FORMER first minister Alex Salmond has confirmed he will attend a pro-independence rally rather than attending the coronation – as he fired a broadside at Humza Yousaf for going.

The Alba Party leader said he would attend an All Under One Banner rally in Glasgow on May 6 rather than travelling to London for the event – as he accused the current First Minister of acting like a “pet poodle” when the Stone of Destiny was transferred to London ahead of the ceremony.

Speaking after an interview with LBC’s Andrew Marr, Salmond said any “self-respecting nationalist First Minister should be with the masses in Glasgow not the classes in London” as he confirmed he would attend the Yes rally in Scotland’s biggest city this weekend.

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Some within Salmond’s former party feel his newfound stance against the monarchy is hypocritical and point to his comments following the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton in 2011 in which he said he “should have had this entire city [Edinburgh] – I would have had – covered in royal standards”.

Salmond, who is a member of the King’s Privy Council, told LBC he would have “put a ring of policemen around Edinburgh Castle” were he still first minister to prevent the Stone of Destiny – on which King Charles will sit when he is crowned – from being taken down south.

He said: “You don't command very much as First Minister of Scotland, but you do command the Scottish Police Force, you could have put a ring of policemen around Edinburgh Castle.

“Have a standoff on the Esplanade and politely explain to the world that Scotland should not sacrifice its symbol of sovereignty until that sovereignty is at least a recognised by Westminster and the powers that are.”

Salmond added: “In the ceremony, the First Minister of Scotland was like some sort of pet poodle parading on behind it.

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“Can I just say that if I were first minister, and there'll be a collective sigh of relief I'm not, the stone would not be going anywhere. The Stone of Destiny is the most ancient symbol of Scottish sovereignty. I mean, I know it's just a lump of rock, but it's our lump of rock.”

In a statement after the interview, Salmond said he had not entered a ballot, open to MPs and members of the Privy Council, to attend the coronation.

He added: “Across Scotland, we currently have pensioners having to wear their coats in their homes to stay warm whilst record amounts of revenues are being seized by Westminster from Scotland’s natural resources.

“That is why restoring independence to Scotland should be an urgent and immediate priority for the national movement. On Saturday, thousands of independence supporters will march and rally in Glasgow.

“I ask myself, where should someone be if they wish to stand with the people of Scotland as we build a campaign to bend the Westminster establishment to the will of our nation: surrounded by that self-same establishment at the coronation or in Glasgow rallying for independence?

“I say it is the latter and any self-respecting nationalist First Minister should be with the masses in Glasgow not the classes in London.”

Salmond led the Scottish Government’s independence campaign in 2014 and pledged Queen Elizabeth would remain the head of state if Scotland voted to leave the Union.