West Cornwall MP, Andrew George, has welcomed today’s announcement by the Liberal Democrat Chief Secretary to the Treasury – Rt. Hon Danny Alexander MP – that the Government will give the Cornish people special recognition in the Council of Europe’s Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities.
Mr George, who led the successful Parliamentary campaign for the official recognition and Government support of the Cornish language in 2002, has pressed the case for the recognition of the Cornish people since the creation of the European Convention 15 years ago.
Mr George said: “This is an important and appropriate milestone for those who have campaigned so hard to promote what is good and what is distinctive about Cornwall, its people and culture.
“Special mention and appreciation should go not only to my Parliamentary colleague, Dan Rogerson MP, who has done so much in recent years to promote the cause; also to Ian Saltern who is the author of some excellent case papers which did so much to persuade Ministers and officials, to Cllr Bert Biscoe whose energy and commitment has been unrelenting and to the late John Fleet whose funeral it was this week and who did so much hard work in quietly researching, encouraging and persuading us to seek the recognition he was always confident we would achieve as it was the least we deserve.
“Although, of course, we don’t need “official recognition” to prove that we are Cornish, securing our rightful status alongside the Welsh, Scots, Irish etc. is no less than the Cornish deserve.
“Recognising and celebrating difference shows the strength of our society and of the United Kingdom. This is not about cutting ourselves off but cutting ourselves into the celebration of diversity.”