THE Scottish Greens will be fighting to oust David Coburn if the UK takes part in next month’s European Parliament elections, Patrick Harvie has said.

Writing in The National today, the Glasgow MSP said his party would be targeting efforts to unseat the former Ukip MEP and replace him with a Green politician.

“The Scottish Greens would jump at the chance to help Scotland unburden itself of its bizarrely incoherent far-right MEP, and to elect someone who can make the case in Europe for the Green New Deal Scotland needs,” wrote Harvie.

“An MEP who will advocate for an urgent and radical shift away from the oil and gas industry and into clean energy, and ending our reliance on arms manufacturers and corporate tax dodgers, in favour of an economy that puts the public interest first, working in partnership as part of the European family we belong to.”

Coburn was elected to the European Parliament in 2014. He was the first Ukip politician in Scotland to get elected to any parliament and takes his seat as part of one alliance of rightwing populist parties called the Europe of Freedom and Direct Democracy group.

There are fears in the EU that the far-right may increase its representation in the elections which run from May 23-26.

Responding to the concerns, Harvie wrote: “A myth has been allowed to develop that only the far-right populists are gaining ground. But while it’s true that they pose a serious threat, the truth is that in many European countries it’s the Greens people are turning to for a positive vision of the future.

"People want a political movement that’s not afraid to acknowledge the challenges we face and the failings of the political centre ground, but which is not willing to let our societies turn inward against one another. In countries like Belgium, the Netherlands, and in many parts of Germany the ‘Green wave’ is overtaking not only the far-right but also failed parties of the centre and the old left too.”

The Scottish Greens will hold their Spring conference in Edinburgh tomorrow and Sunday where it is expected hustings will take place for potential European Parliament candidates.

Maggie Chapman, the party’s co-convener, and Lorna Slater, a former Westminster candidate, are understood to be among the contenders.