TRIBUTES have been paid to journalist Harry Smith after his family announced he had passed away last week.

The former STV Westminster correspondent and Channel 4 contributor died suddenly on Friday morning, his family said on social media.

In a post, they wrote: “It’s so hard to believe his energy and sense of fun are gone.

“Many of you will have known him for his strong opinions and humour on here. He’ll be greatly missed by family, friends and colleagues.”

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said Smith’s death was “terribly sad news”. She posted: “Harry was a stalwart of Scottish and UK political reporting, and always a gentleman.

“My thoughts and condolences are with his family, friends and former colleagues.”

Across Twitter politicians and journalists expressed their sadness, with Joanna Cherry, John MacKay, Jonathan Freeland and Chris Mason among those to pay tribute.

Krishnan Guru-Murthy, anchor at Channel 4, where Smith often contributed, said: "I’m so sorry to hear this news. He will indeed be sorely missed.

"Was great to have him part of the C4N family in recent years after so long at ITN/STV.

"That’s a great picture you have posted of him. My best wishes and condolences."