His Majesty’s Government of Gibraltar has said it is saddened to learn of the passing of former Government Minister Ernest Britto OBE ED KMCO.
Ernest Britto became a Member of Parliament in 1988 and later went on to serve as a Minister in the GSD Government between 1996 and 2011, during which time he was responsible for, amongst other things, Health, the Environment and Sports and Leisure. In 2014, Mr Britto was also made Honorary Colonel for the Royal Gibraltar Regiment.
The Deputy Chief Minister, the Hon Dr Joseph Garcia MP, said: “I was very sorry to hear that Ernest Britto has passed away. I considered him a friend even though we sat on opposite sides of the House ever since I was first elected in 1999 until he retired in 2011. I travelled with him on my very first Commonwealth Parliamentary Association conference where we struck a friendship which continued throughout his time in Parliament. Indeed, he would sometimes telephone me, even though I was in Opposition, in order to discuss issues. In this unique way and with his personal touch, he removed the sting from politics to concentrate purely on the political. My most sincere condolences to his family.”
The Chief Minister, the Hon Fabian Picardo KC MP, said: “I am deeply saddened to learn this morning of the passing of Ernest Britto. Ernest was a kind and charming man who dedicated 23 years of his life as a Member of Parliament, 16 years of which he spent as a Government Minister. Before that, Ernest was Commanding Officer of the Royal Gibraltar Regiment and also President of the Gibraltar Commonwealth Games Association and was a very well known and loved member of our community. I always found a friend in Ernest beyond politics. He taught me, more than most, that partisan differences should not keep us apart at a personal level. On behalf of the Government and People of Gibraltar I express my most heartfelt condolences to his family and friends.”