A FORMER Portsmouth MP who represented the city for 18 years has died.
Peter Griffiths represented Portsmouth North between 1979 and 1997 until he was beaten by Labour’s Syd Rapson.
Born in May 1928, Mr Griffiths was a school teacher and headmaster before turning to politics, first as a councillor in Smethwick in the West Midlands before being elected to Parliament in 1964.
In 1966 he wrote A Question of Colour? where he claimed to have no prejudice on the grounds of race.
But during his first stint in Parliament, he became associated with a hard-right wing agenda. After more than 10 years outside of Westminster, he was once again elected – this time to represent Portsmouth North.
Mike Hancock, MP for Portsmouth South, who was an MP for part of Mr Griffiths’ stint, said: ’I am sorry he has died. I worked with him on joint issues and he always did what he thought was best for Portsmouth.’
Current Portsmouth North MP Penny Mordaunt added: ‘When he was MP I was a child but knew him well as his children, John and Anne, went to Victoryland Theatre School with me. My thoughts are with his family and friends.’
Councillor John Ferrett, is Labour’s prospective candidate for the constituency. He said: ‘He was pretty right wing. I don’t think he had a particular affinity to the city.
‘I remember writing to him about the poll tax and he sent me a rather rude reply. It was that sort of Conservatism that made me join the Labour Party.’
Councillor Donna Jones, deputy chairman of the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Conservative Party said: ‘He was a very well-respected MP.’
Mr Griffiths married Jeannette Rubery in 1962. They had two children.
His funeral will take place at Church of the Holy Spirit in Fawcett Road, Southsea, at 11am on Friday, December 6. Family flowers only. Donations for Arthritis Research UK c/o Barrells Funeral Directors in Portsmouth.