TRIBUTES have been pouring in following the death of former Port Glasgow and Kilmacolm MSP Trish Godman.

It was announced on Sunday night that the respected former Scottish Labour politician had died at the age of 79.

Ms Godman was MSP for West Renfrewshire, which included Port Glasgow and Kilmacolm, from 1999 until she retired in 2011.

She was also deputy presiding officer for eight years.

Inverclyde MSP Stuart McMillan said: "I always had a positive working relationship with Trish and remember some positive comments she gave me after I led a member's debate about shipbuilding.

"Trish will be sadly missed by many people.

"My thoughts and condolences go to her family, friends, colleagues and constituents she worked with."

Born and raised in Glasgow, Ms Godman left school at 15 and had various jobs before qualifying as a social worker, going on to help alcoholics and drug addicts.

She first entered politics as a Strathclyde regional councillor and then served as an elected member for the city council before becoming one of the first MSPs of the new Scottish Parliament in 1999.

Her husband, Dr Norman Godman, was MP for Greenock and Port Glasgow from 1983 to 1997 and for Greenock and Inverclyde from 1997 to 2001.

He died in June last year aged 81.

Inverclyde Council leader Stephen McCabe said he had known Trish since 1983.

She said: "I had just joined the party and it was mines and Norman's first election.

"She was a very good constituency MSP and represented the area well.

"Trish was highly-regarded in the party and the local community. "She was also a good colleague to work with and a nice lady.

"It's sad news that she's passed away, particularly so soon after Norman's death. "They were a very close couple - soulmates.

"In some senses, there's comfort in that she's now with him again."

Tributes have been pouring in from right across the political spectrum.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said: "Trish was a towering figure of the early years of the Scottish Parliament. "My deepest condolences to her family and friends."

Deputy first minister, John Swinney, added that Ms Godman was a 'fine parliamentarian' who served her constituents, party and parliament with 'devotion and distinction'.

Finance secretary, Derek Mackay, who is the current SNP MSP for Renfrewshire North and West, added that she was 'a decent and kind public servant'.

During her time in office, Ms Godman famously criticised the then Labour-Liberal Democrat led Scottish Executive for giving a fisheries protection vessel order to a yard in Poland instead of Ferguson's in Port Glasgow.

Scottish Labour leader, Richard Leonard, said: "She was a dedicated public servant and representative for people in Renfrewshire and Inverclyde. "My thoughts are with her family and friends."

Ms Godman is survived by her three sons.