POLITICS

Scottish Independence Result Has Ukip Setting Its Sights On Holyrood

19/09/2014 15:17 BST | Updated 19/09/2014 15:59 BST
David Cheskin/PA Wire
Ukip leader Nigel Farage and Ukip European election candidate David Coburn (left) attend a rally at the Corn Exchange, Edinburgh, where he boasted that he could snatch two seats in Scotland for the European Parliament as his party tries to make a breakthrough north of the border.

Spurred on by Scots rejecting independence in yesterday's referendum, Ukip is aiming to break through into the Scottish Parliament as the party boasts that it is increasingly "accepted" by voters.

Speaking to the Huffington Post UK, Ukip MEP David Coburn, who became the party's first Scottish MEP in May's European Elections, said that the party could get as many as eight seats in Holyrood at the next Scottish Parliamentary elections in 2016 as "Ukip-philia has filtered north".

He also seized on the No campaign's victory in Scotland's referendum by taunting first minister Alex Salmond, by suggesting that his deputy, Nicola Sturgeon, would move to oust him as leader of the Scottish National Party, leading to an "enormous bloodbath".

"He threw everything at it, including the kitchen sink, and he failed. They [the SNP] tried bullying, harassment, threatening people, taking photographs of people at polling stations - pure gangsterism - and they still failed.

"They [the SNP] will be sharpening their dirks on the gallstones of their former friends and I'd put money on 'Lady Macbeth' Sturgeon going for him very shortly with a kitchen knife. They don't fight nice, they fight nasty.

He teasingly suggested that Salmond "didn't actually want independence", adding: "If he had got it, he'd have ended up with no currency and a country that was in a heck of a mess."

Although 54% of voters chose to stay in the United Kingdom, Coburn said that the SNP were "opportunists" who would still try to exploit the fact that 46% of the electorate voted Yes to "keep on harping away" about independence.

"A lot of people may have voted for independence but they did it because they were fed up with the establishment and professional politicians in Westminster and Holyrood."

Coburn mockingly described pro-independence campaigners as being "middle-class bourgeois crusties", arguing that his party appealed to the "working classes of Scotland".

"Ukip is very much accepted as part of the scenery in Scotland," he said. "I wonder around all the time and people come up, shake my hand and say I'm voting for you."

"We're on a roll up here. It's difficult, but the tectonic plates are shifting," he said, comparing to the political scene to the Wild West. "There's lots of room to manoeuvre," he added.

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"You cannot expect to have cuts in England whilst Scotland is larging it up," he said. "There are people living in humongous largesse. It has to be fair. You have to recognise that there are people in England who are poor too who go to food banks."

Coburn denied that scrapping the Barnett Formula outright would result in a "massive" cut in public spending for Scots, arguing it would help tackle waste in the Scottish government.

"There is an awful lot of money squandered in Scotland and we all know what on. You ask people where's the money going and they'll tell you it's being wasted on lots of people with fat salaries."

The Ukip MEP distanced himself from Ukip's former Scottish party leader Christopher Monckton, who has repeatedly branded Scots "subsidy junkies".

Monckton, who was sacked by Farage as Ukip's president in Scotland, has once wrote that Scots were "subsidy junkies whingeing like a trampled bagpipe as they wait for their next fix of English taxpayers' money."

"The reason why he is no longer leader in Scotland is clear," Coburn said, branding his comments "Moncktonite nonsense".

Scottish independence referendum results

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