Debate in the council chamber was halted “as a mark of respect” for the late councillor Pat Egan, who died on Saturday after months of illness.

Councillors held a minute’s silence from 7.30pm at last night’s full council meeting, before deciding to postpone proceedings.

The Mayor of Haringey, Councillor Kaushika Amin, announced that the council would hold a civic memorial in August to remember Cllr Egan.

She said: “Pat was a man of strong character, in the old-fashioned sense of the word. He had very strong values and principles, in this case Catholic and Labour.

"He was passionate about education being the route to improve the lives of our children.

“Pat was very committed to his wife, children and the whole family. To me he was a very good friend, a source of kind support and critical when necessary.

“In his last text message to me on Tuesday he said: ‘When you meet with triumph and disaster, treat both imposters the same.’ The literary among you will know where that comes from.

“I know Pat did not like pomp and ceremony, but the council is rightly organising a civic memorial for him in August.

"I would ask people please to keep their tributes until then. All members of this council from all sides want to pay their respects and send their condolences to his family.”

Cllr George Meehan, who served as a colleague of Cllr Egan in the Woodside ward, said he had lost a friend.

He said: “I know that Pat was held in the highest esteem by everybody in this council. Pat set himself very high standards and he expected all the rest of us to do the same.

“He didn’t have any airs or graces, and he called it how he saw it. With Pat there was only one way and that was to play it straight."

He added: "He was a very hard-working, caring and passionate councillor and the people of Woodside ward will certainly miss him.

“He was a very committed member of the Labour party, and an extremely great campaigner. I know I have lost a very good friend.”

Cllr Claire Kober, leader of the council, remembered a "dependable", "straight-talking" and "comradely" man.