A NEWPORT man has spoken of his anger after his number plate containing the word Jihad, was banned by the DVLA.

The man, who had bought the personalised plate because his first name is Jihad, says: “I’m angry and upset about the whole situation, it just makes me look like I’m a bad person.

“If someone had seen me doing something illegal in the car with the plate, I’d say fair enough but I’m just a regular guy.”

The licensing authority had pulled the JH11 HAD plate for fear of its negative connotations with extremist ideologies.

Plates specifically resembling Jihad, plates starting with JE and ending HAD, are unavailable.

But the direct translation of the word in Arabic means “struggle”, which the car owner believes has been taken out of context.

He said: “At the end of the day when everyone buys a new car they think about personalising their plate with their name, and I did the same but the name has now been misrepresented.

“I understand people’s concerns after the recent events in London and Manchester but in the end I’m not doing anything wrong, it’s just my name.

“Jihad means struggle, and that could mean the ongoing struggle of daily life.

He added: “The people that do these horrible things have twisted its context that the name I was given now causes offence to people.”

The woman who had spotted the car driving around Newport had reported it to both the DVLA and the police.

She had said: "How can this be allowed with everything that is going on in the world at the moment?

"I have told the police about it and they said they would make a note of it.

"Surely this plate cannot be legal?"

The driver, who had bought he plate in October, has since been given a replacement but claimed that his car had been the victim of criminal damage in recent months.

He said: “It has been scratched several times before, I’m not sure if that’s because of the plate or the fact that it is a nice car.

“Either way, when the DVLA got in touch I just took it off to save the hassle.”

A DVLA spokesman said the personalised plate had been bought in October last year and had "slipped through the net" of offensive registrations.

The spokesman said: "We try to identify all combinations that may cause offence, and on the rare occasion where potentially offensive numbers slip through the net, steps are taken to withdraw the number."

"As soon as we became aware of this last week we withdrew it and would have then sent a replacement plate."

Plates resembling Jihad and specifically, plates starting with JE and ending HAD, are unavailable.

Others which are banned include HO57 AGE, a close match to "Hostage", and the chain of characters O54 MA for Osama.