Scottish political leaders yesterday spoke of their dismay at Donald Trump’s victory with Nicola Sturgeon claiming people would “feel a real sense of anxiety” following his election.
The First Minister could not hide her disappointment that the billionaire businessman had defeated her favoured candidate Hilary Clinton, but said the verdict of the American people should be respected.
Other Scottish politicians were more blunt and were unable to hide their disgust at the victor, Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale saying Mr Trump was “responsible for a hate-filled campaign” that was dominated by “lies, misogyny and racism”.
Meanwhile the Green co-leader Patrick Harvie urged Ms Sturgeon not to welcome the president-elect to Scotland, describing him as a “racist, sexist bully”.
The election of Mr Trump will see the White House occupied by a politician with strong Scottish links. His mother was a Gaelic speaker from Lewis and Mr Trump’s business interests include the Turnberry golf resort and the hugely controversial golf course he built on the Menie estate in Aberdeenshire.
Ms Sturgeon said: “While this is not the outcome I hoped for, it is the verdict of the American people and we must respect it. I congratulate president-elect Trump on winning the election.”
The First Minister attempted to reach out to the US and urged Mr Trump to build bridges with those he had taken on during a deeply divisive campaign.
“We value our relationship with the United States and its people. The ties that bind Scotland and the US – of family, culture and business – are deep and longstanding and they will always endure,” Ms Sturgeon said.
“It is normal in any election for those on the losing side to feel disappointment, but today many in America and across the world will also feel a real sense of anxiety. I also want to pay tribute to Hillary Clinton. While I am personally disappointed that she will not be America’s first woman president, her candidacy represented a major step forward for women in America and across the world.”
Ms Dugdale, who campaigned for Mrs Clinton in the US, said: “Donald Trump was responsible for a hate-filled campaign that was dominated by lies, misogyny and racism. He now has a responsibility to America and the world to heal the deep divisions he has caused.”
Mr Harvie said Ms Sturgeon had to be “clear that a racist, sexist bully is not welcome in Scotland even if he is US president”.
Alex Salmond, the former First Minister, originally supported Mr Trump’s plans for his Aberdeenshire golf course before falling out with the billionaire.
“His victory speech was magnanimous, but I am not surprised by that,” Mr Salmond said. “The difficulty with Donald Trump is not when he is winning and getting his own way. He is nice as ninepence in those situations. The difficulty with Donald Trump is what happens when he comes up against opposition.”