Glasgow SNP councillor Allison Hunter has died.

The former Glasgow SNP group leader passed away last night after a long battle with non Hodgkins lymphoma.

She was a long standing SNP member with more than 40 years experience and served as election agent to Jim Sillars in his 1988 by election victory in Govan.

She became a councillor for the Govan ward in 2007 and served for six years and as group leader for a period after her predecessor James Dornan became an MSP.

Tributes were paid by First Minister Alex Salmond and Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.

Mr Salmond said: ""Allison Hunter was a party stalwart and much-loved person - her contribution over a period of many years was immense, and she was at the heart of some of the SNP's most successful and important campaigns.

"As the party's full-time National Organiser, Allison built the operation which went on to achieve such spectacular results across Scotland, and since 2007 she served her beloved city of Glasgow as a councillor with dedication and distinction.

"Allison will be sorely missed, not just by her countless friends in the SNP but right across the political spectrum.

"My deepest condolences go to Allison's husband Ian; children Mhairi, Fiona and Roy; and grandchildren Kathleen and Andrew."

Ms Sturgeon said: "Allison fought her illness bravely to the end, and my thoughts are with Ian, Mhairi, Fiona and Roy at this desperately sad time.

"Alison's contribution to the national success the SNP has enjoyed in recent years cannot be overstated. As National Organiser, she trained and mentored so many of us who are now MSPs, councillors and organisers.

"Allison's leadership of Glasgow SNP in the 2012 local elections was absolutely exemplary, and it is a measure of her dedication to the cause she loved that she took on this responsibility despite the health challenges she had already faced.

"I personally owe Allison an enormous debt of gratitude. She was a constant source of advice and support.

"It is no exaggeration to say that I would not have won Govan in 2007 without the guidance of Allison as my election agent. It was a source of great pride to all of us in Govan SNP that, having also served as agent to Jim Sillars in the 1988 by-election, she was elected as councillor for Govan in 2007. Allison was a first class councillor and her constituents will miss her dearly.

"I will miss Allison as a friend, colleague, mentor, election agent and much-loved convener of the Glasgow Southside SNP Constituency Association."

Hunter is survived by her husband Ian, her sister Anne, her children Fiona, Mhairi and Roy and her grandchildren Kathleen and Andrew.