’t go down very well in Northern Ireland. This kind of condescending attitude: ‘If the natives can’t get it together, then let’s do it here’, like he was talking like some 19th-century colonial ruler,” said Sammy Wilson.

He later added in a tweet: “Ulster says no. To viceroy.”


The Welsh Language Act (1993) passed by Westminster is expected to be the blueprint for any Irish Language Act that would be passed. The act, for the first time, required public bodies to treat the Welsh and English languages as equal.

Over the weekend DUP leader Edwin Poots was deposed after he went ahead with the nomination of his close ally Paul Givan as Northern Ireland’s First Minister on the basis of a deal brokered by the Northern Secretary on Irish language and other cultural legislation.

It was confirmed yesterday that Jeffrey Donaldson will be the new leader of the DUP. Nominations for the post of DUP leader closed at midday on Tuesday, and the party chairman, Lord Morrow, confirmed shortly afterwards that Mr Donaldson had been the only candidate.

Sinn Féin is today expected to set out how it believes the disagreement around the protocol and Irish language legislation can be resolved.

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3 years ago

Perhaps he wants to write his own blue book?

1 : a member or inhabitant of a colony.
2 : one that colonizes or settles in a new country.
See also: Occupied territories.

Alan Reilly
Alan Reilly
3 years ago

A “Pied Noir” crying about colonialism. You couldn’t make it up.

3 years ago

Irony is dead!

3 years ago

It must be very confusing being an Ulster Unionist right now: wanting to be in an union with a neighbouring island that doesn’t even want to be in a union with itself.

No wonder poor Sammy keeps shooting himself in the foot. First, he supported Brexit, which has predictably proved to be a huge advance for the Republican cause. And now he’s telling Irish speakers that the UK — the very same union that he wants to be part of — has nothing to offer them.

Alan Reilly
Alan Reilly
3 years ago
Reply to  Hannergylch

The funniest thing is the equivalent of the “pied noir” in Ireland doesn’t really want to be in the union, they just want to sponge off the benefits they can get out of it.

Try getting them to accept union-wide law like gay marriage or abortion and see how quickly they proclaim their “norn Irishness” as opposed to their “Britishness”.

They even acknowledge it themselves as their habit of shoving pieces of sponge in their shirt lapels demonstrates lol.

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