Scottish independence: Ukip to hold referendum rally

Ukip is to hold a pro-Union rally in Scotland just days ahead of the independence referendum in Glasgow.

UKIP leader Nigel Farage is escorted by police during a previous visit to Edinburgh. Picture: Jane Barlow

UK party leader Nigel Farage will join Scottish party chairman Arthur Misty Thackery, Scottish MEP David Coburn and elected Ukip members from around the UK for the rally on September 12.

Mr Thackery 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.”

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The rally is not linked to the Better Together campaign, which has no official affiliation with Ukip.

“The press continue to say that Better Together refuse to have us on board,” Mr Thackery said.

“I would like to state for the record, we have never asked them to be on board and we don’t want to be on board with Better Together.

“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.”

The venue for Ukip’s Glasgow rally will not be announced until the last minute “for security purposes - given the history”, Mr Thackery said.

Mr Farage’s previous visits to Scotland have been met by heated protests.

He was evacuated from an Edinburgh pub in a police riot van after Radical Independence and anti-Ukip protesters barricaded him inside in May 2013.

The Glasgow rally will also feature Northern Ireland Ukip councillor Henry Reilly, Ukip MEP for Wales Nathan Gill and East Midlands Ukip MEP Margot Parker, who is of Scottish descent.