David Coburn (politician)

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David Coburn
2014-07-01-Europaparlament by Olaf Kosinsky -25.jpg
Coburn at the European Parliament in July 2014
Member of the European Parliament
for Scotland
Assumed office
1 July 2014
Personal details
Born (1959-02-11) 11 February 1959 (age 56)
Glasgow, Scotland
Political party UK Independence Party
Education University of Leeds

David Coburn (born 11 February 1959) is a British politician and businessman. He was previously an art dealer and a financial trader. Since 2014, he has been a Member of the European Parliament for the Scotland region for the UK Independence Party.

Early life[edit]

Coburn was born on 11 February 1959 in Glasgow, Scotland.[1] He studied law at the University of Leeds, although he failed to graduate with a degree.[2]

He worked as an art dealer and City of London trader before owning a freight company.[2]

Political career[edit]

Coburn contested the seat of Old Bexley and Sidcup in 2010, winning 1,532 votes which put him in fifth place. He also stood in Bexley and Bromley in the 2012 London Assembly election, finishing fourth. When the results of the European Parliament elections were declared, his permanent address was listed as Kensington in London. However, during the campaign he lived in a rented property in Edinburgh.[3][4]

In the 2014 European Parliament election, he was elected as Member of the European Parliament for Scotland.[5] This made him UKIP's second openly gay MEP, after Nikki Sinclaire.[2][6]

According to SNP candidate Tasmina Ahmed-Sheikh, Coburn repeatedly muddled her name at hustings during the European election campaign, when she was standing against him, referring to her as "Pashmina, Jasmine and Tamzin before eventually settling on a combination of 'love', 'dear' and 'honey'."[7][8] UKIP's Scottish chairman Misty Thackeray responded by saying "How humourless and thin-skinned are these people trying to make faux outrage stories about a slip of the tongue over a name? ... It wasn't mispronounced throughout the entire Euro campaign. It was mispronounced once; if memory serves me correctly, David called her Jasmina."[7]

He was one of six Scottish party leaders who took part in a debate in Aberdeen televised on BBC Scotland on 8 April 2015, ahead of that year's general election.[9] Contesting the constituency of Falkirk, he came fourth of five candidates, losing his deposit with 3% of the vote.[10]

In 2015, Coburn compared Scottish government minister Humza Yousaf to convicted terrorist Abu Hamza, later apologising and calling it a "joke". UKIP leader Nigel Farage called it a "joke in bad taste", but parliamentary candidate Tim Wilson in South Northamptonshire quit the party because of "what I can only describe as an Islamaphobic insult, and that's simply not acceptable".[11] EU President Martin Schulz said that the remarks were "not worthy of any elected member".[11]

In April 2015, a Wikipedia account operated by Coburn's office was blocked indefinitely for edit warring over his own page. Coburn's office confirmed the edits were by them, and some, but not all, news outlets, attribute those edits to Coburn himself.[12][13][14]

Political views[edit]

Coburn describes himself as a libertarian and he has said he will pursue a hardline "libertarian agenda". He also stated that he wanted businesses to be free of interference from government. He favours the legalisation of recreational drugs, believing that banning drugs causes crime.[2] He has spoken out against Scottish independence during an interview on the BBC's referendum flagship show Scotland Decides. During this interview he also claimed that UKIP were the most "unracist" political party. Despite being gay himself, he feels that gay marriage should not be allowed as it increases homophobia from religious people and that civil partnerships suffice.[2] He went on to describe gay marriage supporters of being 'Equality Nazis'.[15]

In the face of local concerns Coburn has come out in favour of fracking in Falkirk, the constituency he stood for in the 2015 General Election.[16]


  1. ^ "David Coburn". MEPs. European Parliament. Retrieved 14 March 2015. 
  2. ^ a b c d e Whittaker, Andrew (27 May 2014). "Coburn: I’d legalise drugs, ban same-sex marriage". The Scotsman. 
  3. ^ "Ukip's Coburn London-based despite Scots seat victory". The Herald. Retrieved 27 May 2014. 
  4. ^ "European election results: David Coburn becomes Ukip's first Scots MEP". STV News. 26 May 2014. 
  5. ^ "Ukip wins first seat in Scotland". The Scotsman. Retrieved 26 May 2014. 
  6. ^ Nick Duffy (26 May 2014). "Openly gay UKIP MEP elected in Scotland". PinkNews. 
  7. ^ a b David Leask (16 March 2015). "Did UKIP's David Coburn deliberately muddle name of Asian SNP rival in Euro elections?". heraldscotland.com. Retrieved 2 April 2015. 
  8. ^ David Pegg and Helena Bengtsson, "Ukip MEP David Coburn banned from Wikipedia indefinitely", The Guardian, 29 April 2015
  9. ^ Kennedy, Doug (8 April 2015). "Election 2015: Scottish leaders' debate round-up". BBC News. Retrieved 9 April 2015. 
  10. ^ "Falkirk". BBC. Retrieved 8 May 2015. 
  11. ^ a b "UKIP candidate quits party over Scottish MEP's 'Abu Hamza' remark". BBC News. 24 March 2015. Retrieved 25 March 2015. 
  12. ^ "Ukip MEP David Coburn banned from Wikipedia indefinitely". The Guardian. 29 April 2015. Retrieved 29 April 2015. 
  13. ^ "Scottish UKIP MEP David Coburn banned from Wikipedia". The Scotsman. 29 April 2015. Retrieved 29 April 2015. 
  14. ^ "Ukip candidate David Coburn MEP banned from editing own Wikipedia page". 29 April 2015. Retrieved 29 April 2015. 
  15. ^ ["http://m.huffpost.com/uk/entry/6060184 "Coburn Says Gay Marriage Supporters Are 'Equality Nazis'"] Check |url= scheme (help). huffpost.com. Retrieved 29 April 2015. 
  16. ^ McCall, Chris (16 Apr 2015). "UKIP candidate David Coburn wants Falkirk to embrace fracking". The Falkirk Herald.