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Saturday, 17 November, 2001, 10:11 GMT
Scots leader backs Cornish assembly
Padstow 'Obby 'Oss
Cornwall has its own distinctive culture
The acting leader of the Scottish Parliament is supporting a bid to give Cornwall its own national assembly.

Jim Wallace, of the Scottish Liberal Democrats, has travelled to Bodmin to address this weekend's annual meeting of the Cornish Constitutional Convention.

Liberal Democrats in Cornwall have backed the call for an assembly - "Senedh Kernow" - but the county's Labour party has decided against.

Euro MP Caroline Jackson and St Ives MP Andrew George are also addressing the gathering in Bodmin.

Cornish bards
Cornish bards are involved in public life
The convention's website says its call for an assembly fits the government's commitment to devolution - "not only for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland but also the regions of 'England'."

Convention chairman Bert Biscoe is claiming popular support, with a petition of 50,000 signatures.

"This exceptionally high level of support springs partly from Cornwall's historic and cultural distinctiveness, but also from the heightened desire to reverse the continuing decline of the Cornish economy."

Cornwall's heritage as a celtic nation has long been in resurgence.

It has its own language, flag and patron saint, St Piran.

Cornish tartan

The campaign for an assembly was launched on St Piran's day 2000.

Cornwall already has an "unofficial" national assembly in the form of the Gorsedd, its own order of celtic bards.

Some Cornish nationalists resent English influence in the county.

They won a victory this week over "English" tourist signs.

Paint has been daubed on the familiar brown signs throughout the county, blotting out the Tudor Rose symbol used throughout England.

Now Cornwall County Council is asking people to come up with an alternative symbol.

Councillor Mike Gillbard, chairman of the county's community life committee, said he deplored the vandalism - but it could result in an image boost for Cornwall.

See also:

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07 Aug 99 | From Our Own Correspondent
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