Scotland’s first black professor will lead a review of controversial statues and street names in Edinburgh with links to slavery in the wake of Black Lives Matter protests.
Sir Geoff Palmer, 80, will lead the Edinburgh Slavery and Colonialism Legacy Review Group, which will meet for the first time before the end of the year.
The human rights activist, who became Scotland’s first black professor in 1989, said it was an ‘honour’ to be asked to work with the group.
It follows protests over the Melville monument, which commemorates 18th century Home Secretary Henry Dundas, in St Andrew Square.
The controversial monument was erected in 1821 in memory of Conservative politician Dundas who delayed the abolition of the slave trade.
But it has become a source of controversy with a years-long debate over how a plaque should be worded.
It was finally resolved in the wake of the killing of George Floyd, as Black Lives Matter activists graffitied the monument.
The group will consider all options, including the removal of statues, as well as looking at street and building names.
Sir Geoff, a professor emeritus in the school of life sciences at Heriot-Watt University said: ‘I regard this appointment as a great honour and duty to work with the group and the community to ensure the council’s aim of fairness and justice to all is realised.’