TRIBUTES have been paid to North Ayrshire's Conservative Party Chairman, Richard Wilkinson, after he passed away.

Richard, who served as a councillor in North Ayrshire, died last night, Tory MSP for West Scotland Jamie Greene confirmed. 

Richard was well known and respected across the political spectrum and already tributes have started to pour in. 

Jamie Greene said in a tweet: "Woke up to extremely sad news that my mentor, local party chairman, and the main reason I am doing the job I am today, passed away last night.

"Behind the theatre of politics, every party has hard working folk who work their whole lives for their beliefs. Rest in peace Richard."

North Ayrshire Labour Councillor Donald Reid added: "Sad to hear this, I was on council with Richard when the only Tory.

"A real gent and worked hard for his community and the common interest."