Councillors have sent messages of support to former Havering Council leader Damian White after he collapsed in a public meeting that was being broadcast live online.

The Conservative opposition leader was reportedly rushed to hospital on Thursday, September 22, after he "keeled over" during a speech at Romford Town Hall.

Gillian Ford, deputy leader of the council, said: "Politics is politics, but outside of the arena all councillors have each other's best interests at heart.

"Nobody wants to see a fellow member taken ill. Councillors rallied around in the best interests of Cllr Damian White and we all wish him a speedy recovery."

Councillors told the Recorder that Cllr White was driven to hospital by a civilian after callers were warned of a long wait for an ambulance.

He is now reportedly back in good health, although he did not respond to calls and messages from the Recorder.

The council had called an extraordinary meeting to pay tribute to Queen Elizabeth II after her death.

Cllr White was on his feet paying tribute to the Queen when he appeared to suddenly lose consciousness and collapsed.

The meeting was webcast, meaning Cllr White's collapse was broadcast live on the internet.

After a few seconds, the camera cut to another desk, showing Labour mayor Trevor McKeever rushing from his seat.

The council, which had been live-tweeting the meeting, wrote: "Due to someone being taken ill in the chamber, we had to pause the meeting."

It has since chopped the collapse out of the catch-up video.

Witnesses said Cllr McKeever, a retired firefighter, rushed to Cllr White's aid.

"It was quite a shock," said Conservative Keith Prince. "I would like to commend the mayor for his swift response."

Independent councillor Graham Williamson added: "We were all ushered out.

"He spoke for about 30 seconds or a minute and then he just keeled over. Obviously, it was quite worrying. We wish him well."

Council leader Ray Morgon said he understood Cllr White was now okay.

Havering Council declined to comment.