Stop oppressing Cornwall – Council of Europe's warning to Britain

Robert Mendick
Tintagel Castle is in danger of 'Disneyfication', a report by the Council of Europe says - 2016 Getty Images

The people of Cornwall seem unlikely victims of ethnic oppression. But a report by the Council of Europe has condemned the Government for neglecting the Cornish minority.

The report into the “protection of national minorities” concludes that the UK needs to do far more for its southernmost county, including reviving Cornish as a language and preventing the “Disneyfication” of such landmarks as Tintagel Castle.

The 50-page study into Britain’s treatment of national minorities raises serious concerns about the plight of the Cornish. The Council of Europe, set up after the war to uphold human rights and the rule of law across the continent, has expressed misgivings over the neglect of a county that is beloved by the rest of Britain for two weeks a year.

The Council of Europe criticises the Government – which recognised the Cornish as a minority in 2014 – for scrapping funding of the native language. Just 500 people are thought to be able to speak Cornish fluently but the Council of Europe wants funding to be reinstated. It even calls on the BBC to broadcast more in Cornish.

The report also expresses concern at a lack of funding for Cornish cultural events and festivals, such as St Piran’s Day on March 5, the national day of Cornwall.