Mahatma Gandhi
Mahatma Gandhi in London, 1931 Getty

Mahatma Gandhi will be immortalised in bronze next year after a government envoy in India announced a statue of the civil rights will be erected opposite the Houses of Parliament.

The statue, which will stand in Parliament Square, will mark the centenary of Gandhi's return to India in 1915 to continue campaigning for Indian independence from British rule.

Foreign secretary William Hague, chancellor George Osborne and culture secretary Sajid Javid announced plans for the statue on a two-day trip to India aimed at boosting investment in the UK.

The statue will stand shoulder to shoulder with illustrious company in the heart Westminster. Other statues at the site include ones of wa time prime ministers David Lloyd George and Winston Churchill, as well as those of Nelson Mandela and Abraham Lincoln.

Royal sculptor Philip Jackson, whose previous work includes statues of the Queen Mother, RAF Bomber Command memorial statues in London and the Sir Alex Ferguson, has been confirmed as the curator of statue, which will be funded by charitable donations and sponsorship.

Speaking in India, Osborne said: "As the father of the largest democracy in the world, it's time for Gandhi to take his place in front of the mother of Parliaments. He is a figure of inspiration, not just in Britain and India, but around the world.

"New Indian prime minister Modi invoked his memory in his inaugural speech to Parliament. I hope this new memorial will be a lasting and fitting tribute to his memory in Britain, and a permanent monument to our friendship with India."