Livingstone adds tribute to David Morris


London’s former mayor has added his voice to those who have paid glowing tributes to the pioneering disabled activist David Morris.

Ken Livingstone said Morris – who died in the early hours of 19 April – was “an outstanding campaigner for disability rights” and “a dedicated public official”.

He said he had “immense drive” and an “extraordinarily diverse range of interests and achievements”.

Livingstone also paid tribute to Morris’s key role in leading the Greater London Authority’s disability rights programme while he was mayor, and said he had used the social model of disability to explain why infrastructure and services should be designed in a way that was accessible.

He said Morris was also the inspiration behind the annual Disability Capital conference, “which gave a voice to disabled Londoners”, and led Liberty, Europe’s largest disability arts festival.

He added: “This latter event reflected David’s personal interest in the arts. Indeed in the last two years he developed a keen interest in film-making, including directing a powerful film about his own early life.

“His death is a huge loss to the disability rights movement and to all who knew and were inspired by him. He will be sorely missed.”

Friends and family have announced details of how they plan to celebrate Morris’s life and the things he was passionate about.

A funeral service will take place at The Ecology Centre in Mile End Park, east London, at 10am on Thursday, 6 May. Parking is on-street and anyone driving will need to allow time to find a space.

There will then be a burial service for family and close friends at the City of London Cemetery at 12.30pm.

In the evening, there will be an open event with poetry, music and film, food and drink, “bringing together people who knew David in whatever capacity to share in celebrating his life”.

This event will be from 7pm to 11pm at Graeae Theatre Company’s new headquarters at 138 Kingsland Road, London E2 8DY.

29 April 2010

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