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Wrexham Plaid Cymru candidate slammed for ad board targeting Conservatives

A PLAID Cymru candidate has been slammed by opponents over a campaign billboard targeting the Conservatives.

Carrie Harper, who is standing for the party in Wrexham, shared a video on Twitter last night of a digital advert displayed opposite the town’s main railway station which read: “Don’t want a Tory for a neighbour? Vote Plaid, not Labour.”

The post was later deleted after it was widely condemned by other parties due to its similarity to a notorious racist slogan used in Smethwick in the West Midlands during the 1964 General Election.

Welsh Labour said: “Either Plaid are naive and don’t know what this sounds like or it’s a dogwhistle and they don’t care. Riffs on Smethwick 1964 slogans should stay in the past.”

The politician, who represents Queensway on Wrexham Council, said she “deeply regretted” that the advert had caused offence and it has since been removed.

However, opponents have called for an investigation into how the message was signed off by the party.

A Welsh Conservative spokesman said: “This is an insult to over a half million people who voted Welsh Conservative in 2019.
“If the people of Wrexham want change after 22 years of Labour Government in Wales, and a decent, hardworking local MS, they should vote for Jeremy Kent.”

Meanwhile, Welsh Health Minister Vaughan Gething posted on Twitter: “I can’t see that the candidate @CarrieAHarper or @Plaid_Cymru have posted anything to explain or apologise for yesterday’s political message inspired by the racism of Smethwick.
“Pretending it hasn’t happened won’t make it go away.”

In a statement responding to the criticism, Cllr Harper said: “Plaid Cymru in Wrexham is campaigning to win and the local team has been trialling messages on the new Mold Road billboard.

“One of those included the word ‘neighbour’ to reference the fact that the billboard was next to the office of the Conservative MP.

“We will continue to make our case directly to the people of Wrexham. I realise that the language used has unintentionally caused offence, I deeply regret that, and it was in no way the intention.

“I want to focus on a positive campaign aimed at delivering real change for the community where I grew up and live.
“The advert in question has now been withdrawn.”

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