Wrexham Tory candidate criticised for saying it was ‘sensible’ to exclude Welsh from campaign material
The Conservative candidate in Wrexham has been criticised after saying that excluding the Welsh language from her campaign material was the “sensible call”.
Sarah Atherton, who is the bookies’ favourite to win the seat from Labour at next week’s election, was responding to a complaint from the member of the public about the lack of Welsh on her campaign material.
“Having done some research into the amount of people who speak welsh in the area it seemed like the sensible call to make,” she said.
She did, however, say that the decision was because of time restraints and if elected she would make an effort to ensure that all material would be bilingual.
“This was a tough decision that the campaign team sadly had to make,” she said. “Due to the limited amount of time/resources we made the decision to distribute English only material in order to widen the reach of our message.”
She said she was “sorry to hear that you were disappointed at the lack of welsh on the election material you received”.
The correspondence was published online by a Plaid Cymru councillor, Marc Jones, who had received the message from the correspondent, who he said was not a member of the party.
The seat’s Plaid Cymru candidate, Carrie Harper, said that the decision to cut the Welsh language from the Tory candidate’s literature was a “deliberate decision”.
“It’s an insult to the thousands of Welsh speakers, the many adult learners and the thousands of school pupils currently getting a bilingual education in Wrexham,” Carrie Harper, who is a Welsh learner, said.
“The decision speaks volumes about the Tories’ contempt for the Welsh language but specifically for the local candidate’s attitude to our heritage and culture. She should apologise.”