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The SNP didn’t do enough to call out Donald Trump

Donald Trump plays a round of golf on the Trump Turnberry resort in South Ayrshire - Credit: PA

One reader takes exception to John Bercow’s column on Donald Trump.

I must take issue with one statement in the otherwise excellent article by John Bercow on ex-president Trump. Mr Bercow credits the SNP (among others) with recognising Trump as a malign force and calling him out for his bigotry from day one. Fake news, I’m afraid.

Trump appeared in Scotland in 2006 announcing he would build a huge golf resort at Menie in Aberdeenshire which would include “the greatest golf course in the world”. His implausible assertions included a promise of a billion-pound investment and creation of 6,000 jobs. He insisted that his principal golf course had to be built on sand dunes designated as a site of special scientific interest. He also demanded the abandonment of a planned wind farm and the acquisition of the homes of residents living on the Menie estate. He was welcomed by Labour, Conservative, Liberal Democrat and SNP politicians alike.

In November 2007, Aberdeenshire Council’s Infrastructure Services Committee voted to refuse planning permission for Trump’s proposed development as it breached numerous planning policies relating to environmental protection and housing. A few days later, SNP first minister Alex Salmond personally intervened and Trump’s planning application was called in by the Scottish government. The Council’s decision was overturned and Trump got his planning permission from the Scottish government in 2008. Thirteen days after the council’s decision to refuse planning permission, Aberdeenshire’s SNP councillors all voted to sack me as the chair of the Infrastructure Services Committee, for not supporting Trump’s planning application.

SNP support for Trump continued as he escalated his campaign of bullying and intimidation against those Menie residents who had refused to sell him their homes.

It took the SNP far longer to repudiate Trump than it has taken Republican Senate leader Mitch McConnell.
Cllr Martin Ford
Fintray, Aberdeenshire

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