Harrow Council paid tribute to its outgoing chief executive as he prepares to take up a role with the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC).

Tom Whiting, who had held the position on an interim basis from January, will be replaced by Sean Harriss, a former chief executive at Bolton and Lambeth Councils.

At the IOPC he will be working with his predecessor, Michael Lockwood, as he assumes the role of deputy director general.

Mr Harriss’ appointment was confirmed at Thursday’s full council meeting, though he did not attend.

There was clear thanks and admiration for Mr Whiting and his time at the council, which stretches back to 2005.

Cllr Adam Swersky said it was “a pleasure” to have a Harrow native in such a prominent council position and noted his commitment to community events.

The person who appointed him as interim CEO, Cllr Sachin Shah, said he “will be missed” and urged him to “come back soon” – a tongue-in-cheek reference to Mr Lockwood’s reinstatement as chief executive in 2014 after his role was scrapped under a Conservative administration.

Cllr Paul Osborn, leader of Harrow Conservatives, said, while his party “could not support a full-time, paid chief executive”, he was appreciative of Mr Whiting’s work.

This was backed up by his group’s deputy, Cllr Marilyn Ashton, who not only praised his skills as an officer but described him as a “thoroughly nice chap”.