Updated 6.50pm - Added IĠM statement
Former Labour Party minister and broadcaster Joe Grima has died aged 80.
Mr Grima was the CEO of the Malta Broadcasting Authority in the early 1970s before turning to politics. After winning a parliamentary seat in 1976, he served as then-Prime Minister Dom Mintoff's special envoy to various countries, before serving as Industry Minister and Tourism Minister in the 1980s.
His 40-year broadcasting career saw him present shows for the Rediffusion Company, Radio Malta and later on PN and PL TV stations.
The Żejtun-born Mr Grima quit politics in 1992 to focus on his radio station Live FM. In 1998 the radio station, together with Mr Grima's home and car, were set alight.
Mr Grima, who served as Malta's envoy to the World Tourism Organisation in recent years, stepped down from the role last May after making controversial comments about London mayor Sadiq Khan.
In a tweet, Prime Minister Joseph Muscat said that he was saddened to hear about Mr Grima's passing.
The Labour Party paid tribute to Mr Grima and said he had played an important role in establishing Malta as a tourism destination.
In a brief statement, the Nationalist Party also offered Mr Grima's family its condolences.
The Institute of Maltese Journalists paid tribute to Mr Grima, noting that he was one of Malta's first newscasters as well as the first person to broadcast a discussion programme online locally.
Mr Grima was due to turn 81 tomorrow.
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