THE “missing” piece of the Stone of Destiny gifted to Alex Salmond in 2008 is in a cupboard at SNP headquarters, it has been claimed.

Multiple sources have confirmed to The National that they have seen a piece of the famous sandstone in the party’s HQ – although there is some uncertainty around whether it is the same piece given to Salmond.

According to files released earlier this month by the National Records of Scotland, the former first minister was given a fragment by Professor Neil MacCormick, whose father helped finance the stone’s return to Scotland from Westminster Abbey in 1950.

Salmond rejected claims that he still possessed the artefact after former Scottish secretary Michael Forsyth accused him of having “stolen” it.

The Alba party leader suggested officials may have put it in an “Aladdin’s Cave” cupboard of gifts at Bute House or the Scottish Government’s headquarters at St Andrew’s House – however, the Scottish Government rejected the claim.

READ MORE: The Stone of Destiny returns to Scotland in top secret trip

Now, an activist has told The National they’ve seen it at the SNP party HQ.

Stewart Duncan from Inverkeithing said he had been shown a “small fragment of sandstone” with a certificate of authenticity by a party staffer after the Time for Scotland rally outside Holyrood on the anniversary of leaving the EU in January 2023.

“They showed me around the office and as we were going through some storage cabinets and looking at election materials from over the years, they casually pulled out this clear plastic box that housed a small fragment of sandstone,” Duncan told The National.

“I was quite shocked that it was just tucked away in a cupboard. Incredible to see though.

“I can’t remember what the box looked like exactly but it had a certificate of some sort from the stonemason who had repaired the stone.”

The party member added: “Either that, or the SNP just happen to be in possession of another fragment of the stone that was also a gift from MacCormick and accompanied by a certificate of authenticity from the stonemason that put the stone back together.

“It sounds like the same bit of stone they are talking about.”

The National:

Former first minister Salmond had previously noted that the Scottish Government gave a fragment of the stone to be encased in the seat of Queen Elizabeth’s carriage for her Diamond Jubilee in 2011, but he did not know if it was the same one.

The SNP have been approached for comment.

In 1950, a group of Scottish students took the stone – also known as the Stone of Scone – back from London’s Westminster Abbey and placed it on the altar of Arbroath Abbey. It was understood to have been damaged and repaired.

There were rumours that copies of the stone had been made amidst the heist.

An SNP spokesperson said: “The SNP has a small stone chip in storage. It is claimed to be a fragment of the Stone of Scone but, much like the stone in Edinburgh Castle, its provenance has not been established.”