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Friday, 7 September, 2001, 08:04 GMT 09:04 UK
Plaid chair resigns in language row
Gwilym ab Ioan
Gwilym ab Ioan refused to attack his party's decision
A Plaid Cymru member has been forced to resign because of controversial remarks he made about English incomers to Wales.

Gwilym ab Ioan - who described Wales as a "dumping ground for oddballs and misfits" - has been forced to resign as the party's chairman in Ceredigion.

A vote of no-confidence was passed against Mr ab Ioan at a meeting of party members on Thursday night.


If it means that Plaid and other parties wake up to the real concerns people have in this part of the world then the sacrifice is well worth it

Gwilym ab Ioan

Last month Mr ab Ioan quit the party's National Executive after his controversial comments were posted on an internet news group.

He apologised for the language used and resigned as a Plaid Cymru vice president but continued as the party's chairman in Ceredigion.

Mr ab Ioan has now been forced by local members to resign from that position.

Plaid Cymru hope that this latest move will show that the party is not willing to tolerate outspoken remarks by its representatives.

Following the meeting the Plaid Cymru MP for Ceredigion Simon Thomas said Mr ab Ioan's comments were unacceptable and distracted the party from its fight to save Welsh speaking communities.

Move resisted

"The party agrees with him that Welsh speaking communities are under threat, but it cannot condone the tone of the language he used," Mr Thomas said.

Mr ab Ioan had always said he would resist any move to oust him as party's chair in Ceredigion.

But after the meeting he refused to attack his party's decision and said he would remain a member of Plaid Cymru.

"If it means that Plaid and other parties wake up to the real concerns that people have in this part of the world then the sacrifice is well worth it," he said.

Commission for Racial Equality logo
The Racial Commission has received the complaints

This latest development in the row over the Welsh language follows a series of comments by Plaid Cymru members.

In August Mr ab Ioan was reported - together with former Welsh Language Board chairman John Elfed Jones - to the Commission for Racial Equality (CRE).

Mr Jones, was referred to the body after remarks which compared in-migration to Wales with the foot-and-mouth epidemic.

He had been accused of inciting racial hatred - a claim which has been dismissed by the CRE.

The in-migration row was ignited by comments from Gwynedd Councillor Seimon Glyn earlier this year, who said English people were a "drain on resources".

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
BBC Wales's Elin Gwilym reports
"Plaid Cymru are bound to be happy with the outcome"
Gwilym ab Ioan
"I personally believe that everybody has a right to be heard"
BBC Wales's Elin Gwilym
"The row will not go away"
Gwilym ab Ioan
"If people in branches have proposed me, there is an obligation towards them"
See also:

15 Aug 01 | Wales
Call for money to save language
13 Aug 01 | Wales
Race body probes language row
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