THE First Minister Humza Yousaf has led tributes to veteran SNP campaigner Gerry Fisher following his death.

During a meeting of SNP party delegates in Perth on Saturday, Yousaf announced the passing of Fisher - a well-known and much loved figure in the party. 

He said that Fisher was "SNP through and through" and implored members to continue his work on delivering an independent Scotland. 

"It was regularly said at SNP conferences that the event did not start until Fisher spoke," said Yousaf. 

Former first minister Nicola Sturgeon has also paid tribute to Fisher, saying she will "miss him hugely." 

On X/Twitter, she wrote:  "I am deeply sad and upset to learn of the death of @theSNP  legend, Gerry Fisher.

"Gerry was one of a kind - clever, thrawn, stubborn, a stickler for (his interpretation of) the party constitution (as anyone whoever attended a party conference will attest to) and a man of great principle.

"He was also unfailingly kind to me.

"We disagreed on a few things - not least the question of an independent Scotland’s membership of the EU - but we agreed on so much more.

"During my leadership, he would phone me periodically with words of advice and encouragement - and the occasional criticism too.

"Even when it was the latter, though, I never failed to be cheered up by the sound of his voice. I will miss him hugely." 

Fisher had been a member of the SNP for decades and was believed to have missed just one party conference since his first in 1969. 

SNP National Secretary Lorna Finn posted a photograph of herself and Fisher at one such conference. 

"So sad to hear of Gerry Fisher's passing," she said. 

"His presence at @theSNP conferences was iconic. Without him, it won't be the same.

"So many dedicated souls have left us, but their dreams of independence live on in us. We owe it to them to finish what they have worked a lifetime for." 

John Swinney added that he would miss Fisher's habit of challenging elected SNP politicians on their priorities. 

"Very sorry to hear this sad news about Gerry Fisher," he said. 

"I wrestled with Gerry for many years on policy, priorities, constitution and rules but we were always firm and dear friends. I mourn the loss of a true stalwart of @theSNP"