As it happened: Parliament pays tribute to Mandela

Key Points

  • PM David Cameron led MPs' tributes to the "towering figure" of Nelson Mandela
  • Labour's Ed Miliband said Mr Mandela was an "enduring symbol of hope"
  • Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said people felt "they had lost a hero and a friend"
  1.  
    2202:

    The House of Commons has adjourned, drawing a day of tributes to Nelson Mandela to a close. Thanks for joining us.

     
  2.  
    2200:

    Mr Lansley recalls a visit to South Africa in 1995, when he saw "how parliamentary democracy had been adopted" in a "remarkable fashion".

     
  3.  
    2155:

    Leader of the House Andrew Lansley begins his wind-up comments by drawing particular attention to Labour MP Peter Hain's "moving" words and former Prime Minister Gordon Brown's "remarkable speech".

     
  4.  
    2152:

    Angela Eagle concludes by hailing Nelson Mandela as representing the "best rather than the basest" in politics.

     
  5.  
    2151:

    Angela Eagle points out that Mandela once described the UK as a "second headquarters" for the ANC's struggle against apartheid.

     
  6.  
    2142:

    Shadow leader of the House Angela Eagle observes that Mandela's example demonstrates the "transforming potential" of politics.

     
  7.  
    2136:

    Wind-up speeches begin with shadow Commons leader Angela Eagle, who applauds the day's debate as "a fitting tribute" to "the pre-eminent statesman of our age".

     
  8.  
    2127:

    Former miner and Labour MP David Anderson relates that his trade union was prevented from commemorating the deaths of anti-apartheid activists.

     
  9.  
    2115:

    Mandela's humility stands in contrast to the "ego of most politicians", according to Labour's Chris Ruane.

     
  10.  
    2108:

    Labour MP Debbie Abrahams tells the House about meeting her mixed-race Capetonian husband, revealing they could not travel to South Africa together until after Mandela's release, due to the ban on interracial marriage.

     
  11.  
    2100:

    The Clwyd South MP, Labour's Susan Elan Jones, reflects on the work of "great grassroots organisations" such as trade unions and church groups in campaigning against apartheid.

     
  12.  
    2055:

    Alison McGovern, the Labour MP for Wirral South, pays tribute to a constituent who formed part of a "secret network" of Liverpool seamen who, she says, distributed banned literature to the ANC.

     
  13.  
    2050:

    Seema Malhotra, Labour MP, describes excitement at Mandela's visit to Brixton in 1996 as "akin to Beatlemania".

     
  14.  
    2045:

    David Hanson, Labour MP for Delyn, talks about boycotting South African goods, arguing that such small actions were "pebbles on the roof" of the apartheid government.

     
  15.  
    2035:

    Labour's Clive Efford says Mandela was an inspiration to anti-racism campaigners in Britain, and tells the House that the former South African president met Stephen Lawrence's parents in his Eltham constituency.

     
  16.  
    2007:

    Speeches today in the House of Commons have alternated between government and opposition MPs but we are now left with mainly Labour contributors.

     
  17.  
    2001:

    Labour's Diane Abbott - one of three elected in the Commons' first intake of black MPs in 1983 - remembers the sight of Nelson Mandela walking free as "an extraordinary moment".

     
  18.  
    1925:

    Lib Dem chair of the International Development Committee Sir Malcolm Bruce warned that "Mandela's dream is by no means fulfilled across South Africa", adding: "People have to be able to move forward and embrace their enemies."

     
  19.  
    1915:

    Labour's former Olympics minister Dame Tessa Jowell spoke of the importance of overcoming racial barriers in sport and the impact of the football World Cup being held in South Africa in 2010.

     
  20.  
    1905:

    Former international development minister and Conservative Stephen O'Brien said the span of Nelson Mandela's life had allowed him to "transcend political generations".

     
  21.  
    1902:

    Conservative MP for Worcester Robin Walker pays tribute to former England cricketer Basil D'Oliveira. He was born in South Africa but was banned from joining their national team due to his race and emigrated to England.

     
  22.  
    1857:

    Labour MP Chi Onwurah tells MPs about the "strange experience" of stepping inside South Africa House to sign a book of condolence for Nelson Mandela having spent "so much time" standing on the pavement outside as part of protests against the apartheid regime.

     
  23.  
    1852:

    Sir Tony Baldry, a Conservative MP, says future African leaders must take up the baton from Mandela. They face a choice between "accountability and justice" on the one hand, and "corruption and conflict" on the other, he argues.

     
  24.  
    1846:

    "We have to understand the fear" of the white minority in South Africa, says Jim Murphy, recalling that the minister at his church taught that apartheid was "God's will".

     
  25.  
    1842:

    Labour MP Jim Murphy, a former Foreign Office minister, talks about his teenage years in Cape Town, revealing he left the country at 17 rather than face conscription into the South African army.

     
  26.  
    1838:

    Lib Dem Martin Horwood discusses the role of the Liberal Party of South Africa, saying that at the time of Liberal anti-apartheid campaigner Eddie Daniels' imprisonment at Robben Island in 1964 it looked as though "moderate voices were likely to be drowned out".

     
  27.  
    1835:

    Speaker John Bercow makes a gentle plea for brevity from MPs, reminding them that there are still 40 MPs wishing to speak and frontbench speeches will start around 21:30 GMT.

     
  28.  
    1830:

    Jeremy Corbyn, the veteran Labour MP for Islington North, asks MPs to think about all South Africans who died at the hands of the white-minority regime. "They are the ones we should remember today," he urges.

     
  29.  
    1826:

    The chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee, Conservative MP Richard Ottoway, hails Nelson Mandela as "a shining beacon of hope to people across the world" battling against oppressive regimes.

     
  30.  
    1823:

    Plaid Cymru's leader in Westminster, Elfyn Llwyd, describes Nelson Mandela's lack of bitterness on his release from prison as "truly remarkable".

     
  31.  
    1820:

    Conservative MP Tobias Ellwood reflects: "Some of our younger generation know more about [X-Factor's] James Arthur - perhaps not the best role model - than they do about leaders who have triumphed over adversity."

     
  32.  
    1808:

    Part of Nelson Mandela's legacy will be "respect for parliamentary traditions", says Conservative and chair of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association Sir Alan Haselhurst.

     
  33.  
    1755:

    David Lammy pays tribute to his predecessor as MP for Tottenham, Bernie Grant, and his contribution to the anti-apartheid movement.

     
  34.  
    1753:

    David Lammy, the Labour MP for Tottenham, appears close to tears as he says he is "truly grateful for the role model that was Nelson Mandela".

     
  35.  
    1749:

    Conservative MP George Freeman reveals he shouted "Free Nelson Mandela" at a visiting South African cricket team when he was at school.

     
  36.  
    1736:

    Labour's Sir Gerald Kaufman - an MP since 1970 - recalls remarking from a sedentary position in the Commons that Margaret Thatcher ought to be in prison, and not Nelson Mandela. His comment was picked up by a microphone and provoked "outrage" on the Conservative benches, he adds.

     
  37.  
    1732:

    Sir Peter Bottomley, whose father was ambassador to South Africa in the 1970s, quotes anti-apartheid campaigner Archbishop Trevor Huddleston at the end of his speech: "God bless Africa and grant her peace."

     
  38.  
    1724:

    Lady Thatcher was "misquoted" as saying Mandela was a terrorist, but did regard the ANC as a terrorist organisation, according to Conservative MP Sir Peter Bottomley.

     
  39.  
    1719:

    Hywel Francis, Labour MP and chair of the Joint Committee on Human Rights, remembers a vigil at Llandaff Cathedral in 1964 in solidarity with members of the ANC on trial for sabotage and public violence, including Nelson Mandela, Govan Mbeki and Walter Sisulu.

     
  40.  
    1718:
    Sir Edward Garnier Sir Edward Garnier reflecting on a chance encounter with Nelson Mandela in 1990
     
  41.  
    1712:

    Without "that most extraordinary man", South Africa would be "light years behind where it is now", Sir Edward Garnier tells the House.

     
  42.  
    1709:

    Sir Edward Garnier, Conservative MP and former solicitor-general, recounts meeting Joe Slovo and Nelson Mandela in 1990 when he was a lawyer for the Johannesburg Star newspaper.

     
  43.  
    1704:

    Paul Blomfield warns that some versions of South Africa's recent history have "glossed over" the brutality of the apartheid regime and some western governments' failure to challenge it.

     
  44.  
    1702:

    Labour MP Paul Blomfield, who served on the national executive committee of the anti-apartheid movement from 1979 to 1994, highlights the efforts of "hundreds" from his Sheffield constituency in bringing down the apartheid regime.

     
  45.  
    1653:
    Hilary Benn addressing MPs Former Labour cabinet minister Hilary Benn reflecting on Nelson Mandela's visit to Leeds in 2001
     
  46.  
    1650:

    Describing a visit to the Crossroads settlement outside Cape Town in the 1980s, Simon Hughes says it was "more than I could ever have imagined, a place where liberty had been extinguished".

     
  47.  
    1643:

    Deputy Lib Dem leader Simon Hughes opens his speech by observing that Nelson Mandela prevented what would otherwise have been "inevitable civil war" in South Africa.

     
  48.  
    1644:

    Lady Thatcher did not personally agree with apartheid, according to Mr Winnick, but he says her government was guilty at the time of "refusing to take any action" to isolate the regime.

     
  49.  
    1641:

    Labour's David Winnick, one of the longest-serving MPs in the Commons, draws attention to others who contributed to the anti-apartheid struggle such as Walter Sisulu and Steve Biko.

     
  50.  
    1635:

    We need "a leader of [Mandela's] sort of stature" to resolve perennial conflicts in the Middle East, Conservative MP Michael Ellis adds.

     
  51.  
    1635:

    Mr Ellis compares Nelson Mandela's qualities of "magnanimity" and his "extraordinary absence of bitterness and resentment", with Winston Churchill.

     
  52.  
    1635:

    Conservative MP Michael Ellis draws attention to the Jewish community's contribution to the anti-apartheid movement, saying that many of the Jewish faith "helped him in his long struggle".

     
  53.  
    1634:

    World leaders today must follow Nelson Mandela's example by not choosing the "easy path of remaining a victim", Mr Benn suggests, but showing the courage to pursue peace.

     
  54.  
    1628:

    Hilary Benn tells a story that when Nelson Mandela was given the freedom of Leeds in 2001 he responded by saying how delighted "he was to be in Liverpool". Despite the slip, all those present cheered him to the rafters, the Labour MP adds.

     
  55.  
    1624:

    Nelson Mandela was "personally responsible" for preventing more bloodshed after his release, Henry Bellingham adds, saying his leadership had stopped "utter catastrophe".

     
  56.  
    1622:

    The first acknowledgement by a Conservative backbencher of past divisions in the party over South Africa. Henry Bellingham says his party was "not exactly on the right side of the struggle against apartheid".

     
  57.  
    1622:

    The SNP's Angus Robertson praises Nelson Mandela's "humanity, dignity, optimism and vision" in his short contribution.

     
  58.  
    1620:

    Lib Dem MP Sir Menzies Campbell reflects on the role of sport in post-apartheid South Africa. He says Nelson Mandela's decision to put on his country's rugby shirt in 1995 - long associated with the white minority - was a gesture that turned a symbol of division into one of unity.

     
  59.  
    1617:

    Although Nelson Mandela "never preached religion", Mr Vaz says, the values he espoused and lived up to were undeniably Christian.

     
  60.  
    1614:

    There are 25 streets in the UK named after Nelson Mandela, Keith Vaz helpfully points out. (You can read a lot more about streets named after Mandela in this feature by my colleague Brian Wheeler)

     
  61.  
    1613:

    Labour MP Keith Vaz starts his remarks by saying he agrees with "everything that every other speaker has said" about Nelson Mandela. The former South Africa president was a "special man", noting his support for the parents of the murdered teenager Stephen Lawrence.

     
  62.  
    1612:

    Conservative MP Anne McIntosh, who heads the all-party parliamentary group on South Africa, says Nelson Mandela's release - along with the fall of the Berlin Wall - was one of the two most significant political moments of the past 25 years.

     
  63.  
    1607:

    The session has now been going for 90 minutes. Mr Dobson says those who supported apartheid over the years but have since recanted - whom he describes as "repentant sinners" - must demonstrate this by supporting what is "just and right" in international affairs today.

     
  64.  
    1607:
    Frank Dobson speaks, listened to by Gordon Brown Frank Dobson speaks, watched by ex-PM Gordon Brown
     
  65.  
    1605:

    Nelson Mandela made it possible for Barack Obama to become US president, Frank Dobson adds, saying his conduct made "racists look pathetic".

     
  66.  
    1601:

    Gordon Brown, sat next to the former health secretary, is listening intently to Frank Dobson as he speaks. The former prime minister's earlier contribution was only his second major speech as a backbencher in the Commons since he resigned in 2010.

     
  67.  
    1601:

    Nelson Mandela was the "most widely admired man on planet earth", Mr Dobson suggests, adding that the 27 years he spent in prison were "unforgiveable".

     
  68.  
    1601:

    Former Labour cabinet minister Frank Dobson reflects on Nelson Mandela's visit to his London constituency in 2003 to unveil a plaque to anti-apartheid campaigners Ruth First and Joe Slovo.

     
  69.  
    1558:
    Charles Kennedy, standing, pays tribute to Nelson Mandela Charles Kennedy prompted laughter after recalling being introduced to Nelson Mandela as Nigel Kennedy
     
  70.  
    1556:

    Charles Kennedy hopes that other politicians will come around in the future, like the South African, who can "move mountains and move minds".

     
  71.  
    1554:

    South Africans voted for Nelson Mandela in 1994 in quantities that other politicians can "only dream of", Mr Kennedy jokes.

     
  72.  
    1552:

    Mr Kennedy reflects on how Nelson Mandela "worked the room" during his 90th birthday party in London and refused to retire to bed despite his bodyguards hoping he would do so.

     
  73.  
    1550:

    It is now former Lib Dem leader Charles Kennedy's turn. He gets a laugh when he tells a story that when he was first introduced to Nelson Mandela, he was wrongly described as Nigel Kennedy - the violinist. The firm handshake and greeting that followed showed two things, he said. 1) Mr Mandela did not know who Nigel Kennedy was and 2) Mr Mandela did not know who he was.

     
  74.  
    1548:

    Unlike many liberation leaders of the 1960s, Mr Mandela also became a "hero of the peace", Mrs Beckett adds. She sits down after making the shortest remarks of the day so far.

     
  75.  
    1546:

    Former Labour foreign secretary Margaret Beckett says it is quite wrong to suggest that Nelson Mandela was "above politics" since it was "through politics that the transformation of South Africa was secured".

     
  76.  
    1544:

    Summing up, Mr Burt says the best tribute to Mr Mandela is not "fine words" but those involved in conflicts around the world today echoing his belief in "forgiveness and reconciliation".

     
  77.  
    1543:

    House of Lords: "Throughout all the stress, the strain and the pressure of those years, he remained quintessentially loving," says Labour peer and ex-Attorney General Baroness Scotland of Asthal. "That love spread all over the world, and allowed young people like me to believe that it was possible to join the legal profession... possible to facilitate change. How many people in the 1960s would have thought that we would have a black, female attorney general?" To know Mr Mandela was to love him, she concludes, before peers move on to other business.

     
  78.  
    1542:

    Mr Burt says he "regrets he did so little" personally to help the anti-apartheid movement and praises the contribution made by former Labour MP Peter Pike - a "true, authentic" crusader.

     
  79.  
    1541:

    Mr Burt reflects that his parents thought he was a Communist when he wrote to cricketer Basil D'Oliveira saying he backed calls for England's tour to South Africa to be called off.

     
  80.  
    1538:

    Former Conservative minister Alistair Burt is next to speak. He praises his predecessor Peter Hain and says the "vindication of history sits comfortably on his shoulders today".

     
  81.  
    1536:

    Nelson Mandela was the "icon of icons", Mr Hain concludes, suggesting that someone's life is less important than the "difference they have made to the lives of others".

     
  82.  
    1534:

    Mr Mandela remained "untarnished and undiminished" by the attention of the 24-hour media cycle, the Labour MPs adds.

     
  83.  
    1534:

    Mr Hain says Nelson Mandela must be mentioned in the same breath as Churchill, Kennedy and Gandhi, as well as social movements such as the Chartists and the suffragettes, but the former south African leader's "unique achievement" was to be almost universally respected.

     
  84.  
    1531:

    House of Lords: "I can boast that I have been hugged by him," Baroness Kinnock tells peers. "He poured me a cup of tea at his home in Soweto," she adds, before criticising the UK government, "and the prime minister of the day", for failing to support the anti-apartheid movement.

     
  85.  
    1531:
    Baroness Williams Baroness Williams speaking in the Lords, where tributes are also being paid to the former South African leader
     
  86.  
    1531:

    Mr Hain says he wants to put the record straight, saying that it was the sporting boycott in the 1970s which really helped to isolate and undermine the South African government - saying it "sticks in the craw" to hear some people claim otherwise.

     
  87.  
    1530:
    Speaker John Bercow Peter Hain praised the Speaker for admitting he had been on the wrong side over apartheid
     
  88.  
    1528:

    Peter Hain suggests the Conservatives' attitude towards apartheid in 60s, 70s and 80s was one of "craven indulgence", singling out former party chairman Lord Tebbit's recent claim that they had helped end apartheid for particular criticism.

     
  89.  
    1526:

    Some Conservatives tried to "pull the plug" on the BBC's coverage of the 'Free Nelson Mandela' concert in 1988, Peter Hain suggests.

     
  90.  
    1524:

    Mr Hain reflects on the conditions that Nelson Mandela faced during his long imprisonment on Robben Island, saying the moment of his release in 1990 was "imprinted" on his consciousness and those of millions of others.

     
  91.  
    1522:

    House of Lords: Lib Dem peer Baroness Williams was in South Africa helping to develop capacity in the civil service when Nelson Mandela was released from prison. "There was a sense on that day as if the sun had risen over South Africa," she reports.

     
  92.  
    1522:

    Mr Hain becomes the latest contributor to refer to Mr Mandela's famous statement in 1964, when he was on trial on charges of sabotage, that he was prepared to die for his political beliefs.

     
  93.  
    1520:

    Mr Hain, who grew up in South Africa, says Mr Mandela was his boyhood hero and remained so throughout his life.

     
  94.  
    1520:

    Labour MP Peter Hain says previous references to his role in the anti-apartheid struggle have been "over-generous", noting that there were thousands of people involved in the movement.

     
  95.  
    1518:

    Sir Malcolm concludes his remarks by saying Nelson Mandela's life proved that "intractable problems" could be overcome by individual courage and force of personality.

     
  96.  
    1518:

    House of Lords: Ex-Labour leader Lord Kinnock remembers Mr Mandela's strength, wisdom and "mischievous humour". He tells peers: "I cherish memories of times together... to be called 'comrade' by such a man was an irreducible honour."

     
  97.  
    1517: Labour MP Chris Bryant

    tweets "sorry malcolm rifkind, I don't think FW de Klerk had it tougher than Mandela".

     
  98.  
    1515:

    Ending apartheid was in some ways "more difficult" for Mr De Klerk than it was for Mr Mandela - a remark which result in a few gasps of surprise in the Commons.

     
  99.  
    1513:

    House of Lords: Former Commons Speaker Baroness Boothroyd recalls that Nelson Mandela once quipped: "As soon as I get to those pearly gates you can be sure I'll join the local branch of the ANC." The comments came as she, then chancellor of the Open University, travelled to South Africa to bestow an honorary degree on the ex-president.

     
  100.  
    1512:

    Mr Mandela deserves the "vast bulk of the credit" for bringing apartheid to an end - but Sir Malcolm Rifkind says there were "two heroes" and the role played by former president FW de Klerk must be recognised.

     
  101.  
    1512:

    Former Conservative foreign secretary Sir Malcolm Rifkind is now speaking. He says Mr Mandela was "no saint" and that he believed in "the armed struggle" for many years. But unlike some of his supporters, he eventually recognised peaceful means were the better way.

     
  102.  
    1512:
    Sir Malcolm Rifkind Sir Malcolm Rifkind recalls FW de Klerk's role in the end of apartheid
     
  103.  
    1509:

    Mr Mandela's abiding legacy is to show that "no injustice can last for ever" and that when people of courage come together, there is "infinite hope". As he sits down, Gordon Brown gets a round of cheers.

     
  104.  
    1508:

    Nelson Mandela had great affection for the Queen, Mr Brown adds, but his greetings were sometimes quite informal - once apparently addressing the monarch with the words "hello Elizabeth, how's the duke?"

     
  105.  
    1507:

    Nelson Mandela "loved gossip" about sports, politics and celebrity, Mr Brown suggests, reflecting on his admiration for Amy Winehouse and other artists.

     
  106.  
    1505:

    Mr Brown reflects on the personal correspondence he had with Mr Mandela over two decades, saying they had written to each other as recently as October.

     
  107.  
    1505:
    Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg Nick Clegg recalled the Wembley campaign concert in the 1980s
     
  108.  
    1504:

    Nelson Mandela's "greatness was as vast as the continent he loved", Mr Brown says.

     
  109.  
    1504:

    Mr Mandela's fight against poverty and Aids and support for global education after he stood down as South African leader must not be forgotten, Gordon Brown continues.

     
  110.  
    1503:

    On his last night in prison, Mr Mandela gathered together all the other ANC prisoners to urge them not to engage in violence and revenge when they were released, Mr Brown adds.

     
  111.  
    1503:
    David Cameron Prime Minister David Cameron led tributes to the former South African leader
     
  112.  
    1501:

    Gordon Brown says Nelson Mandela had a "burning belief" that all people were equal and born free.

     
  113.  
    1500:

    Nelson Mandela was the "greatest man of his generation", Mr Brown adds, praising his "eloquence, determination, wit and charm", but above all his courage.

     
  114.  
    1500:
    Former PM Gordon Brown Former PM Gordon Brown has made a rare speech in the Commons, to pay tribute to Nelson Mandela
     
  115.  
    1459:

    Mr Brown says it was a "great privilege" to unveil a statue to Mr Mandela in Parliament Square in 2007, in the presence of the former South Africa president.

     
  116.  
    1458:

    Nick Clegg has finished. Next to speak is former prime minister Gordon Brown - making a rare contribution in Parliament since he left office.

     
  117.  
    1458:

    Nick Clegg says the way to honour Nelson Mandela is to "champion the defenders of human rights today", making an explicit reference to the political situation in Sri Lanka.

     
  118.  
    1456:

    The struggle for freedom and reconciliation in South Africa showed the way for other countries, including Northern Ireland, Mr Clegg continues.

     
  119.  
    1456:

    Nick Clegg says Mr Mandela rose above the boundaries of "nation, creed and colour" and to build a brighter future, South Africa "must confront the darkness of the past".

     
  120.  
    1455:

    Mr Clegg said that the former South Africa leader had a "mischievous wit" and did not seem to suffer from the typical "human frailties".

     
  121.  
    1454:

    Nick Clegg is next up. The Lib Dem leader acknowledges that he never met Nelson Mandela but recalls attending the Wembley campaign concert to recognise the imprisoned Mandela's 70th birthday in 1988.

     
  122.  
    1454:

    Ending his remarks, Mr Miliband said that Mr Mandela stood for a "bigger not smaller politics" and everyone should honour his legacy.

     
  123.  
    1453:
    Speaker John Bercow Speaker John Bercow said it was a "special day for special tributes to a special statesman"
     
  124.  
    1451:

    Reflecting on the struggles of the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s, Ed Miliband says the fight against apartheid was once an "unfashionable cause" and "opposed by those in government".

     
  125.  
    1450:

    But Mr Miliband says it must be remembered that South Africa House in central London was "not always such a welcoming place" for anti-apartheid campaigners.

     
  126.  
    1450:

    The history of South Africa is "bound up" with that of the UK - noting that Mr Mandela referred to the UK as the "second home" of the anti-apartheid movement.

     
  127.  
    1448:

    Ed Miliband remarks that in his speech to the 2000 Labour Party conference, Nelson Mandela referred to himself as a "pensioner with a criminal record".

     
  128.  
    1447:

    Nelson Mandela was not just a "leader of a struggle" but the "father of the a nation", adding "he was an activist who became a president and a president who became an activist", Ed Miliband adds.

     
  129.  
    1446:

    Nelson Mandela's spirit "never bent or broke" in the face of oppression and injustice, the Labour leader says.

     
  130.  
    1446:

    Labour leader Ed Miliband is now speaking. He says Parliament is mourning with the South African people and remembering his "extraordinary life".

     
  131.  
    1444:

    Concluding his remarks, David Cameron says Nelson Mandela's "long walk" may be over but he has an "enduring place in history".

     
  132.  
    1443:

    Continuing the fight to eradicate poverty and conflict in Africa would be a fitting legacy to Nelson Mandela's life, the PM adds.

     
  133.  
    1442:

    Meeting Nelson Mandela in South Africa was one of the "great honours of my life", David Cameron says - adding that one of his legacies is that his country is on a "more hopeful path".

     
  134.  
    1441:

    Nelson Mandela's magnanimity was reflected that he invited his jailer to his presidential inauguration, Mr Cameron adds.

     
  135.  
    1441:

    Nelson Mandela had "great feelings of warmth" for the UK, the PM says.

     
  136.  
    1440:

    The prime minister pays tribute to anti-apartheid campaigners in Parliament, including Labour MP Peter Hain.

     
  137.  
    1439:

    Mr Cameron reflects on Mr Mandela's struggle against apartheid and his time in prison, saying it was underpinned by his "faith in human dignity".

     
  138.  
    1439:

    The prime minister says the triumph over injustice is never inevitable and is always hard-won, adding that Mr Mandela was never a "helpless victim of history - he wrote it".

     
  139.  
    1437:

    Mr Cameron says Parliament's thoughts are with Mr Mandela's family and the millions mourning him.

     
  140.  
    1436:

    Beginning his tribute, David Cameron says Nelson Mandela was a "towering figure in our lifetime" and a "pivotal figure" for South Africa and the world.

     
  141.  
    1435:

    Commons Speaker John Bercow gets the session under way, saying it is a "special day for special tributes to a special statesman".

     
  142.  
    1432:

    Commons Speaker John Bercow is expected to say a few words before the prime minister gets to his feet.

     
  143.  
    1428:

    Commons authorities have cleared the decks for today's tributes, which could continue until 22:00 GMT. Questions to defence ministers have been postponed for a week, and debate on the Intellectual Property Bill will have to wait. In the Lords, there is no official time limit on the tributes, but business as usual will resume afterwards.

     
  144.  
    1427:

    At about the same time in the upper chamber, the Leader of the House of Lords, Lord Hill of Oareford, will deliver his tribute to Nelson Mandela, before deputy Lords leader Lord Wallace of Tankerness, Labour peers' leader Baroness Royall of Blaisdon, crossbench peer convenor Lord Laming of Tewin, the Bishop of Truro, and then backbench peers make their speeches.

     
  145.  
    1427:

    Prime Minister David Cameron is set to lead Commons' tributes to Nelson Mandela from about 14:35 GMT. His speech will be followed by contributions from Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, opposition leader Ed Miliband, and then backbench MPs.

     

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