THE leader of UKIP in Scotland has said his party is full of "total tossers".

The comments came during an interview with Scots MEP David Coburn after the Sunday Herald learned that UKIP is demanding a £5000 deposit from any member who wants to run to succeed Nigel Farage as party leader.

The Sunday Herald was passed an email from UKIP's chairman which said that the nomination form for anyone running to replace Farage as UK party leader "must be accompanied by a cheque or Paypal payment for £5,000, which shall be refunded upon polling at least 5% of the vote”.

In an apparent move to detoxify the party, the email also warns members who want to stand for election that their social media profiles must be purged of racist posts.

“Please be aware that ‘liking’ or ‘sharing’ anything by a UKIP proscribed party will result in a failed vetting status,” the email said.

“For the avoidance of doubt, the proscribed parties and organisations are: British National Party; National Front; British Freedom Party; British People's Party; English Defence League; Britain First; UK First Party.”

The Scottish Conservatives, Scottish Liberal Democrats and Scottish Greens have all criticised UKIP’s “leadership levy”.

Discussing the deposit, UKIP’s leader in Scotland David Coburn said that some party members were “total tossers”, and insisted the financial “barrier” was necessary to ensure the right candidates stepped forward.

He also defended the £5,000 deposit, saying “it can’t be that difficult to get that kind of money in this day and age”.

Green MSP Ross Greer, said: “It’s not really surprising that UKIP would seek to take advantage of its wealthy and out-of-touch senior politicians and shut normal people out of the process. The outgoing leader worked as a trader in the City of London and its only MP plied his trade with an investment management company.”

Liberal Democrat MSP Mike Rumbles said: “The fact that UKIP demand a £5,000 deposit to stand for the leadership of their party says everything you need to know about them. They are only interested in having 'well off' leaders, not exactly the image they like to portray of themselves.”

A spokesman for the Scottish Conservatives described UKIP as “an utterly shambolic organisation”.

“It's obviously up to UKIP how it wants to run its leadership campaign, but charging people £5,000 for the privilege is hardly going to open the contest up and increase competition,” added the spokesman.

“You'd think a party which has such leadership chaos north and south of the border wouldn't want to charge a leadership levy.”

UKIP members in Scotland have also attacked party chiefs for demanding a £5,000 deposit.

One former parliamentary candidate said: “I was asked to pay UKIP £75 to put my name forward for the Scottish elections - £25 for checks and £50 towards campaign funds - more preferred.

“But this must be the only party in the country to ask for a £5,000 deposit to stand for an internal election.

“I just wonder where I could get £5,000 must be well-off people they want.”

Another party member added: “It just shows that UKIP represents the disaffected Tories and not the ex-Labour working class that they say they represent. Not many members could afford £5,000 to put their name forward.”

Scotland’s only elected UKIP politician David Coburn MEP – who “considered standing” but is now backing Steven Woolfe for leader – dismissed the criticism.

“I think it is more a question of choosing the right candidate,” he said. “It’s quite simple, the reason we’ve got that barrier is because people have to be serious, not frivolous candidates.

“If anyone felt strongly enough they could ask their supporters for money. Nobody is being excluded. It can’t be that difficult to get that kind of money in this day and age. It’s not prohibitive or excluding anyone, it’s just making sure people are serious.”

One former Scottish branch chair, who is also backing English MEP Woolfe, said Coburn should be removed as party leader in Scotland.

“The few remaining Scottish members will demand that Woolfe, if successful, act immediately to end Coburn's disastrous autocracy,” they said.

“Should Woolfe become party leader, let's hope he has the self-confidence to mirror Theresa May, castigating the plainly toxic characters in one sweep.”

Coburn said: “In any party there are people who will say this rubbish. A lot of them have sneaked into the party from other parties. These are also people who didn’t get chosen for a seat. Perhaps they have an axe to grind.”

He added: “We’ve got some total tossers in our party who are only out for themselves.”

UKIP leadership candidates have until July 31 to secure nomination by providing £5,000 to the party and securing the support of at least 50 members from ten branches.

Ballot papers will be issued to party members on September 1 and the count and declaration is scheduled for September 16.