One of the few surviving close associates of Winston Churchill has marked his 90th birthday.

This week Epping Forest MP Dame Eleanor Laing helped John Redfern celebrate entering his tenth decade.

The long-time Chigwell resident, who recently moved to Theydon Bois, joined the Young Conservative party in the late 1940s, when Winston Churchill was still serving as a local MP.

He would go on to work with the war-time prime minister for a number of years.

Dame Eleanor said: "John Redfern is an amazing man. He has served our local community for 82 years since he first joined the choir of St Mary’s Church in Chigwell at the age of eight.

"He is one of the few people left who has great tales to tell of his personal encounters with Churchill.

"John’s service to the Conservative Party is unsurpassed. He served as the local Treasurer for well over sixty years.

“He and his wife also organised and supported a great many local charities and good causes and their children and grandchildren have followed in their footsteps.

“It was wonderful to celebrate John’s 90th Birthday with his family and many friends on Saturday.

"He made a very witty speech and everyone really enjoyed the occasion.”