UPDATE: ‘I thought I’d struck political gold’ says man who thought he’d found Labour’s ‘Ed Stone’

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A man who thought he had found former Labour leader Ed Milliband’s infamous ‘Edstone’ in Horley admitted today: I got it wrong.

Conservative Crawley Councillor Liam Marshall-Ascough was out delivering election leaflets in Horley when he spotted what looked like the 8-foot much-ridiculed stone carving containing Ed Milliband’s election pledges.

Said Liam: “I walked up some stairs and saw this giant stone in front of me and I thought ‘oh my gosh, what’s this?’

“It was a complete shock. I thought I had found the Labour Holy Grail - one of the things which helped my party win the General Election.

“To find it was just ‘Wow, I’ve struck political gold haven’t I?’ - But, alas, no, it turns out it was a replica.”

The whereabouts of the much-maligned stone has been sought since it first disappeared after the election, although Labour Party officials maintain it has been destroyed.

When Liam Marshall-Ascough thought he had found it, he posted a photo of it on Twitter - causing a social media storm. “My phone didn’t stop buzzing,” he said.

In fact, the life-size replica was delivered by the firm Courier Direct to the home of Kevin Riley in Horley when he won it as a prize by the Sun on Sunday newspaper.

In a blog at the time of delivery Courier Direct said: “We are a company of utmost integrity of course, and are trusted with precious, sensitive items placed into our care every day. This is no exception and we are pleased to have been of service.

“I’m sure Mr Riley will be pleased with his prize, and we hope it brings him more good fortune than its original brought to Mr Milliband.”