ALEX Salmond has suggested the SNP should help fund the Scottish Independence Convention (SIC), the non-party body committed to making Scotland an independent country.

The former First Minister made the comment in an interview with Elaine C Smith during his show at the Edinburgh Fringe, according to the CommonSpace website.

Smith, the co-convener of the SIC, was a guest for Monday’s show, and Salmond reportedly told her that with no elections to fight in the immediate future, the SNP should focus on helping the wider independence movement.

The SIC is an umbrella group for the Scottish independence movement. Included under its auspices are the SNP, the Scottish Greens and the SSP, as well as non-party organisations such as Common Weal, the Radical Independence Campaign and Women for Independence.

Along with Smith, the writer and activist Pat Kane is also co-convenor, and its vice-convenors are Richard Walker, consulting editor of The National, and Lesley Riddoch, a columnist for The National.

In February, the SIC agreed upon a new constitution, confirming its non-partisan nature and its dedication to independence above any political party.

Smith confirmed Salmond’s remarks to CommonSpace.

She said they were made “on the basis that, with no elections coming up, the campaign must continue, and the SIC would be a good vehicle to embody that.”

She added: “He said that, obviously when you have an election campaign, that has to take priority over the wider campaign, but at this stage, since none are pending, this would be the time for that money to be put to really good use.”

Meanwhile, SNP MP Tommy Sheppard appears to have become the face of a new drive by the SNP to advance the fight for independence.

In a message sent out by the SNP under its “mobilise Scot” initiative, Sheppard calls for supporters of independence to come forward with ideas and expertise.

“The Yes movement’s greatest strengths are our vibrancy and depth of talent. We’re all united in our belief that decisions made here in Scotland, not for us at Westminster, offer the best future for our country,” he says.

“So while the Scottish Government gets on with the job of delivering the best public services in the UK … and is doing everything it can do to create a fairer country in which to live, work and raise a family, you know that we NEED the powers of independence to make Scotland the country we all know it can be.”

A spokesperson for the SNP said: “The Yes movement is bigger than the SNP and we’re keen capture its vibrancy and depth of talent.”