UKIP’s Scottish leader David Coburn isn’t having the best time of it at the moment.
Fresh off from getting named in court documents by his party’s former spokesperson Suzanne Evans – who accused Mr Coburn of sending her abusive messages at 1 AM – the politician wasn’t even invited to STV’s Scottish leaders debate last night.
SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon, Labour’s Kezia Dugdale, Tory Ruth Davidson, Lib Dem Willie Rennie and Green Patrick Harvie all took to the stage for the event, but Mr Coburn – who is UKIP’s most senior gay figure – was precluded due to his party’s low polling in Scotland.
After repeatedly slamming the broadcaster over the decision, Mr Coburn decide to live-stream his response to the debate via Periscope – chipping in answers and retorts while watching the action from home.
Pranking UKIP’s David Coburn during a Periscope broadcast by telling him his mic’s not on. Highlight of the week.https://t.co/jHoYFBEU9I
— Jonathan Hopkins (@jonnohopkins) March 29, 2016
However, the plan was thwarted when a group of Twitter users decided to play an elaborate prank on Mr Coburn.
One wrote: “His mic is now working… but wouldn’t it be fun if lots of people told him the mic still wasn’t working?”
The idea caught on – and a stream of viewers joined the stream pretended that Mr Coburn’s audio had cut out, leaving a string of comments asking if there is an “audio problem” and asking him to “turn the mic on”.
The stream of comments left Mr Coburn baffled, attempting to carry on before spending nearly six minutes battling with his phone, ordering “the geeks” to fix the technology so he could continue.
He blamed “gremlins” for the problem, adding: “I am speaking loudly. I am afraid the volume doesn’t appear to be working. Can you hear me? Is it working?”
Participant Jonathan Hopkins added: “Pranking UKIP’s David Coburn during a Periscope broadcast by telling him his mic’s not on. Highlight of the week.”
The openly gay politician is no stranger to attracting attention – facing calls to resign last year after comparing SNP minister Humza Yousaf to convicted terrorist Abu Hamza.
He also previously compared then-SNP leader Alex Salmond to dictator Robert Mugabe.
Despite being gay, the UKIP MEP is a fierce critic of the gay rights movement, regularly claiming that same-sex marriage supporters are “equality Nazis” – and that the Lib Dems and Labour want to ban him from having sex.