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Page last updated at 15:48 GMT, Wednesday, 23 September 2009 16:48 UK

Cornish demand national status

Cornish babies
Born in Cornwall but are these babies Cornish?

Cornish will be listed as a nationality in the next census in 2011 if MPs and supporters have their way.

Campaigners claim Cornwall is a nation such as Scotland or Wales because it has its own language and culture.

Cornish identity was considered by the Office of National Statistics for the census but has so far been rejected.

On the social networking website Facebook, a group called "Cornish Tickbox for the 2011 Census" has the support of 3,000 people.

We are here and we have an identity. It should be recognised.
Rod Lyon

There will be no tick box for people responding to the census to say they are "Cornish".

Instead, they will have to tick "other" and then write in their response.

Totally unfair

Critics say people will not realise they can do this, and will select English, Scottish, Welsh, Northern Irish or British.

Cornish language and identity was considered but not included.
Government spokesman

"The powers that be tend to brush anything Cornish under the carpet and it gets our backs up," said Cornish language expert Rod Lyon.

"We are here and we have an identity. It should be recognised."

Dick Cole is the leader of the Cornish party Mebyon Kernow. He said: "It seems totally unfair that almost every British nationality has a tick box with the exception of Cornish people.

Identity considered

The government says the issue of Cornish language and identity was "considered" by the Office for National Statistics but was "not included in the proposals for the 2011 census".

Other topics considered, but rejected, included fertility, Internet access, pet ownership and use of renewable energy resources.

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