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Donald Trump blasts ‘ungrateful’ Scots politicians

Donald Trump
Gretchen Ertl | Reuters
Donald Trump

Donald Trump has accused Nicola Sturgeon of failing to appreciate his greatness, after the Scottish government dropped the US presidential candidate as a business ambassador on the grounds that he is a bigot.

The mogul on Thursday hit back at his mother's homeland after Ms Sturgeon, first minister, stripped Mr Trump of his "GlobalScot" ambassador status and Aberdeen's Robert Gordon University revoked an honorary degree.

"The UK politicians should be thanking me instead of pandering to political correctness", Mr Trump said, adding: "I have done so much for Scotland."

Mr Trump this week called for Muslims to be banned from entering the US, provoking global outrage — a UK petition calling for him to be banned from the country had more than 440,000 signatures by Thursday afternoon. That made it the most popular campaign ever on the government's website.

Writing in the Press & Journal newspaper, Mr Trump cited his Scottish golf interests: the Trump International Golf Links course near Aberdeen and his £200m investment in the Trump Turnberry resort on the Ayrshire coast.

The billionaire's investment in Aberdeenshire has so far been much less substantial than originally billed. He has repeatedly declined to say when he might start construction of a planned second course, hotel expansion and more than 2,000 holiday and residential homes.

But after suggesting he would not invest any more in Scotland, Mr Trump in 2014 bought the historic Turnberry golf course and has already given its clubhouse an expensive refurbishment.

"If they — Nicola Sturgeon and RGU — were going to do this, they should have informed me before my major investment in this £200m development, which will totally revitalise that vast region of Scotland", he said.

Mr Trump added that in calling for "a total and complete shutdown" of the US to the world's estimated 1.6bn Muslims, he "only said what needed to be said", adding that many of his friends are Muslim.

Mr Trump's "recent remarks have shown he is no longer fit to be a business ambassador for Scotland", according to Scottish government spokesperson.

The presidential candidate was appointed as a GlobalScot ambassador in 2006 by then first minister Jack McConnell.

At the time, Mr Trump, whose mother hailed from the Isle of Lewis, said that "part of my achievement can be attributed to my Scottish roots".

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Mr Trump attended several "Dressed to Kilt" events in New York City from 2006 to 2013 to promote the Scottish fashion industry but Scottish Enterprise, the country's trade promotion body, said it could not immediately provide full details of what Mr Trump did as part of his ambassadorial role.

A spokesperson for Aberdeen's Robert Gordon University said that Mr Trump was awarded the Doctor of Business Administration degree in 2010 due to "his achievements as an entrepreneur and businessman".

"In the course of the current US election campaign, Mr Trump has made a number of statements that are wholly incompatible with the ethos and values of the university. The university has therefore decided to revoke its award of the honorary degree."

This is not the first time in recent history that Mr Trump has run into trouble with Scottish authorities.

In October he took his fight against a wind farm near the Golf Links course to the UK Supreme Court, the latest stage in Mr Trump's campaign to keep turbines out of view of his Aberdeenshire golf course.

An Edinburgh appeal court in June dismissed Mr Trump's request for a review of what he says was the Scottish government's unfair approval for the project, with judges concluding his lawyers had not come "anywhere near" substantiating his suspicions.

Mr Trump has been a vociferous opponent of the planned £230m European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre, an 11-turbine project located 3.5km offshore from his development at the Menie Estate, north of Aberdeen.

Mr Trump has said the European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre threatens "the destruction of Aberdeen and Scotland itself".

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