Scotland politics

Alex Salmond and Donald Trump in war of words

Trump Salmond
Image caption Mr Salmond and Mr Trump have exchanged barbs over the presidential hopeful's impact on Scotland's economy

A war of words has erupted between Scotland's former first minister Alex Salmond and US tycoon Donald Trump.

Mr Salmond decided to speak his mind about the US presidential hopeful after a supreme court decision on a contested wind farm development.

The SNP MP said Mr Trump was a "three-time loser" who was having a "damaging impact" on the Scottish economy.

Mr Trump hit back at Mr Salmond calling him "a has-been and totally irrelevant".

The US businessman's legal challenge to a planned offshore wind farm off the Aberdeenshire coast, close to Mr Trump's Menie golf course, was rejected by the UK's Supreme Court.

This led Mr Salmond to launch an attack on Mr Trump's impact on Scotland.

He accused Mr Trump of "condemning" Turnberry, the Ayrshire golf resort he bought in 2014, to "Open Championship oblivion".

Earlier, the chief executive of the Professional Golfer's Association said Mr Trump's comments on the presidential campaign trail were "not a positive thing for golf", amid speculation the Open Championship will not be hosted at Turnberry in light of his controversial statements.

Mr Trump has attracted even more controversy that usual in his campaign seeking the Republican nomination for the US presidential race.

A petition to have the billionaire barred from entry to the UK gathered hundreds of thousands of signatures after he called for a temporary halt on Muslims being allowed to enter the United States.

'Unacceptable behaviour'

SNP MP and MSP Mr Salmond said as he was no longer first minister he was now free to speak his mind on the "damaging impact" of Mr Trump's "interventions" on the Scottish economy.

He said: "By his unacceptable behaviour he has condemned Turnberry, one of the outstanding golf courses on the planet, to Open Championship oblivion.

"There is no way the R&A will go near the Ayrshire course while Trump is in charge. As a result Scotland stands to lose the £100m economic return from a Turnberry Open."

Image copyright Other
Image caption Mr Trump bought Turnberry in 2014

Mr Salmond also said Mr Trump had "failed to meet the claims he made for the Menie Estate Golf complex" in Aberdeenshire.

He said the "fine golf course" did not have a permanent club house, "far less the claims of thousands of jobs and billions of investment", and said his legal challenge to an offshore wind farm near the course was "deeply damaging".

A spokesman for the Trump organisation hit back at Mr Salmond, saying: "Does anyone care what this man thinks? He's a has-been and totally irrelevant.

"The fact that he doesn't even know what's going on in his own constituency says it all. We have a permanent clubhouse and the business is flourishing.

"He should go back to doing what he does best - unveiling pompous portraits of himself that pander to his already overinflated ego."

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