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Thousands sign petition for Wales to be referred to only by Welsh language name Cymru

Thousands of people have signed a petition calling for Wales to "abolish" its English language name.

More than 3,000 people have backed the call to drop Wales and use only Cymru, its Welsh language name, from now on.

The petition argues the country has had the name "imposed" on it and as a result "hardly anyone has heard of Cymru".

Rachel Garrick is a county councillor on Monmouthshire Council and is on the executive of Labour for an Independent Wales.

She told Sky News she had decided to support the petition because "it is important for Welsh culture and identity to utilise the Welsh names".

"You've seen it across lots of parts of the world now where countries are adopting their native names rather than the anglicised names," she said.

"And I think, particularly for Wales, that's got the strongest native language in the UK, next to English, it's really important to do so."

Last year, one of Wales's national parks announced it would drop its English name, the Brecon Beacons, and only go by the Welsh, Bannau Brycheiniog, in future.

The United Nations accepted a request from the Turkish government in 2022 to change the country's official name to Türkiye.

The Head of Cardiff University's School of Welsh, Dr Dylan Foster-Evans, said Wales "derives from an Anglo-Saxon word meaning 'foreigners'".

Writing for the Welsh government's main international website, Wales.com, he said Cymru comes from the plural of Cymro - "a Welshman".

"The word Cymro is thought to derive from an earlier Brittonic word, combrogos - 'a compatriot' or 'a fellow-countryman'."