Glasgow & West Scotland

Papal knighthood for former Labour MP Tom Clarke

Tom Clarke Image copyright Labour Party
Image caption Tom Clarke served as an MP for 33 years

Former Scottish Labour MP Tom Clarke has been awarded a papal knighthood by Pope Francis.

The 75-year-old served at Westminster from 1982 until last year's general election when he lost the Coatbridge, Chryston and Bellshill seat to the SNP.

He was also a culture minister in Tony Blair's administration.

Mr Clarke said he was "truly humbled and privileged" to receive the honour of Knight of St Gregory the Great from the Pope Francis.

He said: "Coming from Pope Francis, a man of great humanity and a staunch advocate of human rights, adds to my delight.

"I regard this as recognition of people not just of my own faith but of the many people of all traditions I have had the honour to serve."

'Worthy recipient'

Mr Clarke will receive the award from Bishop Toal, of the Diocese of Motherwell, at a Special Mass in St Augustine's Coatbridge on 1 September.

The former MP is expected to have an audience with the Pope at the Vatican at a later date.

Bishop Toal said Mr Clarke was "a most worthy recipient" of the Papal honour.

"Tom served as a Member of Parliament from 1982 until 2015," he said.

"Throughout all of that time Tom Clarke sought inspiration from his devout Catholic faith in determining how he should vote on a wide variety of parliamentary issues especially his work on disability rights, overseas development and the pro life cause."

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites