Ukip leader Nigel Farage has said that Sinn Fein politician Gerry Adams’ position on taking Northern Ireland out of the UK and Europe is more logical Alex Salmond’s plan for Scotland.
Mr Farage launched an attack on the First Minister as he attempts to target SNP voters in a Holyrood by-election next month.
He insisted his party was relevant to Scottish politics and said Mr Salmond had “hoodwinked” Scots.
Mr Farage said the First Minister had misled voters by claiming an independent Scotland would be powerful within the European Union.
He suggested the SNP’s brand of nationalism was “illogical” compared with that of Sinn Fein.
Mr Farage said: “Even though he [Mr Adams] is my least favourite politician, the Sinn Fein position has always been Northern Ireland out of the UK and out of the European Union.
“At least that’s logical. The Salmond position is illogical.
“Scotland separated from Westminster but in the European Union will have as a big a voice as Yorkshire. [Mr Salmond] has hoodwinked Scots into believing Scotland in Brussels would somehow have a huge influence.”
Meanwhile, Mr Farage said Ukip membership was growing days before he is due to visit Edinburgh and announce who will stand for the party in the Aberdeen Donside by-election on 20 June. He said: “We are growing in Scotland and have every intention of winning seats at Holyrood and in next year’s European elections north of the Border. A fantasy? Not in the slightest.”
He dismissed the Edinburgh establishment as “divorced from reality” and claimed key Ukip issues, such as migration, resonate with the public more than mainstream parties think.
However, the SNP attacked his intervention as “daft” and said UKIP was an “embarrassment” to the anti-independence Better Together campaign.
An SNP spokesman said: “As Ukip drags Westminster politics further and further to the right – and far away from Scotland’s values – these ridiculous remarks from Nigel Farage underline exactly why Scotland needs to vote Yes and be an independent country.”