A case of champagne is among the rewards being offered by tabloids and rightwing pundits in return for the whereabouts of the so-called “Ed Stone”.
The 10 commandments-style tablet, engraved with five promises and unveiled in the final days before the election, was meant to symbolise how Ed Miliband would keep his pledges and restore trust in politics.
But the gimmick was perhaps the greatest gift Miliband gave to his opponents – and the mockery shows no signs of letting up even after his resignation and the quiet disappearance of the stone.
An 8ft 6in-high, two-ton limestone hulk is not the easiest thing to hide. But the stone, which was rumoured to have cost up to £30,000, is proving remarkably elusive and Labour sources are staying tight-lipped.
The Mail has offered a case of champagne to any reader who has information that “leads to the discovery of the Ed Stone”. The Sun has set up a dedicated “Ed Stone hotline” for tips about the stone’s whereabouts.
But without any apparent success in locating the real thing, the Sun also offered its readers a chance to win a full-size replica of “the Labour loser’s laughable slab”.
The Telegraph and the Mail on Sunday tried some investigative journalism to locate the boulder, contacting more than 50 masonry firms across the UK – none of whom admitted to creating the monument.
None could even agree what kind of stone it was, with the Stone Federation of Great Britain telling the Mail it could be hewn from Portland limestone from Dorset, but another stonemason claiming it might be cheaper, Portuguese limestone.
Several spoof listings for the tablet have appeared on eBay, with prices ranging from £5 to £100.
“Yesterday the world-famous Ed Stone fell over in an unpredictable freak accident and smashed into bits and pieces. The stone is beyond recognition even to the trained eye,” one tongue-in-cheek eBayer wrote. “Good news is: the leftovers are now exclusively available on eBay.”
Labour promised the stone would be erected in the Rose Garden of Downing Street or in the party’s HQ had Miliband won the election. It is believed the tablet was secretly moved to London after its unveiling in a Hastings car park, but no one has spotted it since.
On social media, many suggested its potential whereabouts as well as alternative uses for the stone.
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