Page last updated at 18:03 GMT, Thursday, 25 February 2010

Welsh affairs debate

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Wales must "stand together" to resist the rise of racist and fascist groups, Welsh Secretary Peter Hain has said.

Mr Hain praised "decent, concerted community action" for having forced a group of anti-Islamic protesters calling themselves the Welsh Defence League to abandon two marches last year, but warned: "We must not be complacent."

During a Commons debate on Welsh Affairs on 25 February 2010, Mr Hain also cautioned against the threat of the British National Party.

He said: "The people of Wales have resolved that the rise of racist, fascist organisations must be stopped."

Mr Hain said he had acknowledged the recession had been "very tough" for people and congratulated people for the sacrifices they had made.

But Labour former minister Kim Howells said Wales needed to break its "enormous dependence" on the public sector.

"If Wales does not reinvent itself as a home for entrepreneurs, for small businesses and for high technologies then we will miss out on the new generation of industries in future," he said.

Mr Hain said he "couldn't agree more" but that encouraging small business and entrepreneurs would initially require government support.

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