A candidate in the running to be the next leader of the SNP has supported Alex Salmond’s suggestion that King Charles should be denied the Stone of Scone for his coronation in May. Outsider Ash Regan has promised to prevent the historic stone being transferred to London for the coronation, if she becomes First Minister of Scotland.

The Scottish nationalist said the Stone of Scone, also known as the Stone of Destiny, is already in its “rightful place” in Scotland.

The monarchs of Scotland were once crowned on the stone. However in 1296 it was seized by Edward I and taken across the border. It returned to Scotland in 1996.

In order to play its role in the coronation in May, the stone will be temporarily transported to the capital, before once more being returned.

Mr Salmond, the former SNP leader and now leader of Alba, said the stone should not be sent to London in protest at the denial of another independence referendum.

Ms Regan has said she supports that position. The MSP for Edinburgh Eastern told the Scottish Mail on Sunday: “While I appreciate the tradition of using the Stone of Destiny in the Coronation, I believe it should remain in Scotland as an ancient symbol of our national heritage.

“I suggest a compromise in which the aspects of the Coronation ceremony involving the Stone take place in Scotland so that it can be celebrated in its rightful place, without needing to be removed from the country.

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Scottish Conservatives constitution spokesman said: “Ash Regan’s parroting of Alex Salmond’s nonsense really is the silliest appeal to the extremes of the nationalist movement.

“Anyone who knows anything about the stone’s history can see why it is appropriate for it to be at the King’s coronation and will see it as a mark of Scotland’s importance in a great event for the whole of the United Kingdom”, the Telegraph reported.

Alex Salmond met King Charles several times when he was First Minister and the Queen Elizabeth II was still on the throne.

Mr Salmond was replaced by Nicola Sturgeon as SNP leader in 2014.

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