SCOTLAND'S only elected Ukip politician was last night facing calls for the sack amid all-party condemnation after likening SNP minister Humza Yousaf to the terrorist Abu Hamza.


Ukip leader Nigel Farage was urged to expel MEP David Coburn from the anti-immigrant anti-EU party for making the slur in a telephone call to a Daily Mail journalist.

After the paper reported the comment yesterday, Muslim groups said stereotyping of Muslims as terrorists was "one the most shameful forms of Islamophobia" and backed the calls for Coburn to be sacked.

Yousaf, the country's only Muslim minister, also wrote a personal letter of complaint to Farage, while Nicola Sturgeon said comparing Yousaf to the hook-handed hate cleric was "reprehensible".

The First Minister said: "For David Coburn to effectively compare Humza to a convicted terrorist because he is Muslim is disgraceful and he must surely face consequences for that.

"This is about the most basic standards of decency in public life - even for a party like Ukip - but there seems to be no depths below which Mr Coburn will not sink. Nigel Farage should remove him from his party."

The attack on Yousaf, the minister for Europe and International Development, followed Coburn's appearance on a BBC TV debate on immigration last Tuesday, in which the SNP was represented by French-born MSP Christian Allard.

Coburn told the Mail that Yousaf was originally meant to be on the show, adding: "Humza Yousaf, or as I call him, Abu Hamza, didn't seem to turn up".

Hamza, an extremist preacher at Finsbury Park mosque in London, was extradited to the US in 2012 after an eight-year legal battle.

He was sentenced to life imprisonment in January after a New York court found him guilty of 11 charges of terrorism and kidnapping.

Ukip's Scottish chairman, Arthur Misty Thackeray, bizarrely claimed Coburn had made a "slip of the tongue" and "got a name wrong".

But Coburn, who became Scotland's first Ukip MEP last year, has a history of controversy.

He recently said the oil price collapse would have seen Alex Salmond "hanging from a lamp-post" had Scots voted Yes in the referendum.

The openly-gay MEP also claimed same-sex marriage was imposed by "equality Nazis" for the benefit of "some queen who wants to dress up in a bridal frock and dance up the aisle to the Village People".

In his letter to Farage, Yousaf said of the Abu Hamza remark: "None of us would tolerate this being shouted to a Muslim on the street by a member of the public.

"The fact that this has come from an elected member of the European Parliament is beyond the pale and completely unacceptable."

Yousaf said Ukip had been "plagued by a number of incidents where senior party members have made xenophobic, racist or Islamophobic remarks".

He went on: "I call on you to immediately suspend David Coburn while you investigate this matter and if he is found to be guilty of making these remarks then I expect he will be expelled from Ukip."

Yousaf also complained to European Parliament President Martin Schulz.

If Coburn is sacked, he could continue to sit in Brussels as an Independent MEP.

In 2013, Ukip was forced to sack another controversial MEP, Godfrey Bloom, after he said a room at a Ukip conference fringe meeting was "full of sluts" and struck a TV reporter over the head with a conference brochure.

Mazhar Khan, of the Muslim Council of Scotland, said: "The stereotyping of Muslims as extremists and terrorists is one the most shameful forms of Islamophobia. For a leader of a political party to make the same type of insult, is frankly disgraceful and reprehensible."

Asid Khan, President of Glasgow Central Mosque, added: "David Coburn's unacceptable Islamophobia has no place in a tolerant and diverse Scotland. His remarks have deeply insulted the entire Muslim community in Scotland and as others have rightly said his position is untenable. Ukip should expel him without hesitation."

Coburn was universally condemned at Holyrood.

Scottish Labour leader Jim Murphy said: "These comments are sickening and senseless. This isn't the first time that Mr Coburn has been caught out for having vile views. People across Scotland, including even those who voted for him, will now want to see the back of him."

Scottish LibDem leader Willie Rennie said: "This was a new low from an MEP who is incapable of opening his mouth without being grotesquely offensive. Nigel Farage keeps telling us his party is not racist or prejudiced. It is time that he proved it by sacking Mr Coburn."

Backing the expulsion call, Green MSP Alison Johnstone accused Coburn of "racism" adding: "Even set against Ukip's track record, David Coburn's comments are utterly reprehensible."

A Scottish Tory spokesman said: "Anyone following the utterly unimpressive political career of this Nigel Farage wannabe won't be remotely surprised by this stupid and completely inaccurate slur. If Ukip still want this man on their books, more fool them."

Thackeray insisted: "This is a non-story. David Coburn did not compare Humza Yousaf to convicted terrorist Abu Hamza.

"He simply got a name wrong, which many people do on a daily basis. It simply was a slip of the tongue."

However, a Ukip spokesman said: "Mr Coburn's comments were made in jest and he thought it was off the record but they were in very bad taste.

"He was obviously caused offence and he is very sorry to have done so. He has written to Mr Yousaf offering his sincerest apologies."