JEREMY Corbyn has led the tributes to Tam Dalyell, who has died aged 84, saying the Scottish politician, 43 years an MP, was a “titan of parliamentary scrutiny”.

Nicola Sturgeon, the First Minister, described him as "a real giant of Scottish politics".

Gordon Brown, the former Labour Prime Minister, said Mr Dalyell was one of the “truly great characters of Scottish political life” and was widely respected and admired for his insight, integrity and eloquence.

Read more: Former Labour MP Tam Dalyell dies aged 84

A family statement said the parliamentary veteran died after a short illness.

"Tam Dalyell devoted his life to public service in Scotland, in the UK and beyond. He made an enormous contribution in many spheres. He will be much missed both publicly, and more importantly personally, by his family and many friends," said the statement.

Tributes poured in for the politician who was the scourge of Margaret Thatcher over the controversial sinking of the Argentinian warship, the General Belgrano, during the Falklands War.

A fervent opponent of Scottish devolution, he also became famous for posing the constitutional challenge - why should Scottish MPs at Westminster be able to vote on English matters when English MPs would be unable to vote on Scottish issues – which became known as the "West Lothian Question".

He was a frequent critic of Britain's military interventions overseas. One of his first campaigns was against Labour Prime Minister Harold Wilson's plans to hand over a coral atoll in the Indian Ocean to the United States to use as an airstrip.

A supporter of the Troops Out campaign in Northern Ireland, he branded Tony Blair a war criminal over the invasion of Iraq.

Read more: Former Labour MP Tam Dalyell dies aged 84

However, he was most famous for his remorseless harrying of Mrs Thatcher over the sinking of the Belgrano in 1982 and was twice expelled from the Commons chamber for calling her a liar.

In more recent times, Mr Dalyell was persistent in trying to uncover the truth about the Lockerbie bombing and consistently said he did not believe Libyan leader Colonel Gaddafi was responsible for Britain’s worst terrorist outrage.

An Old Etonian who inherited a baronetcy - although he never used the title - Mr Dalyell lived at the family’s ancestral home of The Binns in Linlithgow and made an unlikely Labour leftwinger.

First elected as MP for West Lothian in Scotland in 1962, he made a name for himself for his dogged pursuit of a series of often unfashionable causes in which he passionately believed.

Over the years, his tenacious questioning made him a thorn in the side of successive Prime Ministers, both Labour and Conservative.

In 2001 he became the Father of the House as its longest-standing member. He finally stood down in 2005.

Tributes flowed in on news of his death from across the political divide.

Mr Corbyn said: “I'm so sad to hear of the death of my good friend and comrade Tam Dalyell. Our thoughts are with his family.

“Tam was a titan of parliamentary scrutiny, fearless in pursuit of the truth. From Iraq to the miners’ strike, he doggedly fought to expose official wrongdoing and cover-ups.

Read more: Former Labour MP Tam Dalyell dies aged 84

“The title of his autobiography summed Tam up to a tee: 'The Importance of Being Awkward.'

“But he was much more than that. Tam was an outstanding parliamentarian, a socialist and internationalist, and a champion of the underdog, here and abroad.”

Kezia Dugdale, the Scottish Labour leader, said: “The Labour movement has lost a giant. Tam Dalyell was one of the most influential MPs, writers and thinkers of his generation.”

She added: “A man of peace and a man of principle, his legacy will live on in the Commons for decades to come.”

Ruth Davidson, the Scottish Conservative leader, said: “Tam Dalyell will be remembered as one of this country's greatest ever campaigning MPs,” adding: “He was unique; thoughtful, gracious, decent and utterly tenacious.”

David Mundell, the Scottish Secretary, tweeted: “So sorry to hear that Tam Dalyell has passed away. One of the true giants of Scottish politics.”