David Coburn (politician)

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David Coburn
David Coburn 2014.jpg
Coburn in 2014
Leader of the UK Independence Party in Scotland
Assumed office
1 July 2014
Member of the European Parliament
for Scotland
Assumed office
1 July 2014
Serving with 5 others
Preceded by George Lyon
Personal details
Born (1959-02-11) 11 February 1959 (age 58)
Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom
Political party UK Independence Party

David Coburn (born 11 February 1959) is a British politician and businessman. He is the leader of the Scottish UK Independence Party and has been a Member of the European Parliament for the Scotland constituency for the UK Independence Party since 2014.

Early life[edit]

Coburn was born in Glasgow, Scotland.[1]

Coburn is openly gay and speaks fluent French and conversational Arabic.[2] He had worked as an art dealer and City of London trader before owning a freight company.[3]

Political career[edit]

Coburn contested the South-east London constituency of Old Bexley and Sidcup in 2010, and finished in fifth place with 1,532 votes. He also stood in Bexley and Bromley at the 2012 London Assembly election, finishing in fourth place.

Coburn ran in the 2014 European Parliament election to become a Member of the European Parliament for Scotland, as a member of UKIP Scotland. At the end of 2013, UKIP Scotland was dissolved after infighting tore the regional party apart; the party's administrative body was dissolved, Mike Scott-Hayward (the chairman and chief fundraiser) quit, and UKIP leader, Nigel Farage, fired Lord Christopher Monckton via email.[4] The main party as a whole, and UKIP Scotland focused on supporting the candidates for the upcoming European elections.[4] After Coburn won the seat,[5] he was appointed leader of UKIP Scotland.[6] His victory made him UKIP's second openly gay MEP, after Nikki Sinclaire.[3][7]

In July 2016, Coburn declared his support for Steven Woolfe in UKIP's leadership election to replace Nigel Farage.[8]

At the 2017 snap general election, Coburn unsuccessfully ran for the Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath constituency, securing just 1.2% of the vote and losing his deposit in the race.[9]


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.[10]

In 2015, Coburn compared Scottish government minister Humza Yousaf to convicted terrorist Abu Hamza, later apologising and calling it a "joke". The then UKIP leader Nigel Farage called it a "joke in bad taste" and EU President Martin Schulz said that whereas the remarks were "not worthy of any elected member", he could not act on remarks made outside parliament. Parliamentary candidate Tim Wilson quit the party in response, saying he had been "systematically gagged by the party whip and forbidden to speak about Islam favourably".[11]

In April 2015, a Wikipedia account verified as operated by Coburn's office was blocked indefinitely for edit warring over Coburn's Wikipedia article. Coburn claimed he had directed one of his staff to make the changes in order to clear the page of “garbage” and “nonsense”.[12][13]


  1. ^ "David Coburn". MEPs. European Parliament. Retrieved 14 March 2015. 
  2. ^ "In with the Out crowd: on the streets with Ukip's David Coburn". The Herald. Retrieved 27 July 2016. 
  3. ^ a b Whittaker, Andrew (27 May 2014). "Coburn: I'd legalise drugs, ban same-sex marriage". The Scotsman. Archived from the original on 31 May 2014. 
  4. ^ a b Hutcheon, Paul (30 November 2013). "Ukip 'wiped out' north of the Border after its Scots leader is sacked". Herald Scotland. 
  5. ^ Whitaker, Andrew; Peterkin, Tom (27 May 2014). "Ukip wins first seat in Scotland". The Scotsman. Archived from the original on 16 January 2016. Retrieved 26 May 2014. 
  6. ^ "Key Figures". UKIP Scotland. Archived from the original on 3 October 2016. Retrieved 3 October 2016. 
  7. ^ Nick Duffy (26 May 2014). "Openly gay UKIP MEP elected in Scotland". PinkNews. 
  8. ^ "Ukip members are 'tossers', says leader of Ukip in Scotland, David Coburn". Metro News. 2016-07-17. Retrieved 2016-08-16. 
  9. ^ "Interview: What UKIP's David Coburn wants for Kirkcaldy". www.fifetoday.co.uk. 
  10. ^ McCall, Chris (16 April 2015). "UKIP candidate David Coburn wants Falkirk to embrace fracking". The Falkirk Herald. Archived from the original on 17 April 2015. 
  11. ^ "UKIP candidate quits party over Scottish MEP's 'Abu Hamza' remark". BBC News. 24 March 2015. Retrieved 25 March 2015. 
  12. ^ Pegg, David; Bengtsson, Helena (29 April 2015). "Ukip MEP David Coburn banned from Wikipedia indefinitely". The Guardian. Retrieved 29 April 2015. 
  13. ^ "Ukip candidate David Coburn MEP banned from editing own Wikipedia page". 29 April 2015. Archived from the original on 1 May 2015. Retrieved 29 April 2015. 

External links[edit]