Nicola Sturgeon leads tributes after veteran ITN Westminster correspondent Harry Smith dies suddenly aged 69
- Scottish political journalist Harry Smith has died aged 69, his family confirmed
- Nicola Sturgeon called him as a ‘stalwart of Scottish and UK political reporting’
- Harry started out in local newspapers before landing roles at the BBC and ITN
- He had been the Westminster Correspondent for STV channel since 2007
The Westminster correspondent Harry Smith has died at the age of 69.
The family of the beloved journalist confirmed his ‘very sad’ death which happened ‘suddenly’ on Friday morning.
Harry had been working for Scotland’s STV channel as their Westminster Correspondent since 2007.
The family today said in a statement: ‘From Harry’s family: Very sadly Harry died suddenly early on Friday morning.
Westminster correspondent Harry Smith has died at the age of 69, his family have confirmed. Harry started out in journalism in the 1960s, and had worked for ITN, the BBC, STV and several newspapers
‘It’s so hard to believe his energy and sense of fun are gone. Many of you will have known him for his strong opinions and humour on here. He’ll be greatly missed by family, friends and colleagues.’
Scotland’s First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, had paid tribute to Harry, describing him as ‘always a gentleman’.
‘This is terribly sad news. Harry was a stalwart of Scottish and UK political reporting, and always a gentleman. My thoughts and condolences are with his family, friends and former colleagues,’ she said.
Harry, who was born in 1951, also spent time working for ITV, Channel 4 and Al Jazeera during his career.
He began his career in 1969 as editor of local newspaper Forfar Dispatch, before moving to Bristol to work as a reporter for the Western Daily.
His career later took him back to his native Scotland in 1979, with a job at Radio Forth, before he joined the BBC a year later.
Harry also spent time as ITN News’ Home Affair Correspondent, before leaving in 2007 when he joined STV as their Westminster Correspondent.
Colleagues and friends from over the years have paid their condolences after hearing news of his death.
STV’s North Editor Donald J MacDonald said: ‘Devastating news. Sad and shocked to learn of sudden death of TV reporter Harry Smith.
‘A consummate professional who worked at STV for many years, as well as a number of other news outlets. He began his career at “Forfar Dispatch” and was a passionate advocate of regional news.’
The Mail’s Michael Crick, who previously worked at ITN and Channel 4 said: ‘What awful news. Harry Smith was a great colleague who never stopped working, and an excellent reporter with a great sense of fun and mischief. He will be much missed.’
BBC Scotland’s Laura Maxwell added: ‘I’ve never heard a bad word said about Harry Smith, which is unusual in this trade. A wonderful journalist.’