back to top

Nigel Farage Has Accused The SNP Of Being "Openly Racist" Towards The English

The UKIP leader said "anti-English hostility" north of the border was "totally extraordinary". But the SNP said he was spreading the "politics of fear and intolerance".

Posted on
Owen Humphreys / PA Wire

UKIP leader Nigel Farage has said the Scottish National Party is "openly racist" towards English people.

Speaking on the campaign trail in Hartlepool, Farage heaped the blame on former SNP leader Alex Salmond. He was reacting to claims from shadow business secretary Chuka Umunna that UKIP was infected with a "virus of racism".

Farage is quoted by the Telegraph as telling ITV News: "'When I say that I don't think we should have an open door to Poland, Latvia and Lithuania, I'm accused of being racist. And yet when it's the Scots being rude about the English, you don't think it is."

He added: ''T‎he SNP are openly racist. The anti-English hostility and the kind of language that is used about and towards English people is totally extraordinary. If my supporters behaved in the way that some of those pro-independence supporters behaved in the referendum I'd have been painted out to be the worst person that had been seen for 70 years in British politics."

Farage was forced to take refuge in an Edinburgh pub in May 2013 after being surrounded by protesters chanting "scum".

"I think the one I blame is Alex Salmond," he said. "When I was attacked by a group of thugs in the street in Edinburgh with the most extraordinary anti-English sentiments being shouted, when Salmond was asked whether he condemned that ‎behaviour he didn't."

Humza Yousaf of the SNP said Farage's remarks were offensive to most of Scotland.

The party's international development spokesman told BuzzFeed News: "These disgraceful comments – which aren't just offensive to the SNP, but to the majority of people in Scotland on current polls – show exactly why the people of Scotland reject UKIP. Nigel Farage's politics of fear and intolerance have been exposed in this campaign, and he has still not apologised for David Coburn [UKIP's only MEP in Scotland] comparing me to a convicted terrorist merely because I am a Muslim."

Coburn apologised in March for saying: "Humza Yousaf, or as I call him, Abu Hamza".

Emily Ashton is a senior political correspondent for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.

Contact Emily Ashton at

Got a confidential tip? Submit it here.