Wales

Welsh Government 'threatened' National Library over Welsh job ad

National Library of Wales
Image caption The library insisted on advertising for a Welsh-speaking chief executive because 90% of staff are Welsh speakers

Welsh Government officials threatened to scupper National Library of Wales funding in a dispute about a Welsh-language job advert, emails show.

The library had gone against the government's wishes when it advertised for a Welsh-speaking chief executive.

Partially redacted emails reveal government officials discussed using funding for the National Broadcast Archive as leverage against the move.

The Welsh Government said matters with the library had been resolved.

Culture minister Lord Elis-Thomas warned last November he could not commit £1m to the National Broadcast Archive for Wales.

But in February he said "outstanding issues and concerns" had been resolved.

Image caption Bethan Sayed said she believes Lord Elis-Thomas was behind the move to 'threaten' the National Library

One of the emails, obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, reveals a Welsh Government official wrote that if the library proceeded with the Welsh essential requirement "it could make things more difficult in terms of other National Library issues on which they are hoping to secure our support (e.g. the Broadcast Archive)".

The BBC revealed on Wednesday that Lord Elis-Thomas was adamant there should be no Welsh language requirement in the job description.

Bethan Sayed AM, chairwoman of the assembly's culture committee, said she believed Lord Elis-Thomas was behind the discussion to use funding to "muddy the waters".

Lord Elis-Thomas has declined to comment.

Image caption Bethan Sayed said she would ask the assembly culture committee to write to Lord Elis-Thomas or call him to answer questions

"There was an implication there that if the job application process didn't go his way, there may be difficulties ahead in relation to the difficulties for the archive," Ms Sayed told BBC Wales' Newyddion9 news programme.

"The two issue are very, very separate."

Ms Sayed said she would ask the committee to write to the culture minister or call him to answer questions.

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