Tributes are being paid to a much-loved councillor and popular former mayor Adrian Knowles who died this morning.

Wandsworth Times:

Great courage: Friends and colleagues were moved by his positivity 

The Earlsfield councillor died following a battle with cancer.

Born to a deaf family, Councillor Knowles was fluent in sign language and used to work as a police and court interpreter.

He entered the history books in 2012 when he used sign language to formally accept the role of mayor.

Councillor Knowles was first elected in Roehampton in 2006. In 2010 he was made councillor in the renamed ward of Roehampton and Putney Heath.

In 2012 he served as mayor of Wandsworth and in 2014 was elected as councillor for Earlsfield.

People across the political spectrum have honoured him today.Wandsworth Times:

Background: Councillor Knowles was a physicist and qualified maths teacher

Wandsworth Council leader Ravi Govindia said: "Adrian was strongly committed to equality and fairness. He campaigned with zeal and conviction for his beliefs.

"He had an incredible sense humour and mischief which stood him in good stead when he became Mayor of Wandsworth. He brought gaiety and much fun to the office.

"In the last few years Adrian fought the cancer with much passion all the time not losing his humour, living each day to the fullest."

Wandsworth Times:

Responsibilities: Councillor Knowles became a specialist in social services, adult care and health, housing and licensing 

Cabinet member Councillor Steffi Sutters said: “Adrian was a close family friend as well as a colleague. He was able to touch hearts with his easy manner and to work across the political divide. He showed great courage throughout his illness. I am really going to miss him.”

West Hill councillor Malcolm Grimston said on Twitter: “RIP Councillor Adrian Knowles, always amazed at his courage and cheerfulness in his illness, real inspiration to us all.”

Meanwhile Councillor Jim Maddan OBE said: "I was proud to have had Adrian Knowles as a friend and colleague. My thoughts and prayers with Chris [his husband] at this sad time."

St Mary's Park councillor Melanie Hampton said: "Adrian Knowles will be much missed and our thoughts go to his husband Chris."

Balham councillor Caroline Usher said: "Adrian was such a kind, humourous and dedicated man. The courage he showed during his illness was amazing as was the support and love from his husband, Chris, and I am honoured to have known him both as a Councillor and as a very good friend."

Opposition leader Rex Osborn said: “Adrian was a really well respected councillor. He was known and liked by members on all sides of the council and I think the pinnacle of his career for him was being the mayor of Wandsworth in the year the Olympics came to the city.

“He was immensely proud of that and did a fantastic job of ambassador for our borough in that period. We are all very sad to hear of his loss and wish his partner and family well.”

Tooting MP Sadiq Khan MP said: "I am sure I speak on behalf of everyone in the borough by thanking him for his service. I was very sad to hear of his passing, and my thoughts are with all his family and friends at this difficult time."

More to follow.

If you would like to pay tribute to Councillor Knowles email