He made the claim on a visit to Hartlepool as he was questioned about a survey that suggested 28% of Ukip supporters admit to holding prejudiced views against people of other races.
Farage said he did not want any racists to vote for Ukip, saying that there were other parties to vote for if you hold those views, and he pointed out that he did not allow members whohad formerly belonged to the British National party, English Defence League or Britain First.
Speaking to BBC Radio 5’s John Pienaar, he claimed: “The biggest racism I’ve seen in British politics is happening north of the border with the SNP, where some of the anti-English hatred is reaching a truly astonishing level and I would think that if the BBC are worried about racism that’s where they ought to be looking... The SNP are openly racist. The anti-English hostility and the kind of language that is used about and towards English people is totally extraordinary.”
Later, he said rival politicians such as David Cameron and Chuka Umunna, the shadow business secretary, had wrongly condemned Ukip as racist and they ought to level the charge instead at the SNP.
Asked if he was “in denial” about racism in Ukip, he said: “Your media obsession with attempting to paint Ukip out to be a racist party is something I’m getting really rather bored of...
“This constant attempt ... to try to paint Ukip out to be a racist party is wholly unjustified, grossly unfair and is leading people out there who agree with Ukip to almost feel shy about talking about it.”
The Ukip leader was speaking at Hartlepool’s Grand Hotel, where he said the region had been “forgotten, ignored, overlooked” by government and stressed that Ukip were the “main challengers to Labour in the north of England”.
Farage believes Ukip can win a parliamentary seat in north-east England and will be the biggest party in the region by 2020.
Speaking to about 70 Ukip members, Farage said Westminster politicians viewed the region as a “plaything” where outside candidates could be parachuted in with few complaints.
The Ukip leader said his party’s strong showing in the Heywood and Middleton, Middlesbrough and South Shields by-elections proved that they could pose a strong challenge to Labour.
“The Labour vote is incredibly soft. It’s like a rotten window pane; all you have to do is push and the whole thing caves in,” he said. “Scotland was a one-party state for years and we’ve seen how the SNP have destroyed that. Nothing is for ever.”
This article was written by Rowena Mason and Dominic Smith, for theguardian.com on Tuesday 28th April 2015 17.09 Europe/Londonguardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010