Scottish Labour leader unveils John Smith statue

Scottish Labour leader Iain Gray said it was an "honour" to unveil a statue of former Labour leader John Smith yesterday.

The new specially-commissioned work by Scottish artist George Mark is on display in Coatbridge Public Library in North Lanarkshire.

Mr Smith was elected as an MP for North Lanarkshire in 1970, and was leader of the Labour Party from 1992 until his death in 1994 aged 55.

He is buried on the island of Iona in the inner Hebrides.

Speaking ahead of the unveiling Mr Gray MSP said: "It is an honour and privilege to unveil this tribute to John Smith, a man widely admired and much loved by his constituents in North Lanarkshire and far beyond.

"John was an unforgettable force in British politics and this statue will stand here for years to come in recognition of his achievements."

He said that Mr Smith was an "ardent supporter" of devolution and said it was a shame he did not live to see the Scottish Parliament.