NIGEL Farage is facing fierce criticism over the decision to charge people to attend a Brexit Party rally in Edinburgh.

Farage is returning to Edinburgh six years after he had to barricade himself inside a Royal Mile pub to avoid protesters.

He will lead a rally at Edinburgh Corn Exchange on Friday night – charging attendees £2.50 for the pleasure – amid campaigning for the European Parliament Elections on May 23.

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Alex Cole-Hamilton, Liberal Democrat MSP for Edinburgh Western, said the Brexit Party leader was “out of his mind” if he think locals will pay up to attend the rally.

“I’m ready to welcome anyone to the finest city in Scotland,” Cole-Hamilton said.

"Though judging by the last time he usually gets short shrift when he comes to Edinburgh.

“He must be out of his mind if he thinks citizens of the capital will be willing to pay to hear his narrow-minded, insular world view.”

Social media users also condemned the visit as a “money-making exercise”.

One outraged commenter said: "I hope he addresses an empty hall, what brass neck to expect that people will pay to hear his ranting.”

Another added: "It is just a money-making exercise from start to finish", while someone else commented, "no doubt there will be dozen or so utter mugs willing to cough up".

"They should be paying people to attend,” read another comment.

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Security is expected to be heightened for the event on Friday.

Jim Ferguson, Scottish chairman of charity Crimestoppers, said police would “take any kind of law-breaking" at the event seriously.

The Inverness businessman said: "Just because people don’t agree with a particular political view, doesn’t mean they can be violent or disruptive and the police will absolutely be there to ensure the rule of law will be kept.

“I can tell you that Police Scotland will take any kind of law-breaking very seriously, and they’re very good at their job.”