Scotland politics

Scottish independence: Nigel Farage to appear at UKIP pro-Union rally

Nigel Farage Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Nigel Farage plans to speak at a UKIP rally in Scotland ahead of the referendum

UKIP leader Nigel Farage is to address party supporters at a pro-Union rally in Glasgow ahead of the independence referendum.

The party, which is not involved in the official pro-Union Better Together campaign, said it wanted to show "the UK is one single united country".

The SNP described Mr Farage's visit as "a huge embarrassment and blow to the No campaign".

Better Together said that UKIP had "no part to play" in its campaign.

Mr Farage is to appear with UKIP Scottish MEP David Coburn and other elected members from England, Wales and Northern Ireland for the rally on September 12, six days before the referendum vote.

UKIP Scottish chairman Arthur Misty Thackeray said: "This rally is to show that the UK is one single united country, and we have our fellow Scots and Britons all over the UK who want us to stay together."

He added: "We are taking a more direct, straight talking, hard hitting defence of the Union as opposed to what our MEP David Coburn described as the 'wishy-washy' attitude of Better Together.

"That wishy-washy attitude was demonstrated quite perfectly by Jim Murphy deciding to abandon his speaking tour in the face of what is, quite frankly, violence and intimidation from the usual suspects on the other side.

"We take a position that we will not be intimidated off the streets, and if Jim wants any support on his speaking tour when he goes back out there we are happy to join him make sure he stays safe."


Labour MP Jim Murphy suspended his 100 Towns in 100 Days tour on behalf of the Better Together campaign after he was hit by eggs while speaking in Kirkcaldy, Fife.

Mr Farage's own campaign appearances in Scotland have attracted protesters, including an incident last year when he was forced to take refuge in an Edinburgh pub before leaving the scene in a police van.

Mr Thackeray said the venue for the Glasgow rally would not be announced until the last minute "for security purposes - given the history".

SNP MSP Aileen McLeod said: "Nigel Farage campaigning against an independent Scotland is a huge embarrassment and blow to the No campaign.

"Westminster is dancing to a UKIP agenda, threatening to drag us out of Europe which jeopardises jobs and investment.

"Scotland needs to reject the politics of Nigel Farage and UKIP, which is another reason why a Yes vote next month is so important."

A Better Together spokesman said: "UKIP have no part to play in our campaign.

"We are campaigning against nationalist politics of division and grievance."

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