The UK Independence Party has unveiled its candidates for the European Parliament elections with warnings against Scottish independence, the European Union and “politically correct” multiculturalism.
David Coburn, who leads Ukip’s Scottish list for the election on May 22, welcomed around 40 party members to Glasgow’s Grand Central Hotel.
National chairman Steve Crowther addressed the “shock troops” who he hopes will secure Ukip’s first MEP in Scotland, coming off the back of a number of recent electoral gains including a Scottish Parliament seat in Cowdenbeath, where they beat the Liberal Democrats into fifth place.
Members also heard from Sarinder Joshua Duroch, the Glasgow-born party secretary for Gravesham in Kent, who said British people are being made to feel “like a minority in their own country” by “politically correct” multiculturalism.
Mr Coburn said: “The SNP is terrified of Ukip. I don’t think the people of Scotland are going to vote for independence.
“The Conservative Party doesn’t exist in Scotland - it’s a Potemkin Village where if you kick the door in the whole thing will fall down. The Tories’ in/out referendum is never going to happen.
“If you want out of the EU, the only party in Scotland to vote for is Ukip.
“In Alex Salmond’s case he wants to be completely integrated and get the euro, which has been a disaster in the rest of Europe.
“At the moment the EU’s open door immigration policy means anyone from the EU can come here. Romania and Bulgaria have just joined and they have a hugely different salary structure.
“This forces down the wages of Scottish working men and women.
“I think mass immigration is not a good thing. It’s going to put stress on hospitals, schools, taxes, homes. It’s caused enormous problems in the south of England and it will cause problems up here.”
He rejected the Scottish Government’s support for higher immigration to increase the tax base to contribute to social security and pensions.
“This is economics of cloud cuckoo land,” he said.
“If you’re bringing people in, they haven’t contributed to the pension pot or health service pot, and they’re suddenly coming into the system where they can access the health service, pensions, social security.
“Many of them will be people who perhaps don’t speak English properly taking low paid jobs who won’t pay much into the economy, but they will then become a burden on the state in their retirement.”
Mr Duroch, whose grandparents migrated from India in the 1940s, said: “My mother was born in Galashiels, in the Scottish Borders, and my grandparents came over here in the 1940s helping with the British war effort.
“Political correctness has gagged our democracy, making people feel guilty about their past and resulting in appeasement towards certain communities.
“It is wrong to make the people of this land feel guilty, and in many cases feel like a minority in their own nation.
“I am not in support of multiculturalism where it allows dominance to take effect and does not allow integration to take place through having a fear of belonging to Great Britain.”
Addressing Ukip members, Mr Crowther said: “You are the shock troops. Your are the people who will take us forward.
“Let’s go forward from now in an amazing campaign that will get our man elected as an MEP for Scotland on May 22 and let’s show Scotland that Ukip actually has something to offer.”
Mr Coburn tops the party list which also features Kevin Newton, Otto Inglis, Denise Baykal, Hugh Hatrick and Malcolm Mackay.