Call for politicians to back Welsh language newspaper

By David Rose

Ministers in London and Cardiff are facing all-party pressure to assist a bid to establish a daily newspaper in the Welsh language.

Plaid Cymru, Labour, Liberal Democrat, and Tory MPs have temporarily put aside their political differences to back the project.

The move has also united MPs from North and South Wales, those representing areas where Welsh is spoken as a first language as well as the English-speaking areas.

They have tabled a Commons motion calling on Tony Blair’s government and Rhodri Morgan’s devolved administration in Cardiff "to take all possible steps to facilitate the establishment of a daily newspaper in Welsh".

Their plea comes as the promoters of Y Byd, the proposed Welsh language daily newspaper, have succeeded in achieving their target of raising £300,000 of private investment from individuals in Wales.

They now plan to seek a similar amount from private sector companies and support from public sector sources.

"The lack of daily news in printed form in Welsh is an anomaly when compared with other regional or minority languages in Europe," the MPs said in their motion.

MPs backing the plea for government support include Plaid Cymru MP Hywel Williams, Labour MP Dr Hywel Francis, Welsh Liberal Democrat Leader Lembit Öpik and Monmouth Tory MP David Davies.

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