A BID to build a national human rights museum in Greenock is winning cross-party support.

The idea was put forward earlier this year by Inverclyde MSP Stuart McMillan, who suggested the town's historic sugar sheds would be the perfect place for it, given its historic links to the slave trade.

Now Labour list MSP Neil Bibby has backed the proposal to recognise the role the area played in slavery and colonialism.

Mr Bibby said: "Regrettably, Greenock’s first member of parliament, Robert Wallace, owned and co-mortgaged five plantations in Jamaica and owned more than 500 slaves.

"Therefore, Inverclyde would be an appropriate place for such a museum.

"I support the aspirations and hopes that expressed Stuart McMillan's motion to parliament.

"Although we cannot erase the past, we can do more to ensure that we remember it honestly.

"A national museum of human rights would be one way to achieve that.

"I support the idea of having a national museum and establishing it in Inverclyde."

But Mr Bibby has added a caveat to his backing, saying that any such development should be paid for by the Scottish Government, rather than the council footing the bill.

He added: "Earlier this year, Inverclyde Council set up a working group in response to the new public discussion on our past.

"A council report reflects honestly on how Inverclyde was a hub for the slave trade, as Stuart McMillan and others have said.

"Inverclyde was particularly active in sugar and tobacco trading.

"We can all respect the fact that, as one of the areas worst hit by the Covid crisis, Inverclyde would benefit from the creation of a museum, but it would be unfair for one council - which is already suffering due to cuts - to bear the cost of a national museum."

Mr Bibby has publicly challenged ministers to say whether they would be prepared to commit cash to the proposed project.

He said: "The government has said that it is supportive of the idea.

"It would also be helpful to know whether the government is prepared to fully fund the capital and revenue costs of a national museum."