TRIBUTES have poured in for a beloved equality campaigner who passed away after a short illness.

Veteran Brighton activist James Ledward, who edited and published LGBT magazine Gscene, died yesterday morning at the age of 65, the magazine announced.

A statement from the publication read: "James Ledward, editor of GScene Magazine and longtime champion of the LGBTQ communities in Brighton and Hove died this morning after a short illness.

"His family request that theirs and James’ privacy be respected at this difficult time.

"James was a kind and passionate advocate of all members of our widening communities and will be missed by all who knew him.

"Details of the funeral arrangements will follow."

Brighton politicians from all parties lined up to pay tribute to the beloved activist.

Hove MP Peter Kyle described Mr Ledward as a brave campaigner and journalist.

"James Ledward's death leaves an entire community bereft," he said.

"He was part of the fabric that holds our community together and kept us going through good times and bad."

Brighton and Hove City Council leader Nancy Platts described him as a "kind and thoughtful man".

"I am very sad to hear that James Ledward has died," she said.

"He was such a kind and thoughtful man who was always ready to stop for a chat - often an impromptu discussion about Brighton politics in the middle of the road. 

"He approached life with a sense of humour and a twinkle in his eye and will be sorely missed.

"My thoughts are with his family and friends."

Green leader Cllr Phelim Mac Cafferty said the activist's death meant the loss of a "huge champion" for the LGBT community.

He said: "To the end, James was a passionate supporter of the fight for LGBTIQA+ rights and repeatedly and tirelessly he fought for equality.

"We are of course thankful for all his work and dedication.

"His work as editor of GScene magazine saw him repeatedly go to considerable efforts to keep politicians, charity leaders, the police and NHS accountable to the community itself.

"Our thoughts are with James’ husband Besi, his family and friends at this difficult time."

Conservative councillor Joe Miller said Mr Ledward's magazine was his "go-to publication" growing up.

"I am very saddened to learn of the passing of James Ledward," he said.

"As a young gay man growing up in Brighton, GScene was the go-to publication."