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    26 November, 2006

    Ioan Gruffudd backs Burberry workers

    We got the original call from Ioan Gruffudd's assistant late afternoon on Tuesday, to say they were about to fax us a letter. Inevitably the Assembly fax system didn't seem to be working, and we couldn't get the fax through on either my fax or my colleague Carl Sargeant's. So we arranged for them to email it: then there were problems with the remoteness of Ioan's location while filming in Canada, so eventually he emailed it through himself when he got back to wherever it is he is staying.

    So I didn't see the letter until early Wednesday morning. There was both a Welsh version and an English translation. It was great to get the news that he had written to the chief executive of Burberry on behalf of the Treorchy workers facing the closure of their factory, asking her to look at an alternative course of action. But we wanted to maximise the coverage, so we decided to hold on and see if we could get a Sunday paper interested, and to get a second bite of the cherry on Monday as well. The Sunday Times took the story, and we have been doing follow-up work and interviews today. The Keep Burberry British website has more. It's now as I write lead item on the English language BBC Wales news online site, and second on the Welsh language site.

    We'll see how it goes tomorrow. Our objective has always been to get the issue to come to the attention of the Burberry plc board, as they are the guardians of the Burberry brand. Involving one of the chief 'faces' of Burberry enables us to make the point about the brand very visibly. And well done to Ioan Gruffudd. It is a real personal commitment he has made.

    Rhondda TV
    The Labour Party

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    Promoted by Leighton Andrews AM, National Assembly for Wales, Cardiff CF99 1NA.

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