Students at a Scottish university have condemned a decision to offer former defence secretary, John Reid, an honorary degree.

Stirling University have announced plans to honour Dr Reid, a former president of the student union, "in recognition of his outstanding contribution to public affairs".

But the proposal has sparked outrage among students who have called on the university to withdraw its offer to the "war criminal".

Kevin McVey, president of the university's Socialist Students Society, said demonstrations were planned for when Reid receives his honour from James Naughtie, the BBC presenter and the university's chancellor, at a graduation ceremony next month.

"What John Reid did as defence minister has brought dishonour to the university," he said. "He famously said that troops in Afghanistan wouldn't fire a shot, and we have become increasingly embroiled in a war there, as well as being implicated in the war in Iraq.

"Students will feel very annoyed at this decision given what John Reid stands for."

Rose Gentle, whose son Gordon was killed by a roadside bomb in Iraq in 2004, said: "This is unbelievable, the man is a war criminal and he is being given an award for being a good politician.

"He took us into a war in Iraq on false pretences which cost my son and many others their lives."

The row comes just a week after Stirling University chiefs were forced to renege on plans to honour Gregory Burke, author of the anti-war play Black Watch.

A spokesman for Stirling University said: "John Reid is a graduate of the university and has been a good friend over the years.