Is there no end to this madness? A piece in yesterday’s Telegraph:
A director at Iceland has been sacked by the company after he said the Welsh language sounds like “gibberish” and people clearing their throats.
PR executive and author of The Bluffer’s Guide to Public Relations, Keith Hann, mocked the Welsh in blog posts and tweets.
The director of corporate affairs at Iceland, who was born in Newcastle, described Welsh as “gibberish” and “a dead language that sounds uncannily like someone with bad catarrh clearing his throat”.
A personal blog post read: “I’d like to say that I have never left England but regular attendance at an office about 800 yards inside Wales sadly precludes this.
“Still, I take pride in never visiting Scotland despite having a home within sight of the border.”
The 66-year-old later insisted he was joking after activists threatened to boycott the frozen food giant over his remarks.
The company is currently headquartered in Deeside, north Wales and employs hundreds of Welsh workers.
In one tweet, Mr Hann said that a “bonus” of lockdown would be that he wouldn’t be “travelling from home in Cheshire to my office in Wales every day”.
Another, since-deleted tweet read: “Inhabitants of the UK’s Celtic fringe loathe all visitors”.
Despite the father-of-two apologising for the comments, the chain store said on Wednesday that it had dismissed the top executive from his £102,000-a-year job.
A spokesperson said: “Iceland has taken action in light of recent comments made by its Director of Corporate Affairs, resulting in the dismissal of Mr Hann with immediate effect.
“We would like to reiterate that these comments in no way reflect the values or philosophy of our business. We are a proud Welsh company, with a long history of investment in communities across Wales, and apologise for any upset or offence caused.”
Mr Hann had previously apologised and said: “Iceland is proud to be one of the largest companies based in Wales, and a major investor and employer in the country.”
He added that all of the posts “were written by me in a personal capacity and are not endorsed by Iceland Foods or reflective of the company’s views.
“I would have hoped it was also obvious that all of these were written with humorous intent.”
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