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Stone of Destiny should not be sent for coronation, says Salmond

The historic Stone of Destiny should not be used in the King’s coronation, former first minister Alex Salmond has said.

The throne of Elizabeth II sat atop the stone during her coronation in 1953 but it was returned to Scotland more than a quarter of a century ago.

The stone was used to inaugurate Scottish royalty for centuries, before being removed from the country by King Edward I in 1296. It was returned 700 years later.

Historic Environment Scotland said last year the stone would be moved to London before returning north of the border after the coronation.

Former first minister and Alba Party leader Alex Salmond has called on the Scottish Government to reject any request to send the stone out of the country.

Speaking to Sky News, Mr Salmond admitted it was not his “most serious policy”, but added: “In a context where the legitimate desire of the people of Scotland to at least have a referendum is being denied by the Westminster government, I don’t really see why any Scottish Government should just meekly say we’ll give you back the property which you stole 700 years ago.”

Asked if he would urge the winner of the SNP leadership race to keep the stone in Scotland, he added: “The authorities will probably whip it away before the contest is finalised, that’s the kind of underhand trick where it was stolen in the first place.”