AN “irreplacable” two-times Lord Mayor of York and long serving public figure in the city has died aged 78.

David Horton MBE JP was first elected to the city’s governing council in 1986 and held many civic posts. He ceased to sit as a councillor in 2015, but was elected an honorary alderman. He was also for many years a member of the York Bench of magistrates.

Alderman Horton died on Saturday after an illness, surrounded by his family.

The current Lord Mayor of York, Cllr Janet Looker, said: “There will be a lot of real sadness in York as people learn of the death of the former city councillor, and former Lord Mayor (twice) David Horton.

“David and I had been close colleagues on the city council and within the York Labour Party for many years. He was a consummate politician, full of passion on occasion, a man of total integrity and a great sense of humour.

“He was devoted to serving the city of York as a councillor, and was tireless in doing his very best for the people and the city he loved. Irreplaceable.”

Alderman Horton, of Copmanthorpe, represented Acomb Ward for many years.

He held several senior positions as cabinet later executive member and its opposition equivalent, and chaired the planning committee.

He was Lord Mayor in 2002/03 and in 2011/12. In 2012, he was host for the Queen in her Diamond Jubilee Year when she visited the city for the Maundy Thursday service at York Minster. Shortly afterwards, he was made an MBE for services to the community.

Outside public office, he was governor of Copmanthorpe Primary School and was involved in St Sampson’s Centre, the National Railway Museum and Pike Hills Golf Club, as well as the Campaign for Real Ale.