Gay UKIP MEP won’t stand against Alex Salmond

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a pink background.

UKIP’s only openly gay MEP will not stand for Parliament against former SNP leader Alex Salmond, despite previous suggestions.

David Coburn is UKIP’s most senior openly gay politician, and is currently also the party’s only MEP in Scotland.

He had strongly hinted in December that he would stand for Parliament in the constituency of Gordon, where former SNP Alex Salmond leader is also mounting his charge.

He said at the time: “We’ll throw a lot of resources at it and target the seat he goes for and quite a few others. He’s the biggest beast, so we’re going to try to knock out this big beast.”

However, the Scottish National Party is now accusing Mr Coburn of “running scared” – after he announced he would stand in Falkirk instead, and the party selected a separate candidate for Gordon.

26-year-old nurse Emily Santos will now stand against Mr Salmond in Gordon, while Mr Coburn will battle for a seat held by independent MP Eric Joyce, who is standing down after resigning the Labour whip.

An SNP spokesperson said: “UKIP have virtually disappeared in Scotland, amid a chaotic catalogue of mutual recrimination and expulsion, and candidates with extreme views.

“David Coburn fits exactly into that category – he obviously knew he was going to get short shrift from the people of North East Scotland, which is why he has run scared.”

Despite being gay, the UKIP MEP is a fierce critic of the gay rights movement, claiming in October that same-sex marriage supporters are “equality Nazis”.

He ranted: “What you’re doing with the gay marriage issue is you’re rubbing people’s noses in the dirt.

“[It’s] the equality Nazis trying to give Christianity a jolly good kicking. You know it, I know it, we all know it – it’s false bollocks, the lot of it.

“It’s just for some queen who wants to dress up in a bridal frock and in a big moustache and dance up the aisle to the Village People.”

He has also claimed that the Lib Dems and Labour want to ban him from having sex.