A DEPTFORD councillor who was recently given six months leave due to illness has passed away.

Councillor Sam Owolabi-Oluyole, who represented Evelyn ward for Lewisham Council, died on January 3, it has been confirmed.

The councillor, who was first elected back in 2002, was granted six months paid leave at late last year due to an undisclosed illness.

Leader of the Lewisham Labour Group Councillor Alan Hall said: "Our thoughts are with the family at the moment."

Mayor of Lewisham Sir Steve Bullock said: “Councillor Sam Owolabi-Oluyole served the residents of Evelyn ward diligently for many years and has been a strong advocate for the needs of Deptford.

"He’s also taken an active part in debates on borough wide issues at the town hall. His untimely death is a great loss to our community and, in particular, our thoughts are with his family at this very difficult time."

A by-election for Cllr Owolabi-Oluyole's seat will not be held due to the upcoming local elections on May 22.