Ex-Portsmouth MP speaks of pride at Freedom of the City honour

Former Portsmouth MP Syd Rapson
Former Portsmouth MP Syd Rapson

NATS receives an MoD award

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FORMER Portsmouth MP Syd Rapson spoke of his pride after councillors unanimously agreed he should be awarded a Freedom of the City honour.

Councillors Donna Jones and John Ferrett believed he deserved the award in recognition of his work for the community and his conduct since leaving office.

The honour was last handed to former Pompey boss Harry Redknapp and the side who won the FA Cup in 2008.

All members of the full council were satisfied Mr Rapson, who represented Portsmouth North from 1997 to 2005, deserved the recognition.

Speaking after the vote, Mr Rapson said: ‘May I thank you all very much for this honour – I do appreciate what you have done. I do intend to do my best to uphold the dignity of the office and respect what councillors do.

‘During my career over 44 years, being a councillor was most important. Being a Member of Parliament is great, but you are well rewarded.’

The honour arises from a medieval practice granting respected citizens freedom from slavery - and while the title does not come with special privileges today, the tradition of crowning someone a freeman or an organisation of freemen lives on.

An awards ceremony will be held at a later date.