A NATIONAL organisation invited a Welsh politician to a reception, and then, it is claimed, it offered to don Dr Martens boots and "kick her up the arse".
Plaid AM Janet Ryder said she was shocked and appalled to receive the abusive email response from the Youth Hostel Association after her office had confirmed that she would be taking up the invitation.
The message from Maggie Cooper, YHA communications officer, read, "Oh good - we will be having the opportunity to kick her up the arse - remind me to wear my Dr Martins [sic]".
Ms Ryder recently voiced her opposition to a YHA proposal to close Llangollen Youth Hostel, warning that more than 50 jobs depended on the site.
She said last night, "I was shocked and absolutely appalled to receive such an abusive email from a supposedly respectable organisation like the Youth Hostel Association.
"It suggests that behind the scenes they have a total disregard for the opinions of others and that they don't think anyone has the right to question what they're doing.
"They've got to learn that they have responsibilities to the community."
The YHA has apologised to Ms Ryder after receiving a complaint about the email, but she said she is "not convinced".
Anna Chapman, Wales manager for the YHA, said, "Both myself and Maggie are absolutely mortified that this email has been sent, but I want to assure you that this email was not intended for yourself and does not under any circumstances refer to you.
"Maggie assures me that this email was a personal exchange with a friend she had been emailing that day and I have warned her that under no circumstances can she use company email in this manner. Please accept my sincere apologies again. Kind regards Anna Chapman."
Ms Chapman also said that the member of staff involved had two emails open at the same time and had replied to the wrong one, but added that there would be a full investigation into the incident.
She said, "We realise that recent events concerning the closure of YHA Llangollen are very sensitive but YHA does not take any closures lightly and has organised a meeting on April 26 at Llangollen to update partners on the situation and to discuss the future.
"Ms Ryder has accepted an invitation to this meeting and we look forward to hearing her views."
But after receiving the apology, Ms Ryder, Plaid's Shadow Education Minister, said, "I am not entirely convinced by their apology. Clearly, this email wasn't intended for my eyes but I find it hard to believe that it was not written with reference to my opposition to their plans to close Llangollen Youth Hostel.
"Nevertheless, I am still keen to meet with them and discuss their plans because I share the doubts of the local community that the closure of this hostel can be justified. It will jeopardise Llangollen's status as a centre for outdoor activities, we will lose all the spending power of the 15,000 expected overnight stays, and also lose the business of supplying goods and services to the site."
Firms 'will be hit'
The YHA wants to close Llangollen Youth Hostel as the beds were used for only about a third of the time.
The hostel is one of five in Wales scheduled for closure by the end of 2008, but two local businesses say they regularly use the facilities.
Tyndwr Hall Children's Day Nursery and Pro-Active Adventure both make extensive use of the site and at best will have to relocate. Ms Ryder said she had met their representatives to find the best way forward.
She said, "Both businesses provide jobs and training for school leavers and participate in work experience schemes with Newi College and the local schools. The impact on Llangollen of the closure of the youth hostel will be to lose the only childcare option available to many, to lose 51 jobs.