A UKIP MEP who once described himself as "a great big screaming poof" has accused the organisers of this weekend's Pride march of being "childish bigots" following their decision to ban his party from the event.
David Coburn, the leader of UKIP Scotland, told BuzzFeed News his party will employ "guerrilla tactics" at the event in London on Saturday and have already created T-shirts with the slogan "Some UKIP-ers are gay, get over it".
"What do we have to do?" asked an exasperated Coburn. "Does Nigel Farage have to run around in a pink mankini waving a rainbow flag? Is that what UKIP have to do to prove we're on side? We don't care what people get up to in their boudoirs."
Pride organisers banned UKIP from the rally on the grounds of safety following a number of complaints from some people in the gay community who accuse UKIP members of a string of homophobic outbursts.
But Coburn claimed his party is "without a doubt the most gay-friendly party" in the UK. He said UKIP has been banned unfairly by a "bigoted, leftist front which is against freedom and liberty", and that Pride should be rejected by the gay community in solidarity with UKIP.
In the past, Coburn has said gay people only want to get married "for the photos", fellow UKIP MEP Roger Helmer reportedly supported the introduction of "gay cure" therapy on the NHS, and a UKIP councillor blamed UK floods on the introduction of same-sex marriage.
Coburn said that he has never experienced any homophobia within the party, however, and that the image of UKIP as a homophobic party has been "all drummed up by lefties". He claims there are proportionately more gay people in positions of power in UKIP than either Labour or the Conservatives.
"I don't know about the vegetarians, what do you call them, the Greens – I have no idea if they have gay people in their leadership. In fact, I don't know if they have a view on sexuality at all – they probably want to ban sex on the grounds that we're producing too many human beings who are ruining the planet."
The MEP laughed loudly when told UKIP has been excluded from the event on the grounds of safety, saying UKIP "is not a danger to humanity in any way at all".
"The people saying these things are a greater danger to society than anybody," he said. "They're probably all members of the Health and Safety Executive. I bet they have a health and safety float with rubber bags and condom covers and everything."
Coburn doesn't intend to go to Pride himself as he has "better things to do", but he expects there to be some kind of UKIP presence at the rally and advises Pride organisers not to exclude the UKIP-ers from the event.
"It seems very silly that they should make an enemy of someone who might well be the government of the country before too long," he said. "Very silly indeed."
Jamie Ross is a Scotland reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Edinburgh.
Contact Jamie Ross at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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