A BAN on US presidential candidate Donald Trump from entering the UK would be a “catastrophe” for the world-famous Ayrshire golf resort which he owns, MPs heard last night.
A petition calling for a UK travel ban on the dollar billionaire was debated by MPs after he last year called for all Muslims to be stopped from entering the US as part of a terrorism crackdown.
The Westminster debate attracted coverage in the US where Mr Trump, the current frontrunner for the Republican nomination in the US presidential elections later this year, was making a major speech in Virginia.
Mr Trump has threatened to withdraw millions of pounds of investment from Scotland where he owns the Turnberry golf course in Ayrshire and the Trump international resort at Menie Estate in Aberdeenshire.
The SNP’s Corri Wilson, who represents Ayr, Carrick and Cumnock which covers Turnberry, said staff at the resort were overwhelmingly behind Mr Trump’s involvement.
One long-time Turnberry member told her the resort had been “left languishing for years but had now found an engaged benefactor”.
Ms Wilson criticised Mr Trump’s political statements, but added: “Ayr, Carrick and Cumnock cannot afford to spurn the investment of the Trump Organisation because the head of the family business is spouting right-wing rhetoric.”
She added: “In the words of the club captain, ‘If the Trump Organisation pulls out of Turnberry because its head is locked out, it would be a catastrophe for the resort and a tragedy for the local community.”
She added: “Banning someone for wanting to ban others is in my view an inappropriate response.”
There was no vote after last night’s debate and MPs were split on the issue of a ban.
Labour’s Bradford West MP Naz Shah said she would invite Mr Trump to her constituency, take him for a curry and show him religious places to challenge his views. She said Mr Trump was a “demagogue” who “panders to people’s fears”, adding: “I, as a Member of Parliament for Bradford West, would give an open invitation to Donald Trump to visit my constituency.”
Tasmina Ahmed-Sheikh, the SNP trade and investment spokeswoman, called for Mr Trump to be banned for making comments which “condemn a whole religion for the actions of a terrorist death cult [Islamic State]” and to direct his criticism elsewhere.