MPs to pay tribute to Nelson Mandela in the Commons

MPs will pay tribute to Nelson Mandela in the Commons today. Question time has been suspended and instead Speaker John Bercow will make an opening address, followed by words from David Cameron and other party leaders.

View all 62 updates ›

Welby praises Nelson Mandela's 'extraordinary courage'

The Archbishop of Canterbury has praised Nelson Mandela for his "extraordinary" courage at a service of thanksgiving for the life of the former South African president.

The Most Rev Justin Welby told a congregation at St Martin-in-the-Fields in London's Trafalgar Square that the 95-year-old was the "rarest of leaders" as he thanked God for his life.

Justin Welby has praised Nelson Mandela's 'extraordinary courage'. Credit: PA Wire

"Nelson Mandela showed his courage by his determination in the face of evil and by his humanity in the experience of victory," the archbishop said.

"What is more, such courage and humanity were learned and demonstrated in the mists of conflict and suffering.

"He was that rarest of leaders, those who learn from terrible events so as to exhaust all their lessons, rather than being shaped by them into bitterness and hatred."

More on this story