Cameron urged against Ukip deal


Published: Monday 16th March 2015 by The News Editor

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Humza Yousaf has called on David Cameron to rule out any post-election deal with Ukip after the party’s Scottish MEP David Coburn reportedly compared the SNP minister to convicted terrorist Abu Hamza.

Politicians and Muslim leaders have called on Mr Coburn, Ukip’s only elected member in Scotland, to resign after the comment was reported in the Scottish Daily Mail.

Discussing a BBC programme he was appearing on, he is said to have claimed that Mr Yousaf was also due to appear, before stating: ”Humza Yousaf, or as I call him, Abu Hamza, didn’t seem to turn up.”

Ukip initially said the comments had been made in “jest”, adding that Mr Coburn had written to Mr Yousaf to apologise, but the party’s Scottish chairman, Arthur Misty Thackeray, later denied the comparison was made and said his colleague had made a ”slip of the tongue”.

Mr Yousaf, the Scottish Government’s Minister for Europe and International Development, said he was ”appalled, disgusted and hurt” by the ”Islamophobic” remark.

The MSP for Glasgow has now written to Mr Cameron urging him to rule out any pact with Ukip in the event of a hung parliament after the general election.

Ukip leader Nigel Farage has said he would prop up a Tory government if the party agreed to stage a referendum on Britain’s membership of the European Union in 2015.

Chancellor George Osborne said Mr Farage was trying to ”muddy the waters” and claimed the Ukip leader was ”not a credible participant” in the general election.

But he refused to rule out a deal when pressed, telling BBC One’s Andrew Marr Show: ”Even engaging with Nigel Farage on this is giving him credibility where he has no credibility.”

In his letter to the Prime Minister , Mr Yousaf states: “As a political party, Ukip have crossed the line of common decency and stepped into the murky waters of racism, bigotry and religious hatred, where they are now firmly entrenched.

“It is simply inconceivable that any mainstream political party could even contemplate doing any sort of post-election deal with them.”

Mr Yousaf said he was pleased to have the support of Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson who condemned Mr Coburn in a tweet that read: “Totally unacceptable. Our country is better than this. And he’s got form. Mindless idiot.”

Mr Yousaf’s letter continues: “There are hundreds of examples of such prejudiced slurs against minorities, faith groups, women and many others.

“In addition, Nigel Farage himself has recently vowed to scrap equality legislation that currently prevent employers from discriminating on the grounds of race and other protected categories.

“Condemning these remarks is simply not enough. It is clear that Ukip do not simply have a few rotten apples but are rotten to the core. I am therefore asking you to unequivocally rule out any type of post-election deal with Ukip.”

A spokesman for Mr Cameron said: “The issue here is David Coburn and Ruth Davidson has eloquently dealt with him”.

Published: Monday 16th March 2015 by The News Editor

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