Wales politics

Magazine LOL 'libelled MP' with Syria air strikes article

Hywel Williams
Image caption Hywel Williams says he has consistently argued against bombing Syria

A Plaid Cymru MP has said a magazine libelled him by wrongly accusing him of supporting air strikes in Syria.

LOL, published annually at the National Eisteddfod, claimed Hywel Williams urged UK ministers to bomb Syria and intervene in other countries.

Mr Williams called the claim a lie and parliamentary records show the Arfon MP voted against air strikes in Syria.

LOL unreservedly apologised to Mr Williams and he has asked the magazine to make a donation to charity.

Mr Williams said: "A few seconds of research on Hansard or on websites like TheyWorkForYou and Google shows I spoke against bombing Syria and have consistently voted against it.

"I have asked the editors of LOL and those who contributed towards the article to provide evidence that would confirm and justify the claim."

Image caption MPs voted for air strikes targeting so-called Islamic State in late 2015

LOL told the Newyddion 9 programme: "LOL would like to apologise unreservedly to Hywel Williams MP and would like to outline how it came to its misleading conclusion.

"We apologise for claiming, despite the way he voted, that he urged the Tories to bomb Syria.

"The person behind the story came to that conclusion because he [Mr Williams] said in Westminster that the UK had 'turned a blind eye in the past and we cannot let it happen again'."

In 2016, on the Plaid Cymru website, Mr Williams made that comment in relation to pursuing bombers through the international court.

Mr Williams has asked the magazine to make a contribution towards a charity working with Syrian children.

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