Nobody had a bad word to say about a former councillor praised as "kind, intelligent and pleasant" - even by his political opponents.

Frederick Thompson, who represented Romford Town ward for the Conservative group from 2002 to 2018, has died, Havering Council has announced.

The former councillor, who served on committees including housing, crime and disorder and environment, was described as a "universally admired gentleman" by Romford MP Andrew Rosindell.

Mr Rosindell said he met the councillor in 1981 at the age of 14, and said he was instrumental in getting him into politics. 

"Politics can often be abrasive and confrontational, but Frederick achieved something quite unique – no one ever had a bad word to say about him," Mr Rosindell said.

"He was universally admired for the kind gentleman he always was.”

Mr Rosindell added that he had fond memories of working with Frederick in the Romford Young Conservatives.

"I have many fond memories of those early days, most especially when we entered the Harold Beck Memorial Speaking Competition in 1982 and won," he added.

It was not just Frederick's political achievements that were praised, but also his personality.

"Sitting alongside Frederick at the countless community surgeries we attended together was always a pleasure," said the Romford MP. 

"He had such knowledge and a wonderful sense of humour."

Havering Council leader Cllr Ray Morgon joined Mr Rosindell in paying his respects.

“This is very sad news,” Cllr Morgon said. “I knew Frederick very well when he was a councillor and he was an intelligent and pleasant person to work with.

“I would like to send my deepest sympathies and best wishes to Frederick’s family and friends at this difficult time."