Harry was a “true gentleman”.

COUNCILLORS lined up to pay tribute to their former colleague and friend.

Speaking at a full council meeting, councillors described Harry Clouth as a “father figure” and “true gentleman”.

A minute’s silence was held as a mark of respect before members took to their feet inside the council chamber at the Civic Centre to pay their respects.

Labour councillor Peter Jackson said: “Harry was the driving force behind me getting involved in the Labour Party and the council.

“He helped and supported me and everybody knows that he gave great service to Hartlepool and Cleveland.

“Harry was a proud man with great integrity.

“He treated me like a son and I will miss him as I’m sure everybody else will.

“I’m sure his memory will last with us for a long time, he was a great man.”

Fellow Labour councillor Sheila Griffin added: “He was a true gentleman and I’m very sorry to hear of his death.”

Mr Clouth was Labour councillor Rob Cook’s former boss in the ship yard and he described him as a “great guy, very genuine, a gentleman”.

Coun Cook praised his sense of humour adding: “I suppose in a way he was like a father figure and he will be sadly missed by me and everybody else.”

Meanwhile, Conservative councillor George Morris praised his work as a governor at Hartlepool College of Further Education and said: “He was always very supportive.”