Former Speaker of the House and Member of Parliament, Dr Rupert Griffith, passed away has died at the age of 72.

Dr Griffith reportedly passed away on Wednesday night after a brief illness.

Dr Griffith served in politics for more than 2 decades, first as MP for Arima in 1991, on the platform of the People’s National Movement and ended his political career as MP for Toco/Sangre seat under the leadership of Kamla Persad-Bissessar in the People’s Partnership Coalition.

His political career will chiefly be remembered for his decision to cross the floor from the PNM to the UNC in 1997 to give the latter party control of the government after a 17-17-2 result.

Dr Griffith also presided over the Parliament as Speaker and Deputy Speaker.

Expressing condolences, Former PP/UNC MP and Energy Minister Kevin Ramnarine, in a social media post, described Dr Griffith as “…a man who will have a special place in the history of the politics of T&T”.

Ramnarine added that he will be remembered as “…a humble, quiet and steady figure in the Cabinet and Parliament.”