Former Labour Party general secretary Jim Mortimer, a trade union activist and a 'champion for the underdog', died today aged 91.

He was the general secretary of the Labour Party from 1982-5, and an active Kingston branch member.

He was also a member of the Kingston Peace Council.

Laurie South, chairman of the Kingston Labour Party, said: "He was a man who physically was very frail but mentally so alert and sharp.

"He always contributed to debates.

"He had a mind that was clear as a bell, a command of the English language and a voice like sugared almonds."

Former Labour councillor Steve Mama said: "He was a fighter for his cause, for inequality.

"He could not stand inequality and injustice. He was a champion for the underdog."