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Wrexham Tory slams bid to give Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney Freedom of the City

08 Nov 2022 4 minute read
Wrexham Council’s Conservative deputy leader Hugh Jones has criticised a bid to give Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney the Freedom of the City following a social media post by Wrexham striker Paul Mullin featuring football boots which contained the slogan ‘**** the Tories’.

Rory Sheehan, Local Democracy Reporter

A bid to give Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney the Freedom of Wrexham has been criticised by a senior Tory councillor following a ‘F*** the Tories’ social media post.

Rossett Cllr Hugh Hones (Con), lead member for place and environment and leader of the council’s Conservative group voted against making plans to give the Hollywood star co-owners of Wrexham AFC the civic honour for their contribution to the city.

At a meeting of the Executive Board, where the proposal was voted on to give full council a final say in the decision, Cllr Jones referenced a widely-reported social media post by Wrexham striker Paul Mullin featuring football boots which contained the slogan ‘F*** the Tories’.

Cllr Jones described it as a “message of hate”, and also criticised one of the co-owners for liking the post on Instagram.

He said: “I’ve considered this recommendation over the last few weeks quite seriously.

“I’ve looked at the nature of the freedom and the fact its rewarded to people of persons of distinction or rendered eminent service to a place.

“I fully understand the passion for Wrexham football club.

“But for me the timing and the values and the priorities are wrong we’re awarding the freedom at a time when one of their star players has engaged in a message of hate to a section of our community, and one of the owners has liked an Instagram post containing that same message of hate.”

He added: “It’s fine for people to disagree, it’s how we manage that and how we treat each other.

“Hate is destructive wherever it comes from. When it comes from people of prominence I don’t think that meets the requirements of the freedom of the county borough.

“It’s also about our values as a council and county borough and who we seek to recognise as beacons in our society.”

He asked what message that sent out to schools and young people, before listing a host of other local bodies he felt were equally or more worthy of the honour.

These included the Venture in Caia Park, Rhos Choir for raising thousands of pounds for charity, AVOW, the founders of Moneypenny and manufacturers of the Covid-19 vaccine.

The council is planning to confer the ‘freedom of the city’ status on the Hollywood A-listers for the impact they have had on Wrexham since buying the football club.

The proposal is in recognition of the club’s long and proud history, and the impact the two owners have had in helping to promote Wrexham across the world.

‘Long overdue’

At the Executive Board meeting, opposition leaders, Ruabon Cllr Dana Davies for Labour, and Grosvenor Cllr Marc Jones for Plaid Cymru, criticised the fact that the proposal had come to the Executive Board before full council.

But Cllr Jones added that recognition for the football club was “long overdue” adding that it had “put the town on the map for decades”, praising the volunteers who had saved the club and kept it running before it was purchased by Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney.

The Executive Board voted for the decision to be made at full council, except for Conservative members Cllr Hugh Jones and Erddig Cllr Paul Roberts, who voted against.

The full council meeting will take place on December 21.


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Donna OBrien
Donna OBrien
27 days ago

How does this Tory Cllr feel about his Home Secretary with her hateful comments of late? Is she not in a position of prominence? Has he publicly call her out? Rossett ward should be ashamed of voting for the party of hate hypocrisy and sewage.

Wrexhamian
Wrexhamian
27 days ago
Reply to  Donna OBrien

Rosset has for some time been promoted by estate agents as a more-affordable commuter village for people having connections with Chester. It’s likely to stay Tory as this process develops.

Y Tywysog Lloegr a Moscow
Y Tywysog Lloegr a Moscow
26 days ago
Reply to  Wrexhamian

So it’s an English SETTLEMENT of the WEST BANK of the Dee?

Wrexhamian
Wrexhamian
26 days ago

Like certain other villages right on the border, it was never very Welsh-speaking, but it was an easy target for builders wishing to compensate for Cheshire County Council’s reluctance to house its surplus population in new-build in the Cheshire countryside. It has now changed beyond recognition in terms of demography.

Fi yn unig
Fi yn unig
27 days ago

Rob and Ryan have given and will keep on giving to Wrexham for years to come and the honour they have received in entirely appropriate. By contrast, a Tory? Rob and Ryan give, Tories taketh away. Another example of when saying nothing would be the best option.

Kerry Davies
Kerry Davies
27 days ago

Why do they have to use both barrels to shoot themselves in the foot? Top Tories are currently lying, bullying, swearing, thieving and engaged in incredible levels of corruption and fascism yet they still can’t keep a low profile. Is it stupidity?

Fi yn unig
Fi yn unig
27 days ago
Reply to  Kerry Davies

Stupidity and hypocrisy. This guy mentions ‘hate’ without namechecking Braverman and Williamson. If they stopped the hatred within their own circus, maybe people would stop hating them.

Y Cymro
Y Cymro
27 days ago

Would this Tory councillor make a similar fuss if another political party were mocked in such a way?. No. It’s sour grapes. Anyway, it was not the owners who made this remark but a player who on Twitter posted this political statement which was not against any individual but about a political party’s ideology. The Tories have said far more disgusting rhetoric that a censored cuss word on the side of a football boot. Who can recall the Tory party election of one Boris Johnson who although they had prior knowledge still elected him as Conservative leader & PM Boris… Read more »

Y Tywysog Lloegr a Moscow
Y Tywysog Lloegr a Moscow
26 days ago

The Nasty Party really are fragile little snowflakes when people are nasty back to them, eh? Pathetic.

Paul Rackham
Paul Rackham
26 days ago

Hasn’t this councillor heard of ‘Freedom of speech’. This isn’t a hate crime, he’s just saying what a million others have said

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