ASH Regan has said that she would refuse to return the Stone of Destiny to England for King Charles’s coronation.

The SNP leadership hopeful said she would stop the transfer of the ancient artefact should she become first minister, saying that it needs to stay in its “rightful place”.

This comes after Alex Salmond told Sky News he doesn’t think the Scottish Government should allow the historic stone – famously stolen by the English in 1296 – to be returned to Westminster.

The stone was officially returned to Scotland in 1996, taking its place in Edinburgh Castle’s Crown Room.

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Prior to this, the stone was stolen in 1950 by Scottish students who left it on the altar of Arbroath Abbey, where it was later taken back to London.

Following the announcement of the date for Charles’s coronation, a debate over where the stone should be kept resurfaced with more than 3000 people signing a petition calling for it to remain in Scotland.

Speaking to the Scottish Mail On Sunday, Regan confirmed she would block its transportation if made first minister.

She said: "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.

“This would be a fitting tribute to the stone’s significance in Scottish history, while still honouring the traditions of the United Kingdom of the crowns.”

The National:

Her comments enraged Conservative external affairs and culture spokesman Donald Cameron who 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.”