Donald Trump: 'UK politicians should be thanking me'

image copyrightAFP
image captionMr Trump is seeking to be the Republican candidate in the US presidential election

Donald Trump has hit back at high-profile Scottish snubs in the wake of his call for Muslims to be banned from entering the US.

Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has joined calls for Mr Trump to be considered for exclusion from the UK.

Mr Trump, who owns two Scottish golf courses, had already been dropped as a business ambassador by Ms Sturgeon.

He has also been stripped of an honorary degree by Robert Gordon University (RGU) in Aberdeen.

An online petition calling for Donald Trump to be blocked from entry to the UK has broken the parliamentary website record and by Friday morning had more than half a million signatures.

The previous top spot was held by a petition earlier this year calling for the UK to accept more asylum seekers and increase refugee support, which was signed 446,924 times.

The Petitions Committee is expected to discuss the petition at its meeting on 5 January.

A rival petition saying Mr Trump should not be banned has reached more than 20,000 although it has been live for a shorter time.

In a briefing to journalists, Ms Sturgeon's spokeswoman said the first minister had made her views on Mr Trump "quite clear".

The spokeswoman added: "She agrees that there are laws around people who make certain comments being allowed in and he should be considered in the same way.

"The home secretary should consider the issue."

Home Secretary Theresa May has the power to exclude an individual if she considers that his or her presence is "not conducive to the public good or if their exclusion is justified on public policy grounds".

Ms Sturgeon was speaking after Mr Trump wrote an article published in the Press and Journal newspaper in which he said politicians should be thanking him for the work he has done in Scotland.

image copyrightGetty Images
image captionMr Trump opened his multi-million pound Trump International Golf Links course in Aberdeenshire in 2012

The US presidential hopeful said: "I have done so much for Scotland, including building Trump International Golf Links, Scotland, which has received the highest accolades, and is what many believe to be one of the greatest golf courses anywhere in the world.

"Additionally, I have made a significant investment in the redevelopment of the iconic Turnberry Resort, which will have massive ballrooms, complete room refurbishments, a new golf course and a total rebuilding of the world famous Ailsa course to the highest standards and specifications of the Royal and Ancient.

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

"The UK politicians should be thanking me instead of pandering to political correctness."

Rival petition

The billionaire property tycoon added in a tweet: "The United Kingdom is trying hard to disguise their massive Muslim problem. Everybody is wise to what is happening. Very sad. Be honest."

He also thanked the "respected columnist Katie Hopkins" for her "powerful writing on the UK's Muslim problem".

image captionRobert Gordon University presented Mr Trump with an honorary degree in 2010

Rapper Snoop Dogg was temporarily excluded from the UK when his visa was refused, while former champion boxer and convicted rapist Mike Tyson was banned in 2013.

R&B singer Chris Brown, who had been sentenced to community labour for assaulting then-girlfriend Rihanna, the pop singer, was blocked in 2010.

Mr Trump had been appointed as a GlobalScot ambassador by Labour's then first minister Jack McConnell in 2006.

However, a Scottish government spokeswoman said on Wednesday that Mr Trump's "recent remarks have shown he is no longer fit to be a business ambassador for Scotland".

Mr Trump - who has developed a golf resort at Menie, north of Aberdeen - was awarded an honorary degree by RGU in 2010.

But the university said his comments had been "wholly incompatible" with its ethos and values.

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