May 26, 2007

TUC threatens boycott action over BNP ad

The Wales TUC General Council is today being urged to end all advertising with the Evening Post in a row over this newspaper's publication of a BNP election advert.And individual trade unions are said to be considering advising members to cease buying the paper.

The moves follow publication of a BNP advertisement on May 1, ahead of the Welsh Assembly elections.

Wales TUC general secretary Felicity Williams says in a letter to the Evening Post: "Wales TUC is committed to the development of Wales as a thriving, multi-faith, multi-cultural society and condemns without reservation the promotion of any extremists who seek to divide our society by spreading fear and suspicion through misleading racist and/or religious propaganda."

Her executive committee is calling on the General Council to authorise a ban on further advertising. It is also seeking to remove the Evening Post from the list of publications receiving editorial articles prepared by Wales TUC. The General Council was set to meet today in Llandudno, where the Wales TUC annual conference is underway.

In her letter to the Evening Post, Ms Williams says: "Wales TUC-affiliated unions are also considering advising their members to boycott the publication until further notice and until assurances are given from South West Wales Media Ltd that advertising policies have been amended to prevent the abhorrent promotion of fascist groups in Wales."

Spencer Feeney, Editor-in-Chief of South West Wales Media, and editor of the Evening Post, said: "Trade unions enjoy the freedom to advise their members as they see fit. It is for the individuals concerned to decide if they want to be told which newspapers they can or cannot read.

"Obviously, if Wales TUC officials choose not to talk to journalists on Wales's largest-selling newspaper about issues that affect and are of interest to their members, it will deny those individuals the opportunity of having their point of view on these important topics publicised."

Dawna Stickler, advertisement director with the paper, said: "All submitted advertisements are considered for publication according to the codes of Advertising Practice as recommended by the Newspaper Society.

"The advertisement in question did not contravene these guidelines and, in fact, conformed to the principles of legal advertising. As such, there was no justifiable reason for this advertisement to be rejected."

This is South Wales

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