Scottish Secretary is 'standing guard' over Stone of Destiny in London
Scottish Secretary Alister Jack is ‘standing guard’ over the Stone of Destiny in London to make sure ‘nationalists don’t steal it again’ – and that it gets back to Scotland, Tories are told
- The 125kg stone will be placed in the Coronation Chair for the enthronement
- Read more: Stone of Destiny’s journey from Edinburgh to Westminster Abbey
The Scottish Secretary of State is ‘standing guard’ over the Stone of Destiny in London to make sure ‘nationalists don’t steal it again’, Tories have been told.
Government minister Alister Jack addressed the Scottish Conservatives’ conference via video, with junior Scotland Office minister John Lamont appearing on stage to explain why his boss could not be there.
He told delegates at the conference that Mr Jack had been ‘unavoidably detained in London standing guard over the Stone of Scone ahead of its central role in the King’s coronation next week’.
The Stone of Destiny, also known as the Stone of Scone, was transported from its usual home in Edinburgh Castle to London earlier this week, where it will be used in the King’s coronation next weekend.
The stone, which weighs 125kg, will be placed in the Coronation Chair for the enthronement before being returned to Scotland afterwards.
The Stone of Destiny, which is also known as the Stone of Scone, lies in Edinburgh Castle
It will be transported to be placed beneath the Coronation Chair at Westminster Abbey for the coronation of King Charles III
Mr Lamont said: ‘Alister is primarily making sure that nationalists don’t steal it again. But he is also making absolutely certain that the stone does come back to Scotland.’
READ MORE: Ancient relic Stone of Destiny begins its journey to Westminster Abbey for King’s coronation
Mr Jack said he could not be in Glasgow for the Scottish Conservatives’ conference because he had ‘an important job elsewhere helping to prepare for the coronation of His Majesty the King’.
In a video address he told the conference: ‘I hope you’ll agree that as excuses go, that one passes muster.’
Mr Jack went on to use his speech to attack the SNP, claiming Scotland’s ruling party ‘are not a serious party of government, they are simply a campaign organisation for independence’.
He said the SNP-Green administration at Holyrood ‘isn’t just misguided, it is totally incompetent’.
He added that with nationalists in power ‘it sometimes feels like devolution in general is not easy’.
‘It’s my job to work with these people. And believe me, it is not always easy,’ he said.
‘We have a UK Government that is committed to devolution, that believes in our system of two governments, and wants to strengthen Scotland’s place at the heart of the UK.
Alister Jack, Secretary of State for Scotland, arrives at 10 Downing Street to attend the weekly cabinet meeting
Mr Jack gives his keynote speech via video link leaving an empty stage, on the second day of the Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party Conference in Glasgow
‘We have a nationalist SNP-Green Scottish Government that opposes devolution, wants to end it and tear Scotland out of the UK.
‘Those who would destroy devolution cannot also pose as the defenders of devolution and people in Scotland are seeing straight through it.’
He also said that most Scots want to see the two governments ‘working together on the issues they really care about’.
But he explained that ‘the SNP-Green coalition’s opposition to, and abuse of, devolution acts like a drag anchor on Scotland’s potential’.
In contrast, he said, the UK Government was ‘delivering for communities on the ground right now’ because ‘direct UK Government investment in Scotland now stands at £2.3 billion’.
SNP Westminster deputy leader Mhairi Black commented: ‘The Tories have no mandate in Scotland.
‘Instead of lecturing others, Alister Jack should be apologising for his Tory Government’s appalling record of trashing the UK economy – and making millions of Scots poorer by imposing a devastating hard Brexit and Tory cost-of-living crisis.
‘With Scottish devolution and household incomes under sustained attack from Westminster, the SNP is the only party offering a real alternative to the Tories.
‘Voting SNP is the best way to beat the Tories in Scotland at the next election and the only way to get rid of Westminster Tory governments for good with independence.’
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