A long-standing politician will resign his seat ahead of local elections to allow a "younger person" to take on the role.

Rae Humberstone is a Labour councillor who has been serving the Blackbird Leys ward in Oxford but he will step down on Friday this week in approach of his 75th birthday.

Resignation of the armed forces and veterans champion opens up the seat to two new Labour candidates, with it already confirmed that the other ward councillor, Diko Walcott, will not be re-standing.

READ MORE: Amsterdam café set to open in Oxford city centre soon

The Labour councillor candidates for Blackbird Leys are cabinet member for housing Linda Smith and lord mayor Lubna Arshad.

Oxford Mail: Rae Humberstone and Susan Brown.Rae Humberstone and Susan Brown. (Image: Contribution.)

Mr Humberstone said: "I do feel that as I approach my 75th birthday it is time to stand aside for a younger person to take on the role.

“During my time on the council, I have had the great pleasure of serving alongside the late Val Smith, Barbara Gatehouse and Carole Roberts, who were all fellow councillors.

“It was also a matter of great personal pride and enjoyment to be able to serve the city as sheriff, deputy lord mayor and lord mayor.

"I shall miss my comrades on the city council but look forward to working with and for new Labour councillors for Blackbird Leys.”

Oxford Mail: Rae Humberstone.Rae Humberstone.

At Monday's full council meeting, Mr Humberstone also thanked councillors for putting up with his "lousy jokes".

He added: "Thank you each and every one of you and all the best for the future."

Susan Brown, leader of Oxford city council, said: “Rae has been a councillor since May 2005 and has always been a great advocate for the people of Blackbird Leys and Greater Leys.

"Rae has served them and the city of Oxford for many years and has taken up the highest offices we have as councillors, as sheriff, deputy lord mayor and lord mayor.

“He was always a very fair lord mayor, using his famous sense of humour to diffuse any difficulties and to bring people together.

Oxford Mail: Mr Humberstone previously served as lord mayor.Mr Humberstone previously served as lord mayor.

"We are all going to miss Rae but I’m confident that we will continue to see him and Bev at community events across our city.”

Mr Humberstone concluded: “It has been the privilege of my life to serve my local community in Blackbird Leys.

"I moved here when the Greater Leys estate was built, and my wife Bev and I have spent may happy years here.

"I have been so proud to be a Labour councillor for Blackbird Leys."

Local elections will take place on May 2.

Mr Humberstone would have been elected until 2026 had he not decided to stand down now.