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Cardiff councillor Neil McEvoy apology in Facebook row

02 December 11 14:59
Councillor Neil McEvoy

Cardiff council's deputy leader has apologised for accusing a women's aid group of "publicly funded child abuse".

Neil McEvoy wrote on Facebook that Welsh Women's Aid (WWA) supported women who break court orders on child access. WWA denied the claim.

He said he "sincerely regrets" his comments and apologised for any offence caused.

Plaid Cymru suspended him from the party this week.

There has also been pressure for Cardiff council's leader - a Liberal Democrat - to sack him as deputy in the authority's ruling coalition.

In addition, Mr McEvoy said he regretted earlier comments made on Twitter.

'Emotional language'

"I apologise for any offence caused and accept I should have used less emotional language than the words I used," he said.

"I regret letting my emotional baggage of being a father who has experienced what, I believe, are the inadequacies of the family law system to guide my political actions."

In a statement, he said he "sincerely regrets" the postings, made on International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, or White Ribbon Day.

He added: "I particularly regret that the tweeting of comments - originally made 18 months ago - on this sensitive day have allowed the matter to become more about me than the issue itself.

"I accept I should have used less emotional language than the words I used. It is worth pointing out that I have always supported lots of the good work such organisations do."

WWA chief executive Paula Hardy denied the allegations and urged Mr McEvoy to produce any evidence "to support his claims to enable a thorough investigation to be undertaken through the proper channels".

She said the group had taken legal advice.

Mr McEvoy said he was prepared to sit down with WWA and other groups to discuss the contact separated parents have with their children.

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