Eleanor Laing welcomes special commemoration events to mark 200th anniversary of the birth of David Livingstone

24th April 2013

Epping Forest MP Eleanor Laing has welcomed an announcement that a programme of events is being planned to mark the 200th anniversary of the birth of explorer and adventurer David Livingstone who had close ties with Ongar.

Replying to a question from Mrs Laing about any celebrations, the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Scotland, David Mundell, said The Scotland Office is working closely with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, the Department for International Development and the David Livingstone 200 partnership on a programme of celebrations.

Last month the Scotland Office hosted a reception following a commemorative service at Westminster Abbey in the presence of President Joyce Banda of Malawi.

Mrs Laing said: “I am sure the whole House will be pleased to hear what the Scotland Office is doing. It is fitting, especially to those of us who well remember childhood trips to Blantyre, the birthplace of David Livingstone, that tribute should be paid to him here in Parliament.

“… although a minority of Scots want to put artificial barriers around Scotland, the vast majority of Scots believe in the pioneering, enterprising spirit of David Livingstone, and want Scotland to play its full part in the United Kingdom, and indeed in the world in general.”

Mr Mundell described David Livingstone as “both a great Scot and a great Briton who had an outward, progressive-looking attitude to the world, which exemplifies why Scotland and Britain are better together”.

Dr David Livingstone lived and preached in the Ongar area and lived in a room near the United Reformed Church in Ongar High Street in 1838 shortly before he left for London to complete his medical studies.

FULL TEXT:

Mrs Eleanor Laing (Epping Forest) (Con): What steps his Department has taken to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the birth of David Livingstone. [150798]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Scotland (David Mundell): The Scotland Office is working closely with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, the Department for International Development and the David Livingstone 200 partnership on the programme of celebrations to mark the 200th anniversary of the birth of Dr David Livingstone. On 19 March, the Scotland Office hosted a reception at Dover House following the commemorative service at Westminster Abbey in the presence of President Joyce Banda of Malawi.

Mrs Laing: I am sure the whole House will be pleased to hear what the Scotland Office is doing. It is fitting, especially to those of us who well remember childhood trips to Blantyre, the birthplace of David Livingstone, that tribute should be paid to him here in Parliament. Does my right hon. Friend agree that although a minority of Scots want to put artificial barriers around Scotland, the vast majority of Scots believe in the pioneering, enterprising spirit of David Livingstone, and want Scotland to play its full part in the United Kingdom, and indeed in the world in general?

David Mundell: I could not agree more. David Livingstone was both a great Scot and a great Briton, who had an outward, progressive-looking attitude to the world, which exemplifies why Scotland and Britain are better together.

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