A former council leader who served the borough for more than 25 years was "a pillar of the community". 

Conservative councillor Chris Mote, who represented Rayners Lane, Pinner West and Pinner South during his time at Harrow Council, died on Thursday (July 29) after a short illness. 

Cllr Mote held a number of committee positions during his 27-year tenure, and acted as deputy mayor of Harrow in 2009-10.  

In 2006, he led Harrow Conservatives to election victory and served as leader of the council for two years. 

His wife, Janet, continues to serve as a councillor for Headstone North, having worked alongside her husband since 2002. 

Current Harrow Conservatives’ leader Cllr Paul Osborn said: “I can’t imagine Harrow Council without Chris. 

“He was a true gentleman. He has been there all the time I have been a councillor, he gave me my first role on the council and has over the years been an amazing source of wisdom and advice to me and many others from all political parties. 

“I know he will be sorely missed by all. My thoughts and prayers are with Janet and his family.”

Cllr Susan Hall, another former council leader and current leader of the Conservatives in the Greater London Assembly, also described Chris as a “gentleman”, saying she will “miss him greatly”. 

On the other side of the chamber, Labour’s Cllr Krishna Suresh said Chris was not only a key member of the council but “a pillar of the community”.

Cllr Suresh said: “Apart from his role as a councillor, Chris, along with his wife, Janet, did so much for the voluntary sector.

“You got the feeling that he was always there to help anyone in Harrow – he was down-to-earth, very open and maintained humility and dignity throughout his career.

“I admired him greatly and I will really miss him.”

Labour councillor Peymana Assad added that, despite their political differences, Cllr Mote “actually listened to what she was saying, responded with respect, thoughtfulness and was always kind”. 

Harrow Council chief executive Sean Harriss described Cllr Mote as “a lovely man who was dedicated to Harrow and his family”. 

In a statement, the council said: “Cllr Mote served the council for 27 years with dedication, humility and kindness, and will be sorely missed by those fortunate enough to have known him. 

“Our thoughts and best wishes are with his widow, Cllr Janet Mote, and their family. Details of the funeral will be provided in due course.”

Cllr Mote's death means a by-election for Pinner South is likely to be confirmed by the council.