Tributes are pouring in for Joe Lobenstein MBE, a leading figure in the Stamford Hill community, who died yesterday at the age of 88.

Mr Lobenstein was a Conservative councillor for four decades, and was at times the only opposition councillor facing a 59-strong Labour Group and Hackney’s first Orthodox Jewish mayor.

In 1997 Lobenstein was awarded the Freedom of the Borough and was made an MBE in 1980.

The 88-year-old had also been vice-president of the Union of Orthodox Hebrew Congregations and president of the Adath Yisroel Synagogue.

He and his family fled Nazi Germany in 1939, and moved into a rented attic in Bethune Road.

Leading the tributes on social media MP for Hackney North Diane Abbott tweeted:

Rabbi Osher Schapiro, founder and Director of charity Kol Boniach also paid tribute to his “close friend”.

Town hall colleagues from across the political spectrum offered their condolences.

Mayor of Hackney Jules Pipe said: “Joe played a very significant role in Hackney life for many years, as a councillor, as the borough’s civic mayor for four years, within the Hackney Conservative party, and of course at the heart of Hackney’s Charedi Jewish community.

“He gave a great deal to the borough and his community, and I would like to offer my personal condolences to his family.”

Former Labour councillor Luke Akehurst wrote on Twitter: