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    29 November, 2006

    Thank you, Ioan

    I used the opportunity yesterday to thank Ioan Gruffudd in the Assembly Chamber:

    Leighton Andrews: Defnyddiaf y cyfle hwn i ddweud, ‘Diolch o galon’, i Ioan Gruffudd, sy’n cefnogi gweithwyr Burberry yn Nhreorci. Credaf fod ei ddatganiad yn dangos mae ef yw gwir lais y Cymoedd.

    (Leighton Andrews: I take this opportunity to extend a heartfelt thank you to Ioan Gruffudd, who is supporting the Burberry workers at Treorchy. I think that his statement shows that he is the true voice of the Valleys.)

    Ioan Gruffudd’s intervention has been very significant for the workers at Burberry in Treorchy, because it has raised the issue of that closure to the level of the plc board. We have always taken the view that the manufacturing division of Burberry was trying to take this decision simply on the basis of costs. We have said that if Burberry wants to be seen as a British brand, it must keep manufacturing jobs in Britain. If it does not do so, it will be seen to be damaging that brand. Ioan Gruffudd’s intervention has made it absolutely clear that the plc board cannot ignore the potential damage that is being done to Burberry as a British brand.

    Business Minister Jane Hutt responded:

    Finally, Leighton, I am delighted that Hornblower has joined the campaign, in terms of Ioan Gruffudd’s support for the Burberry workers. Obviously, celebrity status is important. I believe that royalty is also on board. The dramatic impact that the closure of the Burberry factory would have concerns us. We know that the important support from Ioan Gruffudd gives a big boost to the morale of the workforce, but it is what you say here, Leighton, in leading that campaign effectively in the Assembly and in Westminster, of course, that will win the case for those workers in the Rhondda valleys.

    Rhondda TV
    The Labour Party

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