Ukip set to hold pro-Union rally

Ukip is to hold a pro-Union rally in Scotland just days ahead of the independence referendum.

Nigel Farage will join other Ukip representatives for a pro-Union rally in Scotland
Nigel Farage will join other Ukip representatives for a pro-Union rally in Scotland

UK party leader Nigel Farage will join Scottish party chairman Arthur Misty Thackery, Scottish MEP David Coburn and elected Ukip members from around the UK for the rally in Glasgow on September 12.

Mr Thackery told the Press Association: "This rally is to show that the UK is one single united country, and we have our fellow Scots and Britons all over the UK who want us to stay together."

The rally is not linked to the Better Together campaign, which has no official affiliation with Ukip.

"The press continue to say that Better Together refuse to have us on board," Mr Thackery said.

"I would like to state for the record, we have never asked them to be on board and we don't want to be on board with Better Together.

"We are taking a more direct, straight talking, hard hitting defence of the Union as opposed to what our MEP David Coburn described as the 'wishy-washy' attitude of Better Together.

"That wishy-washy attitude was demonstrated quite perfectly by Jim Murphy deciding to abandon his speaking tour in the face of what is, quite frankly, violence and intimidation from the usual suspects on the other side.

"We take a position that we will not be intimidated off the streets, and if Jim wants any support on his speaking tour when he goes back out there we are happy to join him make sure he stays safe."

The venue for Ukip's Glasgow rally will not be announced until the last minute "for security purposes - given the history", Mr Thackery said.

Mr Farage's previous visits to Scotland have been met by heated protests.

He was evacuated from an Edinburgh pub in a police riot van after Radical Independence and anti-Ukip protesters barricaded him inside in May 2013.

The Glasgow rally will also feature Northern Ireland Ukip councillor Henry Reilly, Ukip MEP for Wales Nathan Gill and East Midlands Ukip MEP Margot Parker, who is of Scottish descent.

Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond told Sky News' Murnaghan show: ''If Mr Farage comes in a blaze of publicity in the next few days, as he says he's going to do, ignore him, he will go back to Clacton very soon.''

SNP MSP Aileen McLeod said: "Nigel Farage campaigning against an independent Scotland is a huge embarrassment and blow to the No campaign.

"Westminster is dancing to a Ukip agenda, threatening to drag us out of Europe which jeopardises jobs and investment. Scotland needs to reject the politics of Nigel Farage and Ukip, which is another reason why a Yes vote next month is so important."

A Better Together spokesman said: "Ukip have no part to play in our campaign. We are campaigning against nationalist politics of division and grievance."