I was sad to see that Roy Shaw is standing down from Camden Council due to ill health.
Roy was a good friend and wise adviser to me when I started working for the Labour Party in Holborn & St Pancras back in 1996.
He has been a councillor for the same area continuously since 1956 after serving as a tank crewman in the war.
He was Leader of Camden in the late '70s and early '80s, fighting running battles with Ken Livingstone who was his Chair of Housing and led a rival leftwing faction in the Camden Labour Group.
Roy explained to me that he had started his time in the Party as a Bevanite leftwinger, but by the '80s was regarded as on the right because of infiltration by the Bennite Hard Left. He had a wealth of anecdotes about the Labour left and their Trot allies which I can't republish here due to libel laws... and a good one about the Agent who printed a poster with the candidate names
for a 4-member ward in the old St Pancras borough and couldn't understand why people wouldn't put it in their windows.
After ceasing to be Leader he did not walk away but instead helped organise the fightback by moderate forces in the Camden and London Labour Parties in the '80s and mentored figures like Dame Jane Roberts who went on to lead the council.
He has a huge personal vote in Haverstock Ward after years of hard work for local people.
I feel privileged to have learnt from Roy - over some good lunches in various Italian eateries in Parkway - something of the history of the Labour Party in inner London from the '50s through to the Livingstone era. He dedicated himself to serving his community, his borough and his Party and it is fitting that Camden Council are making him their first ever Honorary Alderman.