HE has been committed to politics for almost four decades.
Now former Portsmouth city councillor Jim Patey has been honoured for his long and outstanding service to the Labour Party.
Mr Patey picked up a national merit award at the party’s annual conference in Manchester.
He represented Paulsgrove as a councillor for 27 years until deciding to stand down at the local elections in May this year, but remains a member of Labour.
The 81-year-old joined the party 38 years ago and is best known for helping to raise £150,000 with his wife Joy towards the creation of the Patey Day Centre, in Cosham.
Their efforts came during his stint as the Lord Mayor of Portsmouth between 1992 and 1993.
Mr Patey was presented with a certificate by Labour Party leader Ed Miliband and its deputy leader Harriet Harman.
Mr Patey said: ‘You don’t expect that sort of recognition.
‘You feel quite humbled, and taken aback by it all, especially as I walked up the gangway up onto the stage with people applauding me.’
Asked why he has always remained committed to Labour, Mr Patey said: ‘In the early stages of my career I met people of all age groups, and you build that relationship with them.’
Mr Patey’s proud daughter, Julie Patey, 46, of Portchester, went along to show her support.
She said: ‘It was a very proud moment.
‘It was the icing on the cake for his career. It was a huge achievement.
‘He has always been involved in the community and it’s nice that he was rewarded something for all of those years of work.’
Mr Patey, also the former leader of Portsmouth’s Labour group, was put forward for the award by former Portsmouth West and Portsmouth North MP Lord Judd, with whom he has worked during his career.
Councillor John Ferrett, Labour group leader, said: ‘This is a very much deserved award from the Labour party nationally.
‘Jim Patey, certainly in recent times, kept the Labour flag flying in the council, at a time when we were faced with losing all of our councillors.’