Gay UKIP candidate quits in protest after David Coburn’s ‘terrorist’ joke

PinkNews logo on pink background with rainbow corners.

A prospective MP has quit UKIP in protest, after MEP David Coburn compared a Muslim politician to a terrorist.

David Coburn – who is the party’s most senior openly gay politician and its leader in Scotland – has shrugged off calls to resign after comparing SNP Minister Humza Yousaf to convicted terrorist Abu Hamza.

Mr Coburn is still in his position, despite Nigel Farage pledging to be “ruthless” with unsuitable candidates.

Tim Wilson, who was selected to stand for the party in South Northamptonshire, has stepped down in protest at the lack of action over Mr Coburn.

In a blog post, he wrote: “As a gay man, I was fully aware of its reputation for homophobia and racism, but the local people I had met struck me as both charming and enthusiastic.”

However, he added: “It is not me who brings the party into disrepute, but Coburn.

“Some things should be out of bounds in politics and it is high time UKIP and others recognised that fact.

“I intend now to focus on repairing the damage caused by Mr Farage’s tendency to dismiss what he does not understand and Mr Coburn’s evident silliness, I have no doubt that both men regret their decisions and maybe in time, Mr Coburn will quietly retire (which will give us all much relief).”

Mr Wilson told PinkNews that he posted the blog because activists within UKIP had attempted to discredit him following his resignation.

He said: “When you do this sort of thing, UKIP has a reputation for throwing everything at a person to undermine them.

“The party is ruled by these ghastly leaders. Farage defends Roger Helmer, saying ‘oh he’s just old’, he defends Coburn and says ‘oh it’s just a joke’.”

Referring to Nigel Farage’s claim to be “ruthless” with unsuitable candidates after expelling Janice Atkinson over ‘financial irregularities’, Mr Wilson added: “He’s ruthless about money – but he’s not about people. He doesn’t care about people. I’m horrified.”