A Labour Party candidate has been forced to apologise after it emerged he wrote a blog posting in which he said anyone who flies an England flag is a “simpleton or casual racist”.
Huw Thomas, the Labour candidate for Ceredigion, said during World Cup that cars flying the England flag deserve to be vandalised.
It comes after Emily Thornberry, the former shadow Attorney General, was sacked by Ed Miliband last year after appearing to mock a family’s terrace home draped in England flags.
Mr Thomas was a student in 2006 when he wrote a blog posting in which he said he was “completely sickened” by the number of England flags in Wales.
According to Wales Online, he wrote: “It truly shows the degree our society has been infiltrated by incomers who are not ready to integrate.
“Very often, from what I see, some flying English flags are young people, who have been brought up in Wales, but who are loyal to England. This raises questions about us as Welsh people as well.
“It’s true that the parents are at fault, but it’s obvious that the education system has failed to create a Welsh Nationalism in these people, and I wonder also how many of us Welsh people, in our school days, tried to bring these people (aka chavs) into the Welsh circle.”
He said that the World Cup is an opportunity for high street shops to “cash in” and create a “fake group mentality – nationalism Asda style”.
Bob Neill, a Conservative MP, has called on Labour to sack Mr Thomas: “Having said this, I had the opportunity, when I had the opportunity to buy an England flag for half price in WH Smith, Oxford, to answer with the phrase: ‘Since I am neither a simpleton nor a casual racist I must decline your offer’. Poor ‘Stacey’ didn’t know where to look!”
“These disgusting remarks have no place in Parliament and are utterly out of touch with the British people. Britain’s flags are emblems of our shared history and our common values – they should be flown with pride not treated with contempt. Ed Miliband rightly sacked Emily Thornberry for her disdainful remarks last year. He must show some backbone and block Huw Thomas from standing as a Labour candidate.”
Mr Thomas has now apologised for his comments. In a statement he said: “I apologise wholeheartedly for these comments, made while I was a young student.
“These are not my views now and I deeply regret writing this post online. Every candidate at this election will have gone through a political journey.
“Most will have said or thought things when they were young and at university, college or school that they now regret. This is certainly the case for me.
“The people of Ceredigion deserve an MP that will stand up for them and fight for our communities. They also deserve an MP that will admit when they are wrong.”
Details of his post come after he called for the resignation of Mike Parker, his Plaid Cymru rival, over an article he wrote 14 years ago about racism in rural Wales.
In the post Mr Parker wrote: ““To some extent, rural Wales has become the British equivalent of the American mountains, inhabited by a sprinkling of paranoid conspiracy theorists, gun-toting Final Solution crackpots and anti-government obsessives.”
source : The Telegraph