A Welsh daily newspaper sparked a political row after it slammed proposals to spend £400,000 translating all proceedings of the Welsh Assembly into Welsh.
In a strongly-worded page one comment, the Western Mail said the plan could not be justified at a time of austerity.
It created a storm on social media sites and at one point on Twitter the story was trending in fourth place across the UK, as well as generating 460 comments on the paper’s Wales Online website.
The Mail’s stance caused controversy partly because of its historic role as the principality’s national newspaper and also because a significant section of its readership comes from Welsh-speaking West Wales.
Tuesday’s front-page editorial began: “An extraordinary recommendation has been made by eight AMs that would see up to £400,000-a-year spent on translating the written record of every meeting held at the National Assembly into Welsh.
“We say that at a time when budgets are squeezed and public services are being cut, this is a luxury we cannot afford.”
Following the reaction to the page one comment, the paper issued a further statement in defence of its stance.
And the paper’s chief reporter Martin Shipton also appeared on the BBC Radio Wales phone-in programme to explain its position.
The statement said: “We fully support the right of AMs and others to address meetings in Welsh or English, according to their choice, and the publication in both languages of the official Record of Proceedings of plenary meetings.
“But we believe the recommendation to translate all Assembly proceedings into Welsh, at such enormous cost, is a step too far in this period of austerity. At a time when front-line public service and benefits to poorer people are being cut, we cannot in all conscience support a huge increase in the National Assembly’s translation budget.”