The European Parliament has been asked to investigate the conduct of UKIP MEP David Coburn after he made Islamophobic remarks, comparing SNP MSP Humza Yousaf to convicted terrorist Abu Hamza.
Humza Yousaf has today written to European Parliament President Martin Schulz calling for David Coburn’s remarks to be investigated and for disciplinary action to be taken as appropriate. Scotland’s five other MEPs have also written to Mr Schulz backing Humza’s call for an investigation.
Yesterday as he did this lunchtime, on the BBC's flagship political programme 'the Daily Politics', UKIP Leader Nigel Farage attempted to laugh off the issue as ‘a joke in poor taste’ and said he would not be taking action as he has ‘many other things on my plate’.
It also emerged today that David Coburn had ducked out of a debate at Dundee and Angus College rather than answer to the public for his comments.
Commenting, SNP MSP Humza Yousaf said: "The abhorrent remarks made by David Coburn were an absolute disgrace that would not be acceptable for any individual to make, let alone an elected member of the European Parliament. The European Union rightly prides itself on its promotion of tolerance and inclusion – something David Coburn’s remarks are completely at odds with."
"David Coburn’s Islamophobic insult has caused serious offence and anger to the Muslim community in Scotland, the UK and further afield. It is not acceptable and action must be taken. Bigotry of the kind displayed by David Coburn should not be tolerated and I hope that the European Parliament will send out a strong message by taking action against him." Mr Yousaf added.
SNP MEP Alyn Smith added: "David Coburn’s appalling remarks are an absolute embarrassment from an elected parliamentarian. For the sake of the European Parliament’s reputation and common decency, action needs to be taken. I am glad that Scotland's other MEPs can unite to call for such action."