THE PROFESSOR dismissed by Wrexham University for his remarks about the Welsh language says he 'stands by' what he said in a Facebook post.

Last week, the university confirmed it 'no longer has a relationship' with Professor Nigel Hunt, who had come under fire for remarks he made about bilingual road signs.

He labelled them 'unintelligible' and 'irrelevant' in a post made on Facebook group 'Department of Petty Rage'.

Professor Hunt, who was a visiting professor at Wrexham University, posted a picture of a bilingual road sign and wrote: “Signs like this. They are confusing as they contain irrelevant and – to most people – unintelligible information. Road signs in two languages are potentially dangerous as it takes longer to determine the message.

"As most people even in Wales do not understand these signs (the Welsh language is declining despite the attempts to popularise it) then please just use English.”

In a statement to the Leader after his dismissal, Professor Hunt said: "I stand by what I said on Facebook though I recognise that the forum was not necessarily the right forum, and I apologise for this, though it was on a group that represented personal views regarding petty rage - note the word petty, which implies that issues are dealt with through humour and argument, not the hateful responses I received from some people."

He added: "Some responses failed to see that I was critical of dual language signs, and acknowledging that the Welsh language is in decline. While I didn't present the evidence for this on Facebook, I did so in my letter to the Vice Chancellor and to various media outlets.

"The signs do make driving more hazardous, and the Welsh language is declining. The signs should either be just in English or use a different font and colour. After the story came out I received a lot of support for my position from people throughout Wales and elsewhere.”

Professor Hunt’s main employer is the University of Nottingham, he’s from Derbyshire, and has been an academic for 30 years.

He was initially connected with Wrexham University about three years ago, teaching on their Masters level courses in Psychology, before obtaining the visiting professorship just over a year ago.

Now living with cancer, he says he is on long-term sick leave and will 'shortly be retiring'.

He said: "I am dying of cancer - it might make me a little more open than I was, there are more important matters than upsetting some people over trivia.

"The cancer is not to be used against the university however, I don't think the VC knew about it.”

While Professor Hunt said he would not be attempting to get his position at Wrexham University back, he was “disappointed to be dismissed” believing it to be a “kneejerk response to some of the unjustified comments regarding what I said.”

"A university, despite having particular positions on political and other matters (such as the treatment of Welsh), should enable free speech and academic freedom for its staff, no matter whether they agree or disagree with the stance of the university,” he said.

Wrexham University stated that Professor Hunt's comments 'absolutely do not reflect the views or values of our university or its staff'.

A statement added:  "We are proud to be a Welsh institution and are proud of our Welsh history and heritage".