Richmond Council's leader is retiring after more than 30 years representing residents.

Nicholas True - the council leader since 2010, the same year he was made a life peer - has announced he will not seek to be re-elected to the council next year and has effectively announced his retirement from the Council.

He will step down as leader of Richmond Council on July 4 and step aside for a successor to be elected beyond next May.

The announcement was made at the Cabinet meeting last night (June 22).

Lord True said: “This will leave a big hole in my life. The greatest honour I have ever had was to be trusted by local people and my colleagues to lead this special community over seven years.

“My aim has never been self-promotion, simply to give the best, most dispassionate public service in my power day by day.

“While never belittling the need for challenge and counter-challenge in a democracy, I sought to look beyond party interest to take the best decisions in the public interest.

“Many of them have been popular, some unpopular, but all were based in solid principle: never promising what we could not achieve, honouring every promise given and trying each day to rise above and negotiate and follow the creative path, respecting the wonderful inheritance of our community borough, but working innovatively for the future.”

Conservative Lord True’s time with Richmond Council first began in 1986 when he was first elected as a Councillor for East Sheen Ward. He would later become Deputy Leader of the Opposition for four years, between 1998 and 2002, before progressing to Deputy Leader of the Council and then Leader of the Opposition until 2010 in an eight-year span.

He also worked as deputy head of Prime Minister John Major's policy unit from 1991 to 1995 before become a special advisor in the PM's office. John Mayor has said that Lord True was his favourite speechwriter.

He and his wife, Anna-Marie, who is a local nursery school principal, have lived in East Sheen for over 35 years.