AM denies 'third world' remark was offensive

South Wales Argus: (6470802) (6470802)

A TORY AM who branded parts of Gwent like the Third World and Eastern Europe in the Assembly has told the Argus he did nothing wrong.

Mohammad Asghar yesterday said he hadn’t tried to compare the people in the Valleys county of Blaenau Gwent to the Third World but suggested parts of the area were like it.

The Newport-based former Plaid politician had suggested the Welsh Government had turned parts of South Wales East into a developing or post-communist country in a debate on Wednesday.

Labour First minister Carwyn Jones and the AM for Blaenau Gwent, natural resources minister Alun Davies, had condemned the comments – claiming that Mr Asghar had referred to the north Valleys county.

Mr Davies had called on Mr Asghar to apologise, but the South Wales East Conservative AM told the Argus: “For what? I never did anything wrong. I never said anything that was offensive.”

Mr Asghar claimed he “never said Blaenau Gwent is a third world country. I never compared the people there. The places yes, but not the people. The people shouldn’t be offended by that.”

The Argus asked him to clarify if he meant that he thought parts of Blaenau Gwent are like the Third World. “Yes,” he said.

“Health and education are not there. The jobs are not there,” he said.

Mr Asghar blamed the Welsh Government for the problems in Blaenau Gwent, saying he was criticising the Welsh Government’s record: “The government hasn’t given them the opportunity.”

The Welsh Conservatives had said on Wednesday that after 15 years of successive Labour governments and the misspending of £4 billion of EU aid, Blaenau Gwent and other Valleys communities remain among the very poorest parts of Europe.

Comments (4)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

2:15pm Fri 23 May 14

-trigg- says...

Of course it was offensive.

Just because it also happens to be an accurate assessment doesn't stop it being offensive.

Rather than demanding an apology for the remark, Carwyn Jones should be apologising for allowing Blaenau Gwent to reach such a state and offering proposals on how this can be rectified - or his resignation.
Of course it was offensive. Just because it also happens to be an accurate assessment doesn't stop it being offensive. Rather than demanding an apology for the remark, Carwyn Jones should be apologising for allowing Blaenau Gwent to reach such a state and offering proposals on how this can be rectified - or his resignation. -trigg-
  • Score: 1

2:39pm Fri 23 May 14

Independentvoter says...

Apology accepted.

Next story please.
Apology accepted. Next story please. Independentvoter
  • Score: 6

5:46pm Fri 23 May 14

Carwyn Jones says...

-trigg- wrote:
Of course it was offensive.

Just because it also happens to be an accurate assessment doesn't stop it being offensive.

Rather than demanding an apology for the remark, Carwyn Jones should be apologising for allowing Blaenau Gwent to reach such a state and offering proposals on how this can be rectified - or his resignation.
Pffft! Apologise? I haven't done anything wrong.
[quote][p][bold]-trigg-[/bold] wrote: Of course it was offensive. Just because it also happens to be an accurate assessment doesn't stop it being offensive. Rather than demanding an apology for the remark, Carwyn Jones should be apologising for allowing Blaenau Gwent to reach such a state and offering proposals on how this can be rectified - or his resignation.[/p][/quote]Pffft! Apologise? I haven't done anything wrong. Carwyn Jones
  • Score: -1

10:47am Sun 25 May 14

Limestonecowboy says...

Just shows throwing £££'s to revitalise a region doesn't make any difference.
Just shows throwing £££'s to revitalise a region doesn't make any difference. Limestonecowboy
  • Score: -1

Comments are closed on this article.

click2find

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree