Former Kirklees Council leader Mehboob Khan is today quitting the authority after 19 years.
His decision to stand down, confirmed in an email to council officers this morning, comes just a year after he left Huddersfield to work in London.
He carried on as a councillor while living and working in the capital but says the time is now right to sever his links with Kirklees.
The Labour councillor left his leader post at the end of February last year but said he was persuaded to stay on as a Greenhead ward councillor by colleagues, to give them time to find a successor.
The 45-year-old politician is a political advisor at the Local Government Association with a specific role working with the London boroughs, the Mayor of London’s office and Westminster.
The decision means the local Labour party will need to find a candidate for the May local elections.
Clr Khan said: “I will always retain an interest in the politics of Kirklees and Huddersfield. We have some fantastic councillors in Kirklees, of all parties, doing a good job in difficult circumstances.
“It was always a rewarding job but there were many challenges, both as a ward councillor and as council leader.
“Not least among those were the horrific Birkby fire murders, with eight people killed, and the fact that we had local links to the terrible London 7/7 bombings.
“I always regarded my ward work as the number one priority and I tried to continue that while working in London. I always did what I could to help people in the Birkby and Greenhead wards, whether or not they voted for me”.
Clr Khan was first elected to the former Birkby ward in 1996 and was the first British-born person of Pakistani descent to serve on Kirklees Council.
He had worked in the family’s grocery business in Bradford Road for several years after leaving school.
Boundary changes in 2003 saw Birkby become part of the Greenhead ward and that same year Clr Khan became leader of the council’s Labour group, and subsequently the council.
He successfully held the Greenhead ward seat in May 2012, polling 3,838 votes - a huge margin over the second-placed Tory candidate with 708 votes.
He also became chairman of the West Yorkshire Fire Authority and vice chairman of the Local Government Association.