EALING'S top councillor has said a retiring opposition leader "will be missed".

Councillor Jason Stacey, leader of Ealing Council, praised Councillor Sonika Nirwal after she announced she was stepping down from the council to spend more time with her family.

Cllr Stacey said: "I certainly understand Sonika's reasons for resigning and on behalf of the Conservatives, I wish her all the very best.

"Politically Sonika and I have fought each other hard, but personally we have always got on well.

"I know Sonika has the respect of all councillors from the different political groups, and her tough but friendly style will be missed at council meetings."