The police are reviewing a leaflet distributed by the Secretary of State for Wales and Monmouth MP, David TC Davies, after it was discovered that it contained casually racist rhetoric directed towards the Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities.
Although we welcome the review being carried out by Gwent Police regarding the issue, the Traveller Movement believe that these actions, which targeted a specific ethnic group, raise serious concerns about the MP’s conduct. The Traveller Movement have complained to the Cabinet Office Complaints Procedure asking for a transparent and impartial investigation.
As an organisation representing the civil right of Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities, we are deeply disturbed by the casual way rhetoric has been seemingly used to mask nefarious intentions as consultation and genuine concern.
We are further disappointed by the Government’s response to this ongoing matter, with Oliver Dowden MP, stating that Mr Davies’ was ‘standing up for his constituents’, paying no attention to the context and wider implications of these actions.
This is the second time in recent weeks that Oliver Dowden has come out in support of colleagues openly expressing anti-Gypsy and Traveller sentiment, with Oliver Dowden having previously supported Esther McVey’s reference to Gypsy and Traveller communities as a ‘blight’ on her local community during Prime Minister’s Questions.
Yvonne MacNamara, the CEO of the Traveller Movement said: “We strongly condemn the inflammatory rhetoric in David T.C Davies MP’s leaflet, which sadly reflects a broader issue across the UK, where ethnic Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities are unfairly used as a political football to appeal to misguided, uninformed and prejudiced views. Local authorities, councillors, and MPs must uphold their duty to treat all communities fairly and provide adequate accommodation. This so-called consultation is nothing but a masquerade.”
For further information or enquiries, please contact:
Thomas Raeside (Policy Officer)
020 7607 2002
Email address: cjs:@travellermovement.org.uk
Notes to Editor
* The Traveller Movement (TM) is a national community development policy and voice charity who campaign against discrimination, promote inclusion, participation and community engagement for the Irish Traveller and Gypsy communities in Britain. TM is proud to work in partnership with the Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities together with service providers and policy makers across the UK to better promote social inclusion and community cohesion.