University to remove stone unveiled by Alex Salmond

Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh says decision taken to replace stone with an 'alternative public artwork'

University to remove stone unveiled by Alex Salmond SWNS

Heriot-Watt University is removing a commemorative stone that was unveiled by Alex Salmond during his tenure as first minister.

The higher education body said it will be replaced with another piece of art.

A university spokesperson said: “Following consultation with the Heriot-Watt University Student Union, a decision has been taken to use the current location of the commemorative stone for an alternative public artwork which will appeal to our international student community.

“The stone will be carefully looked after until an alternative location is found for it in future.”

Salmond introduced the stone, a reference to Scottish students receiving free tuition, in one of his last acts as first minister.

It is inscribed with the words: “The rocks will melt with the sun before I allow tuition fees to be imposed on Scottish students.”

Salmond, from Aberdeenshire, served as first minister from 2007 to 2014. He resigned following the “No” vote in the Scottish independence referendum.

The 65-year-old returned to frontline politics when he was elected as the SNP MP for Gordon in 2015 and became the party’s foreign affairs spokesman at Westminster before losing the seat in the general election two years later.

Earlier this year, Salmond was cleared of sexually assaulting nine women while he was first minister.

Salmond was found not guilty of 12 charges by a jury following a two-week trial at the High Court in Edinburgh.

Another charge was found not proven – a verdict of acquittal – while a 14th was dropped during the 11-day trial.

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