THE SNP legend Sir George Reid has delivered a thinly-veiled warning against careerism to the current generation of the party’s politicians.

The former Holyrood Presiding Officer said people should bear in mind that politics was not a career but a vocation, adding: “Remember that.”

SIr George was speaking at the start of the SNP’s Independence Convention in Dundee, where he gave a moving tribute to Winnie Ewing.

The former MP, MEP and MSP, whose win in the 1967 Hamilton byelection was a turning point for the SNP, died at the age of 93 on Thursday.

Sir George, the last remaining member of the group of seven SNP MPs elected in February 1974 and of the 11 elected in October 1974, said: “Occasionally, just very occasionally, a person emerges from the murk of daily life with the vision and determination to change things for good, to set the country on a different path. That was Winine.”

He said: “Politics for Winnie was not a career. It was a vocation. Remember that.

“‘How are you settling in?’ said [Labour PM] Harold Wilson in 1974. ‘I’m not here to settle in,’ said Winnie. ‘I’m here to settle up.’”

The remark was applauded by delegates.

Sir Georgewent on: “Winnie didn’t live to see independence. Did that bother her, I once asked. No, she said, not at all. It’s a process.

“Don’t make excuses, make improvements

“Do things with the people of Scotland, not to the people.

“Concentrate on those who are still to be convinced. Keep right on to the end of the road.

“You all are, you know, the legacy of a woman who changed a nation.

“Winnie lives on through you. Yes, memories are important. But as her long life shows, what really matters are actions and choices.”

The Convention was also shown a memorial video to Ms Ewing, voiced by former leader John Swinney, with and contributions for the party's depute leader, Keith Brown and Hamilton MSP Christina McKelvie.

Ms McKelvie said: “The legacy Winnie Ewing leaves behind is the stuff of legends; from her pivotal by-election win in 1967 spearheading decades of SNP electoral victories, to reconvening the Scottish Parliament in 1999 for the first time since 1707 – her influence on Scottish History and leading role in the independence movement cannot be understated.

“Everyone in the SNP family and the wider independence movement owes a debt of gratitude to Winnie for her determination, her vision and her passion, which went on to inspire generations of activists, campaigners and parliamentarians taking forth the message she first championed; stop the world, Scotland wants to get on!”

In his speech, First Minister Humza Yousaf said: “Winnie Ewing’s passing has – for all of us – brought to the fore many memories and emotions over the last couple of days.

“As well as the sense of loss, I’ve been thinking of many people down the years who fought their whole lives for an independent Scotland - but sadly haven’t lived to see it.

“People like Winnie, like George Leslie. And like my mentor and friend the late, great Bashir Ahmad.But when we are so close to achieving our goal. We must take strength from them and their legacy to push on until we win.

“For our families. For our friends. For our communities. And for our country.

“That’s who we’re doing this for.

“And for our children, our future generations - those yet to be born, who will live in an independent Scotland and decide how they want it to be run.”