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Brooks hits out at control-freakery.

A ROW broke out yesterday after language group Cymuned claimed it had been banned from attending the Labour Party's Welsh Conference.

The 2002 conference is due to start tomorrow at Llandudno.

Yesterday leading Cymuned member and editor of Welsh-language magazine Barn Simon Brooks said Labour's decision was "unprecedented".

But last night Wales Labour Party press spokeswoman Jackie Aplin passed it off as "a storm in a teacup".

She said Mr Brooks applied to attend as an individual.

But Mr Brooks said he submitted an application form for observer status as the Cymuned representative for the Llandudno event, but was refused.

Cymuned yesterday wrote back to the Labour Party accusing it of an "affront to democracy".

Speaking yesterday Mr Brooks said: "I just can't understand Labour's decision.

All parties welcome pressure groups to Conference, even those groups with which they disagree.

"I was particularly looking forward to a fringe meeting by Cymdeithas Cledwyn, the ginger group set up by Eluned Morgan MEP to promote the Welsh language in Labour.

"What must she think to know that the largest Welsh-language pressure group in Wales is banned from the party conference?

"This is another example of controlfreakery with which many hundreds of ordinary Labour members will feel deeply unhappy."

But last night Ms Aplin defended Labour's decision.

"Mr Brooks applied to us as an individual. He hadn't stated that he was from the media."

If he had applied as a representative of the media it would have been a different matter."

CAPTION(S):

IN STEP: Labour Party workers in Llandudno preparing for their party's Welsh conference Picture: STEVE PEAKE
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Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Date:Mar 21, 2002
Words:266
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