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Dafydd Wigley, Plaid Cymru
"The problem of rural housing is what is important"
 real 56k

Wednesday, 21 February, 2001, 19:43 GMT
Plaid bids to defuse 'racism' row
Seimon Glyn
Seimon Glyn says he has no regrets over his comments
Plaid Cymru is struggling to defuse the row over a councillor's allegedly racist remarks about a tide of English immigrants.

Seimon Glyn has renewed his apology for the comments which said there should be stricter controls on English people moving to Gwynedd.

But Party President Ieuan Wyn Jones is now facing attacks on his leadership.

Glenys Kinnock
Glenys Kinnock: Leadership crisis claim
Mr Glyn - chairman of Gwynedd County Council's housing committee - was forced to apologise last month after saying there should be stricter controls on the numbers of English people moving into north Wales.

He described English as a "foreign language" and said retired people moving into Wales were a "drain on resources".

When the inevitable backlash came, Plaid colleagues rushed to his aid, saying his comments had been taken out of context.

President Ieuan Wyn Jones issued strict instructions to any other party members that if they chose to speak on the same emotive issue in future, they should take care that their words were not misconstrued.

But Labour MEP Glenys Kinnock has attacked Mr Jones's leadership on the issue.

"He isn't actually giving any leadership," she said.

Party discontent

"He's trying to sit on the fence and that is not possible when you have a political party that is asking for you to make a decision.

Plaid has now tried to shift the argument back to the issue of locals being priced out of the housing market by hurriedly setting up a task force under its former leader, Dafydd Wigley.

Ieuan Wyn Jones may be able to brush off attacks from Labour but he may have to face discontent from within his own party about his handling of the affair.

He is due to address Plaid's National Council at the weekend.

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See also:

11 Jul 00 | Business
Holiday homes boom
16 Dec 99 | Scotland
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21 Feb 01 | Wales
Words that sparked a furore
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