Where does David Coburn live?

Edinburgh is a lovely place to live. (Second on the quality-of-living index for the whole of the UK.) Edinburgh is one of a few cities around the world that are genuinely beautiful.

David Coburn EdinburghDavid Coburn is the list-topper candidate for UKIP in Scotland in the EuroElections on Thursday – Nigel Farage feels “bullish” that Coburn will become one of UKIP’s MEPs after the elections on 22nd May. And, Coburn says, he lives in Edinburgh.

David Coburn was born in Glasgow, and moved to London over twenty years ago: he was working in Kensington in 1993, where he ran the Lexicon School of English, which was dissolved in 1993 by the Companies Registrar after failing to file accounts.

He’s lived in Kensington, W11 at least since 14th August 2006 (from Companies House – he’s been the director of several companies) and he was still living there on 24th April 2014, the deadline for UKIP submitting their note of candidates to the Electoral Commission.

David Coburn's address on 25th April 2014

[Update: David Coburn has now said on Twitter that he moved to Edinburgh before 25th April 2014, which means the information he provided to the Electoral Commission was not correct:

David Coburn lies to the Electoral Commission

From the Electoral Commission’s Guidance for Candidates and Agents Part 2b 1.8: “Note that any information provided on nomination papers must be true to the best of your knowledge. It is an offence to provide a false statement on nomination papers. Providing a false statement could invalidate the election, and is also punishable by a maximum fine of £5,000 in England and Wales or £10,000 in Scotland (or an unlimited fine if convicted on indictment) and/or imprisonment of up to six months (or a year if convicted on indictment).” And the list of candidates must (1.15) “Give the full home address of each candidate.”]

In 2010, David Coburn was the UKIP candidate for Old Bexley and Sidcup, where he got 3.37% of the vote. He also became the London Regional Chairman for UKIP in 2010 after the former Chairman, Paul Wiffen, “saw red” at UKIP being described as a racist party and reacted:

“You left-wing scum are all the same, wanting to hand our birthright to Romanian gypsies who beat their wives and children into begging and stealing money they can gamble with, Muslim nutters who want to kill us and put us under medieval Sharia law, the same Africans who sold their Afro-Caribbean brothers into a slavery that Britain was first to abolish (but you still want to apologize for!)”

UKIP and Paul Wiffen apologised for those comments, and Wiffen was briefly suspended from the party and lost his post as Chair. (He was campaigning to be MP of Ilford South at the time.)

David Coburn then became the London Regional Chairman, and was even nominated by the party members to be the lead candidate for UKIP in the London Assembly elections, though Steven Woolfe was dropped into the top spot by the UKIP leadership. (As it happened, UKIP didn’t gain enough votes to get even one seat in the London Assembly.)

Hugh Muir discussed this in the Guardian on 14th March 2012:

What of Ukip? Buoyed by recent defections from the Tories, they should be happy campers as they look forward to the London Assembly elections. But it is hard to keep good cheer. Last week we flagged up the re-emergence of Paul Wiffen, the candidate who was nasty about black people and Travellers. And now we hear of discord over the party’s choice of lead candidate. Barrister and Ukip City of London spokesman Steven Woolfe has been propelled to the top spot despite being voted only fourth in an election to decide the frontrunner. The move by party chiefs has apparently left regional chairman David Coburn a little sour, and little wonder. He had been nominated for the lead role. Needs the wisdom of Solomon to sort it out. Luckily, the party’s national executive includes Neil “liar and a cheat” Hamilton, the one-time “cash for questions” MP.

David Coburn describes himself on his blog (davidcoburnukip.blogspot.co.uk) as

“UKIP London Regional Chairman, Member of UKIP NEC, UKIP London Assembly candidate 3rd May 2012, Libertarian Blogger”

At some point after he was selected by the UKIP leadership to be the top-of-the-list Scottish MEP candidate for UKIP (perhaps very much as he himself had been replaced by Stephen Woolfe for the London Assembly in 2012, though the Scottish branch of UKIP accused Coburn of making “false statements” in January) Coburn changed his Twitter profile to read:

Lead UKIP Scotland MEP Candidate, Libertarian Blogger Served in Territorials
Edinburgh · davidcoburnukip.blogspot.co.uk

David Coburn's Twitter Profile

David Coburn served in the Territorials in the “1970s when at uni” he clarified on Twitter when asked. Assuming that he went to Leeds University in 1977 aged 18, that would mean he is bragging on Twitter about student activities from 35 years ago – at a time when being gay in the military was a court-martial offence: this changed in 2000, thanks to campaigning by Stonewall and others.

David Coburn is the kind of gay man UKIP leadership can approve of: UKIP opposes lifting the ban on same-sex marriage, and Coburn thinks equal marriage was provocative to Uganda and Russia.

David Coburn describes himself as a “libertarian blogger”, and he has been on blogspot since July 2010, but his only blog has only one blogpost – EU Gin Lane, posted in 2012, when he was running for the London Assembly. His profile on blogspot describes him as an art dealer, living in London.

David Coburn Blogger Profile

He discussed Scottish politics with an interviewer at the UKIP national conference in Torquay and in Glasgow, met with the other five UKIP candidates and forty party members, at the end of February this year (when, according to the information provided to the Electoral Commission, he was still living in London).

David Coburn London Assembly Blog

Edinburgh is a lovely city and a great place to live. Why not decide to abandon the art dealing world of London business, the Gin Lane of London, and move to Edinburgh? Perhaps David Coburn has always stayed active in Scottish politics and has lots of Scottish connections? Though there is no evidence of that from his Twitter followers. The Wordle created from the locations of David Coburn’s 5000-or-so Twitter followers suggests most of them live in London or the south-east of England.

David Coburn's Twitter followers live in London mostly

David Coburn himself doesn’t seem to like Scottish politics much:

And in the twenty-plus years since he lived in Glasgow, David Coburn seems to have forgotten completely what “sectarianism” means in Scotland: he seems to think that if you visit a place of worship of a faith to which you do not belong, you are “sectarian”.

David Coburn - sectarian

So to recap: David Coburn lives in Edinburgh. Apparently. But if so, he can’t have moved to Edinburgh till after 25th April 2014. (And, though asked several times to clarify this on Twitter, he refused to give a date for his move.)

David Coburn is not a Londoner, though he has been settled in London since before 1993, and – until May 2014 – has exclusively stood for election in London constituencies.

David Coburn is a Libertarian blogger who’s apparently only ever blogged once.

David Coburn thinks “sectarianism” means “visiting a mosque”.

So I do wonder for how long David Coburn’s residency in Edinburgh will last after Thursday 22nd May.

If this Londoner wins – this Londoner with not a notion in his head of Scottish politics – it will be because not enough people voted. The turnout in the last EuroElections was 28.5% – and for all the SNP’s talk of “vote SNP to keep UKIP out” their campaigning focus is still on the independence referendum. All David Coburn has to do is get 12% of the low turnout (UKIP are polling at 9% this weekend) and a Londoner becomes the first UKIP candidate to win an election in Scotland. So turn out on 22nd May and vote.

By the way, David, there’s a good train leaving Waverley Station (platform 19) at 11:30 Monday to Saturday, gets you into London King’s Cross at only 3:55. Drop by The Piemaker on South Bridge before you catch your train for a humble pie before you go. My guess is your “living in Edinburgh” will last until the votes are counted, and not a day more.

David Coburn eats humble pie

Update, 21st May

About 5pm this evening I reported to the police that David Coburn may have committed an offence by not providing his full home address for the candidates-list. Further updates as and when they occur.

Actually ended up going to Gayfield Square police station with a mass of documents and explaining to a very young (you know you’re getting older, etc) policeman how I’d come to figure out the offence that David Coburn may have committed. Basically, all Coburn’s got to do is prove to the police that his full home address is in Kensington & has never been anywhere else and he has then not committed any offence (it is not illegal for a politician to claim he’s moved locally when he hasn’t, as far as I know). And as I suppose the police won’t get around til asking til after the election, he’ll just have gone home to London and won’t be campaigning in Scotland again…


Update, 26th May

The Western Isles haven’t declared yet but apparently there’s not enough votes there to make a difference to the result. The total votes cast was 1,335,796 (turnout roughly 33.5% from 4.1M registered voters) and the total cast for Ukip was 139,687, or 10.46% of a one-third turnout. Labour and the SNP – and the BBC – should consider themselves responsible: the BBC by continually hyping Ukip as a political party, giving Nigel Farage face-time in Scotland: the SNP and Labour for giving voters so little to vote for. But now it becomes urgent for the Electoral Commission and Police Scotland to ask David Coburn: did he put his full home address on his nomination form? Or had he really moved to Edinburgh “well before” 24th April, and just lied on his nomination form and said he hadn’t?


Update, 27th May

Yesterday, this blogpost went viral. It had been getting a few hundred hits steadily since I published it, but on 26th May it got ten thousand hits, and you are all continuing to visit it: for which I’m greatly appreciative.

Today, the Herald published an article about David Coburn “Ukip’s Coburn London-based despite Scots seat victory”, by Magnus Gardham and Greig Cameron, that pretty much replicates this blogpost. But doesn’t mention me, at all. Of course, all the information I gathered here is publicly available: but I’d like to know if Gardham and Cameron found out via this blog.

Update, 4 months later

Within a week of the vote on 18th September, David Coburn admitted on C4 News that he hadn’t voted in the independence referendum because he’s not registered to vote in Scotland. In short, the legal answer to the question I posed in May is certainly:

David Coburn EdinburghDavid Coburn was lying when he claimed to have moved to Edinburgh, but lying to voters about where you live is not an electoral offence. He was telling the truth to the Electoral Commission: his home address is Kensington.

Update, March 2015

Apparently, David Coburn of Kensington is now the UKIP PPC for Falkirk. Make of that what you will.

44 Comments

Filed under Elections, European politics, Politics

44 responses to “Where does David Coburn live?

  1. Good work Sir! *Doffs cap*

  2. keaton

    Well done on this. I look forward to hearing the cops’ reply.

    • Thanks. Do contact Police Scotland / the Electoral Commission to ask them to investigate. David Coburn needs to prove his full home address was in Kensington on 24th April or he’s committed an offence.

  3. I just love Twitter. Thank you for this sterling work. I will quote it with gay abandon.

    • If you live in Scotland, contact Police Scotland / the Electoral Commission to ask them to investigate. David Coburn needs to prove his full home address was in Kensington on 24th April or he’s committed an offence.

  4. I am mortified that this man will represent Scotland. Well he certainly doesn’t represent me or anyone I know or would want to know.

    • If you live in Scotland, contact Police Scotland / the Electoral Commission to ask them to investigate. David Coburn needs to prove his full home address was in Kensington on 24th April or he’s committed an offence.

  5. This confirms that I wasn’t hallucinating when I saw Coburn walking past Easter Road co-op one night 2 weeks back. He’s certainly citing an Easter Rd domicile in this letter column to the EEN.
    http://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/news/opinion/letters/letters-save-hunter-s-hall-park-from-council-cycle-plan-1-3396762

    • Well well. Perhaps he did lie on his nomination form ….

      • Doesn’t add much to the trail, but this is my verbatim email to a couple of friends on the night I spotted him in Easter Road, Thurs evening, May 15th:

        “About 10 minutes ago, David Coburn UKIP walking down the top of Easter Road. Unmistakably him, purple and gold UKIP tie, on his own. Not aware of any local hustings. Seemed weird !”

  6. STEVE

    All out on this one !

  7. innerbearsdenurchin

    What are the chances that he says it was a geunine mistake?

    He didn’t understand the difference of being domiciled and living at?

    He was living in Edinburgh during the election run up.

    The EC will let him off; unintentional error etc.

  8. Pam McMahon

    The Scottish electorate is getting as embarrassing as our football team. I am deeply ashamed of what has been done today in my country, but look forward to him joining the BetterTogethers, which will immediately improve the chances of a Yes vote. Fortunately he doesn’t appear to be very bright, and made a real cock-up of his interview on BBC Radio Scotland this morning, under some very feeble questioning from UKIP’s main sponsers in Scotland

    • Bzzzz

      Oi! Leave the fitba team out of this! we’re up to a heady 22nd in the world I’ll have you know! Nothing to be embarrassed about at all! I’m far more disgusted and embarrassed that people have seen fit to vote for these utter scumbags. It is completely and utterly disgusting!
      Makes a Yes vote in September SO much more important now.

  9. Pingback: Scoville Units Unite » Blog Archive » Parachuted, Delusional and Probably an MEP

  10. Very good piece exposing the skin crawling hypocrisy of UKIP and their dim witted followers. Keep up the good work. Alba Gu Brath

  11. Hope we can get this obnoxious man on some technicality. Apathy rules again low turn out and creeps get in!

  12. Albagubrath

    On a slightly separate note, I wonder where his vote is registered !
    In particular, is he registered in both London and Edinburgh electoral rolls ?
    It should be easy enough to find out … If someone has the means of organising a search.
    Wouldn’t it be marvellous if we could get him on double-registration🙂

  13. Tricia Wright

    I’ve complained to the electoral commission via email, as has around 15 others from Facebook , looking for a conclusion……

  14. Chris Murray

    Reblogged this on The Ego Factor and commented:
    Wondering who David Coburn is? As good a quick guide as any you’ll see.

  15. Scottish Conservative

    It is quite pathetic that most of you are out to get him on grounds of his political affiliation. The man has been democratically elected as an MEP for Scotland. I am no UKIP fan but we have to accept that 10.5% of those who voted in Scotland wanted a UKIP MEP.

    Personally I think that almost all supporters of Scottish Independence create bizarre arguments that are complete tosh and reflect ignorance but I don’t try and strike down SNP MEPs.

    Maybe he lives in both Edinburgh and London. I live at 2 addresses.

    • I’m sorry that you think it’s “pathetic” to require candidates to follow the rules, ScottishConservative. In point of fact, as I’m well aware, if David Coburn’s election is invalidated because he failed to give his full home address, we’ll still have a UKIP MEP in Scotland, more’s the pity: we’ll just have the one immediately down the list from David Coburn, who presumably did enter his full home address on the form.

      It’s nice that you have two homes. Perhaps David Coburn does too, and opted for some inexplicable reason to give his Kensington home as his full home address, while making a point of telling voters that he lived in Edinburgh.

      It’s odd, to say the least, that if a candidate seeking election in Scotland has a home in Scotland and makes a point of telling the Scottish electorate that he lives in Scotland – that he failed to use that home address when he was nominated as the UKIP lead candidate.

    • As a followup:

      The order of events which led to this post – which is still available on Twitter if you care to look – is that I knew David Coburn as the London Regional Chair of Ukip. So when he appeared on my radar in early May as the lead Ukip candidate for Scotland, I was a tad surprised. But there’s no law that says a person running for election in an area has to be resident in that area.

      However, I referred to Coburn as a Londoner and he reacted as you may see in the initial screencapped tweet; he claimed he wasn’t a Londoner, he was a Glaswegian living in Edinburgh.

      So I asked him when he moved to Edinburgh, since I knew it had to have been sometime in the past six months, and I did not – then – know when Coburn had been picked to be Ukip candidate.

      And he wouldn’t tell me. Understand, I wasn’t looking for an exact date: Coburn could have said “April” or “February” or “early in 2014”. But he didn’t.

      And then I found that according to the list of candidates, the full home address Coburn or his agent had given to the Electoral Commission wasn’t in Edinburgh, it was in London. Which meant, I presumed, that if he had moved to Edinburgh, it would have to be on or after 25th April, since 24th April was the deadline for nominations.

      So I asked him again. And again, Coburn could have responded in a number of ways that would have indicated this was a honest mistake, but he opted to tell me this was none of my business.

      Now, I don’t know about you, SC, but as far as I am concerned if someone is running for election and there is information they are legally supposed to provide and they do not appear to have done so, if they tell me, a voter, that this information is “None of my business”; well, yes, it is. The electoral regulations say it is.

      And that’s what led to my writing and publishing this post. I would have done the same for any lead candidate who appeared to have this kind of distant relationship with the truth and the same contemptuous attitude to electoral regulations and voters. But yes, it does strike me that this kind of dishonesty and contempt for the public is very typical of Ukip politicians.

  16. Cohen Hand

    Bizarrely enough, Coburn was also a director of the mysteriously monikored company Heliogabalus Consulting.

    https://www.duedil.com/director/911568379/david-adam-coburn/directorships

    This is where it gets very amusing. While you can find nothing whatsoever about the elusive Heliogabalus Consulting, the name derives from the ancient Roman Emperor Heliogabalus, who like many roman emperors, was known for…well…not the most upstanding of behaviour, put it that way.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elagabalus

    He also “assumed the imperial titles without prior senatorial approval” !

    Oh, you gotta laugh really.

    • Cohen Hand

      …by the way, it appears his official title with UKIP between Feb 2012 and Dec 2013 was “art dealer”.

    • Hummmmmm …. all very hmmmmmmm
      Elagabalus “abandoned himself to the grossest pleasures and ungoverned fury.” and is branded in history above all others” because of his “unspeakably disgusting life”…. Wikipedia (accessed 27th april 2014).

  17. Iain Rodger

    Brilliant stuff – well done!

  18. If Only it Were True

    I was pointed to this via a link posted on the Edinburgh Evening news article http://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/news/ukip-mep-warned-to-expect-closer-scrutiny-1-3424670#comments-area
    I am very thankful I came to read it! I dearly hope that the authorities ACTUALLY do something about this!

  19. I laughed at the picture of humble pie…very creative.

  20. Does anyone know how many times Coburn has visited Scotland since his election and where his constituency office is?

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