Tributes have been paid to a Labour councillor who has died from cancer at the age of 72.

Dr Robert McIntosh was elected to represent Rottingdean Coastal in a by-election last year, winning by almost 90 votes.

However, soon after his victory, he revealed that he had been diagnosed with bowel cancer after routine screening and was undergoing treatment.

Robert was unable to return to the council chamber, something which his colleagues said “deeply disappointed and frustrated him”.

He passed away at the Martlets Hospice yesterday morning at the age of 72.

In a tribute to Robert, the Brighton and Hove Labour group said: “Robert was a hard worker, straight-forward with his views and extremely committed to the causes he believed in.

“Robert was elected as a councillor for Rottingdean Coastal ward on May 5 2022. Unfortunately, the week of his election Robert was diagnosed with bowel cancer following routine screening, and he was always deeply disappointed and frustrated that he was unable to participate fully in council duties.

“Labour members will miss Robert’s calls asking them to attend a meeting or deliver leaflets, but we will continue door-knocking and listening to residents in the May council elections and future elections.

“That is what he would have wanted - for us all to keep on keeping on with the fight for social justice and a fairer, more equitable world.”

Lloyd Russell-Moyle, Labour MP for Brighton Kemptown, said he had lost a friend and that the local Labour Party had lost “a member of our family”.

He said: “Robert built a branch in Rottingdean Coastal, which turned one of the safest Tory wards in the city red.

“I know this is something he was so proud of and it’s something we all admired him greatly for.”

Mr Russell-Moyle recalled how Robert was a dedicated campaigner for the European Union and for electoral reform and said: “He almost made me look moderate on these issues - there wasn’t an EU rally without him proudly waving his banner”.

“Labour members will miss his calls asking them to attend a meeting or deliver leaflets and I will miss seeing him at his specially dedicated table in the office, which had the results of the by-election pinned above it.

“His legacy lives on and we will keep up the struggle for a Labour council.”

Peter Kyle, MP for Hove and member of the shadow cabinet, described him as a "wise and principled man".

"I was excited to see his council career unfold - he will be greatly missed by us all in Brighton and Hove Labour", he said.