A MURAL linking Ukip leader Nigel Farage with Adolf Hitler has been described as “patronising” to working class voters by Scotland’s only Ukip MEP.
St John’s Espiscopal Church, in Princes Street, unveiled the controversial mural this week, which portrays a grinning Mr Farage standing in front of Hitler, Oswald Mosley and former BNP leader Nick Griffin. The top corner of the image simply reads “Evolution?”.
David Coburn, Ukip MEP for Scotland, told the Evening News: “It is an insult to Ukip voters in Scotland. It’s a slap in the face to people by comparing them to fascists. Many of the people who voted for me are Episcopalians or Church of Scotland, and good Christians.”
The mural is more likely to help the party rather than harm them, he added, pointing out that very often this sort of gesture had backfired in England.
Mr Coburn said: “I think if anything it is a recruiting poster for us.
“There is nothing hardworking Scots like better than to be patronised by a bunch of clergymen.”
But the move was defended by former Church of Scotland minister Ewan Aitken, who said the church had to remain relevant by engaging with contemporary issues.
Mr Aitken, a former city council leader, said: “I think the murals have always pushed the boundaries.
“Whether or not you agree with the composition of the murals subjects, there are questions to be asked about a political party whose policies predicate change rather than celebrating differences.
“I think the church needs to be speaking outside its walls and challenging people in unexpected ways, on unexpected subjects.
“By being challenged, that is how you find out what you believe.”
The church has attracted controversy in the past for its murals, which have addressed the Iraq war, gay marriage and the introduction of female bishops.
The murals are intended to “provoke discussion and a response from passers-by” and are planned by a group including the Rector Markus Dünzkofer and Associate Rector Stephen Holmes, according to the church’s website.
St John’s Church was unavailable for comment when approached by the Evening News.