Nigel Farage, leader of the UK Independence Party, had to be given a police escort through an angry crowd as he tried to take his party's anti-EU message to Scotland.
The UKIP leader was holding a press conference in Edinburgh's Cannons Gait pub when protestors started to arrive and heckle him, before police cleared them out. A hostile demonstration then started outside the pub, to shouts of “racist, Nazi scum” and calls for Mr Farage to “go back to England.” The demonstrators appear to have been mainly young, left wing supporters of Scottish independence.
According to eye witnesses, Mr Farage tried to leave his press conference by taxi, but the driver refused to move when demonsrators blocked the way. He tried to hail a second taxi, which refused to stop, after which he went and took refuge back in the pub.
The Ukip leader had travelled to Scotland confidently claiming that UKIP is on the verge of a political breakthrough north of the border, although in the last Scottish Parliament elections in 2011, the party picked up only 0.91 per cent of the vote. Ukip will contest a by election on June 20 for the Scottish Parliament in Aberdeen Donside, previously held for the SNP by Brian Adam, who died last month.
“We are growing in Scotland and have every intention of winning seats both at Holyrood and in next year's European elections north of the border. A fantasy? Not in the slightest,” Mr Farage wrote in a press article at the weekend.