The speaker of Britain’s House of Commons, Michael Martin, recently visited civil rights sites in Atlanta and Birmingham and Montgomery, Ala. during a trip to the U.S. South.

Mr. Martin spoke at a reception at British Consul General Martin Rickerd’s house in Atlanta about the importance of the American civil rights movement for British labor.

“His message went far beyond the United States,” he said of Martin Luther King Jr. at the reception. “He inspired me.”

While here, Mr. Martin toured the Martin Luther King National Historic Site and visited civil rights sites in Birmingham and Montgomery.

He met with leaders of the Southern Poverty Law Center, Rep. John Lewis, D-Georgia, who marched with Dr. King, and with attorney Fred Gray, who represented civil rights leaders including Dr. King and Rosa Parks.

Mr. Martin has represented a constituency in Glasgow, Scotland, in British Parliament since 1979. He was elected speaker in 2000 and serves as chief officer of the House of Commons, representing the House in its dealings with the British Royal Crown, the House of Lords and other authorities. The speaker position is not affiliated with any political party.

Contact the British Consulate General at (404) 954-7700.