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Welsh Labour leadership contest Monday, 15 February, 1999, 17:25 GMT
No room for debate in Welsh Assembly site
The Welsh Office has shut down an Internet chat forum because of attacks on the Welsh Assembly and politicians.

The chatroom was unveiled last year by the then Welsh Secretary Ron Davies.

Welsh labour leadership contest
But following his sudden resignation and the subsequent leadership contest, the forum had apparently become increasingly full of criticism of leading Welsh politicians.

Liberal Democrat assembly candidate Meurig Williams first drew attention to the abolishment of the chatroom.

He said: "This is yet another example of Labour's obsession with controlling debate."

A Welsh Office spokesman explained the reason for the change in the National Assembly for Wales site.

"A number of contributors using pseudonyms largely monopolised the forum and made abusive and sometimes libellous statements about each other, individual politicians and the Welsh Office," he said.

"When statements of this nature were removed from the forum we found that some would reappear almost immediately."

A spokesman for the front-runner in the new Labour leadership contest, Rhodri Morgan, said the debate would continue elsewhere.

"My comment would be that it is a shame it's being closed down, though if people were posting offensive comments then it's a shame too.

"But people are still free to visit Rhodri Morgan's Website."

See also:

15 Feb 99 | UK Politics
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