Leader of the council, Mike Fisher, lead tributes to Mayor Jonathan Driver following the announcement of his death on New Years Eve.

The “larger than life” public figure was made Croydon's Mayor in 2008 and at just 40 became the borough's youngest person to wear the chains of office.

Both Conservative and Labour groups joined together to honour a “wonderful mayor” and a “good man”.

Leader of the council, Councillor Mike Fisher, said: “I am deeply saddened by the news of Jonathan’s untimely death. My condolences are extended to his family and friends, to the Lady Mayoress and all who worked closely with him. Jonathan excelled as a councillor and as a Mayor because of his deep care for his fellow man. He will be missed hugely by the council and the borough for many years to come.”

Opposition leader, Councillor Tony Newman, said: “The news of Jonathan’s passing away has come as a deep shock. The thoughts of myself and the Labour group at this time are with his family and all those close to him.

"Although previously a political opponent, Jonathan had proven himself to be a popular and able Mayor with a strong sense of fairness and proper conduct. He will be missed.”

The Deputy Mayor, Councillor Robert Askey, said: “Jonathan embodied everything that is good about mayors. He was always warm and friendly and took time to speak to people. When he did speak he made people think they were the most important person there. I have lost a good friend and Croydon has lost a great mayor.”

Deputy council leader councillor Steve O’Connell said: “I was genuinely shocked to hear about the news about Jonathan Driver. Tragically it happened to a very young man who in my eyes was the perfect mayor.

"He was a great councillor and I was privileged to work alongside him and attend some of the many events he attended. His loss is a great tragedy.”

Malcolm Wicks, Labour MP for Croydon North said: "Jonathan brought a cheerful enthusiasm to his role as Mayor. He was very proud of Croydon and this showed on every occasion. He will be much missed."

Mac Mckenzie, director of the TheCause2000, one of the Mayor's nominated charities, said: “We at TheCause2000 are deeply saddened about the news of the death of Councillor Jonathan Driver. He was not only our Mayor but our local Waddon councillor and he contributed a significantly to community life in the borough. He was always generous with his time and nothing was too much trouble for him to get involved with.

“The Cause was fortunate to be chosen as one of the Mayor’s charities for the year 2008-2009. He was a very colourful character and will be missed by the people of Croydon.

“On a personal note I would like to extend my deepest sympathy at this most difficult time.”

Mayor of Merton, Martin Whelton, said: “Councillor Driver will be sorely missed by many of his London Mayoral colleagues. He was a kind and outgoing man who had a great sense of humour. My deepest sympathies go out to his family at this difficult time.”

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