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Saturday, 7 July, 2001, 16:52 GMT 17:52 UK
Latest Glyn attack riles Plaid
seimon glyn
Seimon Glyn re-iterated his demands over in-migration
Outspoken Plaid Cymru councillor Seimon Glyn has branded party leader Ieuan Wyn Jones a "coward" at the inaugural meeting of a new Welsh pressure group.

This is our very last chance to save the language - no more in-migration."

Seimon Glyn
Speaking at the launch of Cymuned on the Lleyn Peninsula, he said he received no support from Mr Jones following the outburst in which he called for a halt to English migration in to Welsh-speaking heartlands.

Mr Glyn said he could feel the hatred toward him at the party hearing to which he was summoned to explain his comments.

Packed gathering

Over 500 people packed out the village hall in Mynytho to hear how the band of academics, poets and commentators, which formed Cymuned in June, intends to halt the erosion of Welsh-speaking communities.

Members of the pressure group have vowed to lobby the Welsh Assembly to introduce legislation protecting Welsh rural heartlands from the cultural decline they say is down to an influx of English monoglots.

The group planned two minutes' silence for areas which have lost the language and resolved to establish themselves as an active campaign body.

Mr Glyn, a councillor in Gwynedd, renewed his calls to halt housing developments for incomers.

He sparked a furore in February when he said English people settling in north Wales were a "drain on resources" who were replacing Welsh culture with their own.

Group declaration

In June, Cymuned members signed a declaration and called on politicians to implement "crisis measure" to save the Welsh language.

At the Mynytho meeting on Saturday afternoon, the first of a series of gatherings, Mr Glyn accused his detractors in the assembly chamber of being racist themselves.

He singled out Labour members in his attack, but also lashed out at his own party's upper echelons, accusing some Plaid members of being more worried about personal success than the people of Wales.

He told people at the meeting the language is in "intensive care" and again accused the Labour party of racism against Welsh speakers.

dafydd wigley
Dafydd Wigley chaired Plaid's Rural Housing Task Force
"This is our very last chance to save the language," he said. "No more in-migration."

"These are the people who say that Welsh-speaking communities do not have the right to live. These are the people who will do nothing to make sure young people can find work and housing in their own villages.

"These are the true racists - and I'm not afraid to call them that."

'Entirely unacceptable'

Plaid Cymru said Mr Glyn's comments were "entirely unacceptable" and pledged to discuss the remarks at the meeting of the party's national executive on 14 July.

Party chair Elin Jones AM said: "Plaid Cymru has made every effort to encourage Mr Glyn to make a constructive contribution to the party's work in this area.

"The fact that he attacked Plaid Cymru - the only party which is seriously adressing the complex problems of communities in rural Wales - is proof that a desire to deal constructively and progressively with these issues is not what drives Mr Glyn.

"It is only a few days since Mr Glyn welcomed Plaid Cymru's Rural Taskforce Housing Report and his comments are inconsistent in that context."

She said the personal attacks were "completely unwarranted."

Party plans

Cymuned called for specific measures including a halt to housing development in Welsh-speaking areas, withdrawal of planning permissions granted before local government reorganisation and the stablishment of a statutory authority to protect the language along the lines of the Environment Agency and Countryside Council.

Plaid unveiled its own plans to safeguard Welsh communities in June, when Rural Taskforce Chairman Dafydd Wigley published the party's report on rural housing.

The report called on the assembly cabinet to allocate affordable land for local housing and double the tax on holiday homes.

Hitting back at the claims, a Welsh Labour spokesperson said Mr Glyn was being divisive and was mounting a direct challenge to Plaid Cymru.

'No segregation'

She said: "By calling for an end to all in-migration, he is going far, far further than the nationalists' own task force, chaired by Dafydd Wigley.

It is the stable economy and rising prosperity being delivered by Labour that will sustain and invigorate Welsh speaking communities

Welsh Labour spokesperson
"Far from sweeping the issue under the carpet, as the Plaid Cymru leadership hoped, their task force has once again exposed the fissure at the heart of Welsh nationalism.

"It is the stable economy and rising prosperity being delivered by Labour that will sustain and invigorate Welsh speaking communities."

"Jobs and prosperity, spread throughout Wales, is the surest route to enabling people to live where they wish, not segregation on the basis of birthplace or language."

BBC Wales's Guto Thomas
"The venue was packed out"
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