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Last Updated: Sunday, 1 January 2006, 17:16 GMT
Peer's police chief 'bully' claim
North Wales Police deputy chief constable Clive Wolfendale
Mr Wolfendale's said Anglo-Welsh racism was not "trivial"
A Labour peer has reacted angrily to a "bullying" letter he received from a north Wales police chief.

Lord Mackenzie of Framwellgate told the Mail on Sunday he thought Deputy Chief Constable Clive Wolfendale's letter to him was "diabolical".

Mr Wolfendale wrote to the peer in response to criticism about his force's investigation into Tony Blair's alleged anti-Welsh swearing six years ago.

North Wales Police said they had a duty to investigate all claims of racism.

Lord Mackenzie - a former chief superintendent and government adviser on police matters - criticised the investigation on BBC Radio 4's PM programme on 15 December.

The prime minister's remarks were allegedly made in response to Labour's performance in the Welsh Assembly elections in 1999.

'Totalitarian'

Mr Wolfendale wrote on official force notepaper to the peer a week after the BBC programme, saying Lord Mackenzie had "little knowledge of the case and no perception whatsoever of the complainants".

He added: "The issue of Anglo-Welsh racism is not trivial. Your contribution to the BBC programme was ill-considered and seemed personally motivated.

"In the event of a future occurrence I shall be obliged to provide a response which is equally personal."

Lord Mackenzie responded: "In a world of serious crime and terrorism I think the matter is trivial and will continue saying so.

"Your letter was reminiscent of something from a totalitarian regime frightened of people expressing views with which you disagree.

"I am afraid that bullying will not get you anywhere...your final sentence (about providing a response in the event of a future occurrence) sounded very much like a threat to silence a member of parliament."

Lord Mackenzie said he hoped he was wrong about the threat to silence him, but added "any more comments like that could land you in serious trouble".

In October, the Crown Prosecution Service said preliminary North Wales Police inquiries showed no grounds for more investigation of the comments.

David Jones, Tory MP for Clwyd West, said: "Everyone seems to think the inquiry is a waste of time - the only people who don't seem to be the upper echelons of North Wales Police."

But a North Wales force spokeswoman said police forces no longer regard any form of racism as trivial and that they were duty bound to investigate allegations of racism, whatever the origin of the complaint.


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