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'Google it': David Coburn grilled on Ukip claims and policies

The Ukip leader was asked name his sources for his party's manifesto figures.

By STV News

Published 12 Apr 2016.

David Coburn has struggled to cite sources for Ukip's headline election figures, in an interview with STV's Bernard Ponsonby.

Ukip's leader in Scotland urged viewers to 'Google it' as he did not have the sources to hand. He was asked if he simply makes his figures up.

Coburn said: "A little bit of both, Bernard, I try to be interesting and fun so people actually listen".

At his manifesto launch on Thursday, Coburn pledged to cut "town hall fat cat salaries" and said that in Glasgow city council "five of them or so" individuals earn more than £150,000.

Figures obtained by STV News, however, show that only one employee - the chief executive - earns that figure.

Coburn explained that "we found that it looks like a good piece of information" and his source is "local government papers" but he could not remember which source.

He was clear that he "certainly did not make it up".

His speech at the manifesto launch also claimed that the proposed 1p rise on income tax rates by other parties would raise "in the region of £800m". However, research by the Scottish Parliament Information Centre stated that it would instead raise £475m.

When that figure was put to Coburn by STV's Bernard Ponsonby, Coburn insisted that he "researched it".

He said: "Well, we researched it. I don't remember every source we got it from, Bernard. That is nitpicking".

Coburn was then asked to clarify where he found his figure on how many Scots pay the higher rate of income tax. On Thursday, Coburn said that 17,000 Scots pay the tax. He again was asked if he made it up.

Coburn answered: "No. That was the figures we thought, we were right and that is the figures we have given you. If I knew that source I would tell you right now but I didn't know you were going to ask me that question otherwise I would of had it. I am sure we can Google it and look it up after".

UKIP are standing in every regional list in next May's Holyrood election.

Election Face to Face features party leaders in the Holyrood elections being interviewed by STV News Political Editor Bernard Ponsonby:

It is screened on STV Glasgow and STV Edinburgh at 8.30pm and then on Scotland Tonight on STV at 10.30pm.

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