Gay UKIP MEP David Coburn compares Muslim politician to Abu Hamza
UKIP’s most senior gay politician is facing calls to resign – after comparing the SNP’s Humza Yousaf to convicted terrorist Abu Hamza.
David Coburn, who is the UK Independence Party’s leader in Scotland, allegedly made the controversial remarks in a conversation with the Scottish Daily Mail.
Mr Yousaf is Scotland’s Minister for Europe and International Development, while Hamza is a radical Islamic cleric serving life behind bars for terrorist offences.
Mr Coburn allegedly joked about “Humza Yousaf, or as I call him, Abu Hamza”.
Mr Yousaf has called for Coburn to be sacked, saying: “I am utterly appalled, disgusted and hurt by the comments allegedly made by David Coburn MEP.
“Nigel Farage has been plagued by accusations of leading a racist party and this outburst from David Coburn MEP shows that UKIP are not just a party with a few rotten apples but rotten to the core.
“If Nigel Farage is serious about UKIP being a party that will not tolerate xenophobia in any form then I expect David Coburn to be expelled from UKIP immediately and have written to Nigel Farage in that vein.
“David Coburn has been exposed making Islamophobic remarks and should do the honourable thing and resign.”
However, UKIP has not yet sacked the politician.
A UKIP spokesman said: “Mr Coburn’s comments were made in the spirit of jest and he thought it off the record but they were in very bad taste. He has obviously caused offence and he is very sorry to have done so.
“He has written to Mr Yousaf offering his sincerest apologies.”
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It is not the first time Mr Coburn has made controversial remarks, branding Scottish Tory leader Ruth Davidson a “fat lesbian” and comparing Alex Salmond to dictator Robert Mugabe.
Despite being gay, the UKIP MEP is a fierce critic of the gay rights movement, claiming in October that same-sex marriage supporters are “equality Nazis”.
He ranted: “What you’re doing with the gay marriage issue is you’re rubbing people’s noses in the dirt.
“[It’s] the equality Nazis trying to give Christianity a jolly good kicking. You know it, I know it, we all know it – it’s false bollocks, the lot of it.
“It’s just for some queen who wants to dress up in a bridal frock and in a big moustache and dance up the aisle to the Village People.”