This week's newsletter extracts are from the Sunday National's chief political correspondent Judith Duffy. The Wee Ginger Dug will return next week.

IN 1950, the famous retrieval of the Stone of Destiny from Westminster Abbey by four students sparked a major search by the British Government which was ultimately unsuccessful.

This week it emerged a new hunt was on – this time for a stone of the Stone of Destiny.

The National: Gavin Vernon (left), Ian Hamilton (centre) and Alan Stuart (right) retrieved the Stone of Destiny in 1951Gavin Vernon (left), Ian Hamilton (centre) and Alan Stuart (right) retrieved the Stone of Destiny in 1951

The strange mystery emerged after the publication of Cabinet records dating back to 2008, which stated a fragment of the ancient symbol of Scotland’s monarchy had been gifted to Alex Salmond, who was first minister at the time.

According to reports, it was given by Professor Sir Neil MacCormick, the son of leading SNP figure John MacCormick, who had helped bankroll the daring venture by the Glasgow University students on Christmas Day 1950 to return the Stone to Scotland. But that was not where the story ended. Salmond subsequently said he does not know what became of the fragment and that it is not in his possession.

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He suggested it may have ended up in an “Aladdin’s Cave” cupboard for miscellaneous gifts, either at Bute House or St Andrew’s House.

However, the Scottish Government said it is “not aware” of the fragment being held in those locations.

The National:

It’s an intriguing story which has generated headlines and many comments this week. But one in particular caught my eye today – from former Tory secretary of state for Scotland Michael Forsyth (above), now Lord Forsyth of Drumlean.

Quoted in The Times, he questioned why Salmond said he did not know anything about the Stone of Destiny fragment, adding: “His statement is not credible. It’s a bit like the money for the referendum campaign – nobody seems to know where it’s gone and nobody seems to take responsibility for it.”

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So there we have it – one giant leap later, we’ve gone from talking about an ancient relic to references to the SNP finances, currently the subject of a police investigation.

That probe has now been going on for more than two years and has seen the arrest of Peter Murrell, Colin Beattie and Nicola Sturgeon (below). All were released without charge pending further inquiry. No need to rehearse all the headlines it has generated, but jokes about campervans have become staple comedy fodder in Scotland.

The National: Nicola Sturgeon

However, it’s a serious matter – and never more so than in an election year. As long as the outcome of the police probe remains unknown, it is left hanging over the current leadership of the SNP while, as we can see, opposition politicians gleefully seize on the chance to reference it at every single opportunity. Of course, there must be a thorough investigation and this should not be rushed for a political timescale. But as former Police Scotland chief Sir Iain Livingstone said last year – in one of his many comments about the case before he stepped down – the sooner the investigation is concluded, “the better for everyone involved”.

Meanwhile, the mystery of the missing stone of the Stone of Destiny seems to have finally been solved, as The National has revealed today. And no, it's not turned up in The Arlington Bar...