A PROMINENT Lewisham anti-racist campaigner who played an “outstanding” role making the borough a “better, fairer place” has passed away.

MBE-awarded Asquith Gibbes, 79, died in the early hours of July 16 after a long illness and has been praised as a man of the “highest integrity” by the Mayor of Lewisham.

Among his many achievements, he advised the Home Office on race equality issues, acted as the principal race equality officer for Lewisham and founded the Stop and Search Group and Lewisham Police Independent Advisory Group.

The chair of Lewisham Community Police Consultative Group for 18 years, he gained an MBE for services to the police and community in December 2009.

Lewisham Borough Commander Chief Superintendent Russell Nyman said: "I was saddened to hear of the death of Asquith Gibbes on Tuesday morning.

"He played a crucial role in the development of structures for police and community consultation on Lewisham Borough.

"We are committed to building on his legacy of continuous improvement in our work to help us to continue to understand the communities of Lewisham Borough who we serve."

Mr Gibbes also chaired Millwall Anti-Racist Trust and served as the Honorary President of Race Equality Action Lewisham (REAL).

Mayor of Lewisham Sir Steve Bullock said: "I have known Asquith Gibbes for more than 30 years and during that time he played an outstanding role in making Lewisham a place where everyone is treated fairly whatever their colour or creed.

"He was a man of the highest integrity who would challenge unfairness wherever he found it but was always ready to assist those who were trying to make our borough a better place for all.”

He added: "He will be greatly missed by all who knew him."

Did you know Asquith Gibbes? Contact the newsroom to pay tribute on 01689 885703.