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David Coburn, gay Scottish UKIP leader, quits party over far-right shift

December 7, 2018 1:25 PM
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David Coburn, gay Scottish UKIP leader, quits party over far-right shift

David Coburn, the leader of UKIP in Scotland, has quit the party in protest of its shift to the far right.

The UKIP Member of the European Parliament for the Scotland, who was one of the pro-Brexit party’s only out gay officials, followed former leaders Nigel Farage and Paul Nuttall in quitting UKIP.

In a statement, Coburn condemned the “infiltration” of the party by far-right nationalists and questioned UKIP’s courting of former English Defence League leader Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, known as Tommy Robinson.

Coburn wrote: “It is with great sadness that after 10 years, I announce my resignation from UKIP.”

He added: “We have seen an increase in English Nationalists joining UKIP. As a Unionist, I abhor English Nationalism as much as I abhor Scottish Nationalism.

“The party has been infiltrated by people with an alternative agenda, which is not the one on which I stood when I was elected and sadly, does not represent the values for which UKIP once stood.

“I did not run on an anti-Islam platform. Unfortunately, this seems to be the direction that UKIP is taking – obsessing about this issue to the exclusion of all else at a time when we might lose the Brexit we fought so hard for.”

The party’s only other out LGBT+ elected official is London Assembly Member Peter Whittle, who is yet to confirm whether he will remain in the party following Farage’s departure.

Several of the resigning UKIP politicians have spoken out about the party’s recently-bolstered anti-LGBT policies.

Of the 24 UKIP MEPs elected in 2016, just nine remain in office and in the party.

The departure of gaffe-prone Scottish UKIP leader David Coburn leaves UKIP with no representation in Scotland.


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