Nigel Farage: Edinburgh protesters ‘fascist scum’

UKIP leader Nigel Farage has hit out at the “fascist” elements of Scottish nationalism after he needed a police escort to escape a mob of protesters in Edinburgh yesterday, and today he hung up during a telephone interview on BBC radio.

Ukip leader Nigel Farage at the Canons' Gait pub, Edinburgh. Picture: Jane Barlow

• Ukip leader Nigel Farage hangs up phone in middle of BBC radio interview.

• Mr Farage accused presenter David Miller of hostile line of questioning.

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Mr Farage insisted that the incident showed a “total hatred” English people and called on Alex Salmond to condemn these fringe elements, before hanging up on an interview with the BBC this morning.

Ukip leader Nigel Farage at the Canons' Gait pub, Edinburgh. Picture: Jane Barlow

The Ukip chief held an impromptu press conference in a pub on the Capital’s Royal Mile last night but a crowd of demonstrators turned up and besieged the premises.

Police said two men had been arrested following the protest.

“If this is the face of Scottish nationalism, it’s a pretty ugly nation,” Mr Farage told BBC Radio Scotland’s Good Morning Scotland today.

He added: “The anger, the hatred, the shouting, the snarling, the swearing was all linked in to a desire for the Union Jack to be burnt.”

The UKIP leader accepted that they did not represent the majority of Scottish opinion in Scotland - but eventually hung up on the programme because the interview focussed on the incident and not his policies.

Mr Farage also told BBC Radio Four’s Today programme that the protesters were “fascist scum” who were “filled with a total and utter hatred of the English” and not prepared to engage in debate.

“For some reason the British media has never talked about the excesses of Scottish nationalism and how deeply unpleasant they can be,” he said.

He did did not name the SNP specifically in his criticism.

But he added: “These people were supporters of Scottish nationalism, virulently opposed to the English, all sorts of suggestions as to what we could do with the Union Jack and I would like to hear [SNP leader] Alex Salmond come out and condemn this sort of behaviour. I challenge him today to do that.”

In a tweet, campaign group Radical Independence called an emergency protest against Mr Farage ahead of his engagement in Edinburgh.

It describes itself as a grassroots and radical campaign for an independent Scotland.

• Clip by permission of BBC.