CITY councillors have voted unanimously to keep an HM Stanley tribute, but vowed to add some “historical context” to the monument.

St Asaph city councillors heard a representation from Elen Lewis who had organised a petition of almost 1,100 people who wanted the piece removed.

However councillors were unmoved by her pleas, although they agreed a working party, including Miss Lewis, should look into adding more historical context to the installation’s plaque.

Wrapping up the item, chair of the meeting Cllr Peter Scott said: “The council has decided to keep the artwork dedicated to HM Stanley. But it understands it needs to better reflect today’s climate and Tim Jeal’s autobiography and documents received over the last few months.

“A working party will formed to see how exactly the new information should be phrased.”

Miss Lewis had told councillors her education about HM Stanley had not been given with “two sides”, only hearing about his heroic exploits.

She said Stanley was associated with King Leopold II’s genocide of 10-15m Congolese in the former Belgian colony.

Cllr Scott remarked that information in Tim Jeal’s study of Stanley, using official documents from Belgium archives, was that Stanley had left the King’s employ around eight years before the killings took place.

Stanley went to Africa on several occasions using the same guides, a fact his supporters feel points to him being accepted by Africans.

Born in Denbigh and put into St Asaph’s workhouse as a child, he emigrated to the United States as a teacher before fighting in the country’s Civil War and becoming a journalist.

He was despatched to Africa to find Scottish explorer David Livingstone by one publisher, giving rise to the famous quote “Dr Livingstone I presume” after locating him.

He helped map the central African Great lakes, found the source of the Nile and mapped most of the modern day Democratic Republic of Congo.

Several Congolese historians spoke up for Stanley and keeping his home town tribute.

However controversy dogged his life and, despite him becoming MP for Lambeth before his death in 1904, rumours of his mistreatment of Africans and links to King Leopold persisted.