Plaid chief's 'racist' speech attacked

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Indy Politics

A senior Welsh politician was facing calls to quit last night after claiming people were fleeing England to get away from "Pakistanis and Indians".

In a speech at the National Eisteddfod at Meifod in Wales, Dafydd Iwan, who is running for the presidency of Plaid Cymru, claimed people were moving to rural Wales to "avoid all the Pakistanis and all these Indians who have moved to English towns".

"That is the truth of it, ask them. They are coming to Wales to avoid immigration. The situation has got worse."

Labour said Mr Iwan's comments were reminiscent of the far-right British National Party and called on him to pull out of the Plaid presidency race.

A Labour spokesman said: "This is a pretty crass attempt to brand English people moving into rural Wales as racists, hiding behind the fig leaf that this is what people say."

Mr Iwan, who is vice-president of Plaid Cymru, later insisted he was not a racist.

He said: "I refute any form of racism but we have got to accept people have a right to maintain their communities and live and work in them."

The Plaid Cymru chairman, John Dixon, defended his deputy. "Plaid Cymru rejects racism absolutely," he said