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Last Updated: Wednesday, 29 September, 2004, 08:29 GMT 09:29 UK
Labour apology for election leaflet
Generic of a leaflet drop
Labour accepts its leaflet played on prejudice against travellers
Welsh Labour has joined the Commission for Racial Equality (CRE) to condemn a leaflet issued in Cardiff during the June local election campaign.

The leaflet, issued in the Llanedeyrn and Pentwyn ward, attacked the Liberal Democrats for supporting a site for travellers and Gypsies.

The CRE in Wales called it "a disgrace".

Welsh Labour Executive has apologised after the "totally inappropriate" leaflet appeared in the name of the party.

In a statement, the party's executive said the leaflets dealt with the issue of travellers sites in a totally inappropriate manner and should never have been given out.

This leaflet was a disgrace - it flew in the face of Labour's stated commitment to anti-racism
CRE Commissioner for Wales, Cherry Short

It said that party officers outside the ward had been unaware of the leaflet prior to its distribution.

The statement read: "The leaflet dealt with the issue of travellers' sites in a totally inappropriate manner.

"Welsh Labour believes that, where such issues are raised in political debate, it should be done responsibly and as a means of addressing prejudice, not pandering to it.

"Welsh Labour apologises that the leaflet appeared in the name of the party and that its distribution, however limited, was not prevented.

"We accepted that the use of the images concerned was likely to cause offence to the travelling community and to residents of Llanedeyrn and Pentwyn and could undermine good relations between them."

'Censured and rebuked'

Welsh Labour said the people involved in producing the leaflet had been censured and rebuked.

The CRE's Commissioner for Wales, Cherry Short, said: "This leaflet was a disgrace. It flew in the face of Labour's stated commitment to anti-racism.

"The forthright statement by the Welsh Labour Executive on this issue is to be welcomed.

The party now needs to put in place the kind of measures which can ensure that all members of the party know that such campaigning activities are wrong."

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