'A feral mob of subsidised students': Ukip leader Nigel Farage hits out at protesters as he prepares for return to Scotland despite hostile reception last month
Demonstrators in Edinburgh branded him 'racist, Nazi scum'
Oliver Duggan has a BA in Politics and Parliamentary Studies from the University of Leeds and an MA in Newspaper Journalism from City University London. He works as a freelance reporter and editorial assistant for The Independent and i with a focus on Home Affairs and politics.
Tuesday 18 June 2013
Ukip leader Nigel Farage branded the Scottish protesters who derailed his trip to Edinburgh last month a “feral, baying mob” ahead of his return to Scotland today.
The South East MEP will campaign in Aberdeen to raise the profile of his party’s candidate in a Scottish Parliament by-election, just a month after angry demonstrators hijacked his attempt to speak against Scottish independence in the country’s capital.
During a press conference in The Canons’ Gate pin in the Royal Mile on 16 May, Mr Farage was mobbed by anti-racism protesters who blocked his exit from the event.
He tried to leave by taxi but the protesters chanting “Go Home to England” blocked the cars path and he was forced to return to the pub. Police then barricaded the doors until a riot van came to his aid.
Writing in The Herald newspaper today, Mr Farage commented: “The chanting louts who recently attacked me in Edinburgh showed a side to the Scottish Nationalist debate that reflected no glory.”
“It is amazing how the appearance of Ukip on the Scottish political scene has galvanised reaction. That reaction has verged at times on the feral, with baying mobs of subsidised students venting their anger.”
Building on his criticism, Mr Farage later said he was shocked that First Minister Alex Salmond had not publicly condemned the protesters.
“I was deeply disappointed at the official reaction of the SNP, Alex Salmond pointedly refused to criticise the mob’s actions,” he said.
“While the mob in question were not party officials, one would hope the First Minister of Scotland would have the wit to call for calm and sense when it came to the debate on the referendum he has so strongly pushed for his country to have.”
“It appears that the Scottish National leadership is willing to allow this sort of behaviour to pass without comment, when the party being attacked is UKIP.”
Mr Farage also used the article to claim that the Conservative Party was “finished” in Scotland. He wrote: “It was notable that when David Cameron visited Scotland recently he did not bother with Aberdeen. It seems that, to him, the Tories are finished north of the Border.”
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