Home UK & World The Welsh Government say they can’t stop hate preacher appearing in Wales

The Welsh Government say they can’t stop hate preacher appearing in Wales

The Welsh Government say they can't stop hate preacher appearing in Wales

Mark Drakeford has said he “regrets” that a hate preacher will be able to perform in Wales. He said despite the Welsh Government having a 50% stake in the International Convention Centre in Newport it does not have any say over who appears there.

Franklin Graham was originally booked to appear at the Newport venue in June 2020 but that event was cancelled by ICC Wales after a number of people including Newport MS Jayne Bryant and LGBTQ+ charity Pride Cymru raised concerns over his views. At the time the venue said it had “been made aware of a number of views held and comments made by the Graham organisation which are incompatible with our own values of equality, diversity, and inclusivity”, prompting it to pull the event. Venues in Liverpool and Sheffield also cancelled planned appearances by Mr Graham in 2020. You can read about that here.

Adam Price, leader of Plaid Cymru, used a plenary session on Tuesday to ask the First Minister: “The Wales International Convention Centre is this month hosting the televangelist Franklin Graham, who has called gay men and women ‘the enemy who are here to devote a nation’ and even praised Vladimir Putin for his homophobic policies. Now Mr Graham may be entitled to his homophobic beliefs but he’s surely not entitled to be provided with a stage to air them at a convention centre that is 50% owned by the Welsh Government. Does not that not send out the wrong message from Wales and one that says homophobia and hate are somehow still acceptable?”

Mr Drakeford said: “I regret the fact that the event to which Adam Price referred is going ahead but the decision is not one for the Welsh Government. We do not run that centre and it’s for those who are responsible for it to make those decisions. I’m sorry to see a person of those views given a platform to express them here in Wales and they absolutely do not reflect any that the Welsh Government would be prepared to endorse or sanction.”


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