Ukip leader Nigel Farage has described activists who called for his only elected parliamentarian in Scotland to quit as “totally and utterly irrelevant”.
Ten party activists have called for “gaffe-prone” MEP David Coburn to be removed as Ukip’s leader in Scotland, insisting he is “not suited to being the Scottish face of the Brexit campaign”.
Mr Farage, though, said they are a “few disappointed people who are not in positions to win seats” and stood shoulder-to-shoulder with his Scottish party leader during a campaign trip to Inverness.
He also welcomed the recent support for Brexit at an STUC fringe event in Dundee led by RMT general secretary Mick Cash and Communist Party candidate Raymond Mennie.
Commenting on Ukip’s disaffected Scottish activists, Mr Farage told the Press Association: “Oh, the jealousy of the disappointed in life.
“A few disappointed people who are not in positions to win seats. Totally and utterly irrelevant.”
He defended Mr Coburn’s colourful antics and irreverent comments.
“We could become puritans, I suppose, and follow an Oliver Cromwell approach to politics but it’s never going to happen,” he said.
“Perhaps we say some things sometimes that don’t fit in with the PC agenda that now dominates the whole of Edinburgh – so what?”
He described Mick Cash’s Scottish Left Leave Campaign as “patriotic”.
“They believe that their parents and grandparents fought, and in some cases sacrificed everything they had, for us to be a free, independent democratic nation,” he said.
Mr Mennie told STUC delegates the European Union is the fulfilment of the ideas of the Nazis.
Mr Farage said: “Some people tell me that the Nazis planned this all along. Other people tell me it is pure Trotskyite communism.
“I don’t know which it is, but I can tell you that it’s wrong, the people have been bullied into it and they’ve never had a say.
“This Europe isn’t working. The currency is a failure, the migrant crisis is a disaster and we’ve got a chance to get off this train before it hits the buffers.”
Mr Farage also dismissed the SNP’s plan to rebuild the case for Scottish independence.
He said: “The SNP don’t stand for independence. It is an outright damned lie. They want to be a region of the European Union.
“I think if there was a referendum in Scotland on separation from the UK, frankly with oil last trading at 37 bucks a barrel, I think I know what the answer is already.”
Mr Coburn described his critics as “absolute nobodies”.
“What they describe as gaffes are actually designed to get us publicity,” he said.
“Most of them are very, very boring, stodgy sort of types and they wouldn’t know how to get publicity if a brick dropped on their head.
“We need to do stuff to get publicity, and if I was just another boring suit we simply wouldn’t get publicity and we wouldn’t be where we are today.
“We’re now at the point of getting seven MSPs elected to the Scottish Parliament. What’s wrong with that?
“They obviously want to replace our success with their failures. Am I bothered? No.”