TRIBUTES have been paid to Tom Nairn, who has died aged 90.

Nicola Sturgeon described him as one of the "greatest thinkers, political theorists and intellectuals that Scotland has ever produced."

A statement issued on behalf of his family was released on Saturday night. It read: "We are heartbroken to announce the death of Tom Nairn.

“Aged 90, Tom had been poorly for some years. He died peacefully after a fall, on Saturday morning, 21 January.

“He leaves his partner Millicent Petrie, two children Rachel and Greig and a granddaughter, Harley.”

HeraldScotland:

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon tweeted: "Very sorry to hear that Tom Nairn has died. He was one of the greatest thinkers, political theorists and intellectuals that Scotland has ever produced - and certainly one of the leading and most respected voices of civic nationalism. My condolences to his loved ones."

Alex Salmond said his scholarship was vital "in providing the intellectual base which turned Scottish nationalism from a romantic notion to a powerful left wing challenge to the British state."

He added: "I am part of the generation so influenced by his work & he was my choice to deliver the Edinburgh lecture in 2008.

"His contribution that night was memorable, so much so that I borrow some of its best phrases to this day. Condolences to Tom’s family & his legion of admirers."

READ MORE: From 2016: The big interview: Tom Nairn

The writer David Greig described him as "Scotland's intellectual engine of civic contemporary nationalism."

He added: "His critique of UKania, monarchy, nostalgia and markets couldn't be more relevant now: a giant upon whose capacious shoulders great swathes of Scottish thinkers stand."

Former prime minister Gordon Brown tweeted: "I am sad to hear of the death of Tom Nairn. A great writer, thinker, intellectual and good man.

"He disagreed with me on many things but his books and scholarship will long be remembered. My thoughts are with Millicent and family."

Professor Nairn was born in Freuchie, in Fife, in 1932. He studied philosophy in Edinburgh before moving to Oxford, where he was briefly taught by the novelist Iris Murdoch.

He returned to Scotland in the 1970s as the debate over independence was gathering pace.

He made his name in the 1970s with his book, The Break-Up Of Britain.