Conservative groups urge Donald Trump to visit Scotland and skip London

0
Have your say

A trans-Atlantic coalition of conservative groups have called on US President Donald Trump to skip London when he visits the UK later this year, and travel directly to Scotland instead.

The Bow Group and Republicans Overseas Scotland have written to Mr Trump warning him that "many in Britain have shown an extremely immature attitude" towards his presidency, while his "ancestral homeland of Scotland represents a powerful bond" between the US President and the UK.

Their letter, backed by four other conservative associations including the Bruges Group, urges Mr Trump to make the Queen's Scottish resident at Balmoral his base on the upcoming visit in order to be "afforded the warmest of welcomes".

READ MORE: Donald Trump warned of mass protests for Scotland summer visit
Downing Street has indicated that a formal announcement of a short working visit, likely in the days after a NATO summit in Brussels on 12 July, could come within days. With the Mr Trump's mother hailing from the Western Isles and the US President owning two golf resorts in Scotland, speculation has focused on the possibility of a visit north of the border.

Scottish Labour leader Richard Leonard has pledged to lead protests if Mr Trump does come to Scotland as part of his itinerary.

"The heart of the political and media establishment in Britain is based in London, and similar to Washington and New York, it is often far out of touch with ordinary people on the street," the letter states.

"London has experienced several terrorist atrocities recently, and it is unlikely that it would be possible for you to make a state visit to the city without a level of security that would effectively place it at a stand-still.


"With this in mind, and as supporters of your Presidency, we feel that London would not be the best location for your visit, and we wish to recommend an alternative."


The letter goes on: "We note that your most recent visit to the United Kingdom was to Scotland, which passed without incident. Your ancestral homeland of Scotland represents a powerful bond between you and Britain, and given the nature of the climate in London, it is a superior destination.

"As you know, the Royal Estate of Balmoral Castle sits in Scotland's Cairgorms National Park, thus allowing you to make a full state visit as the guest of the Her Majesty the Queen." The Queen is not normally at Balmoral in July.

Tory councillor Ben Harris-Quinney, the chairman of the Bow Group, added: "Unfortunately, unlike countries such as Poland and France who have welcomed President Trump, many in Britain have shown an extremely immature attitude towards his important and necessary visit to America's closest ally.

"A visit to London by the President is likely to draw major protests, crime and disorder, and we do not wish to see Britain or President Trump embarrassed by this. I have worked with President Trump's advisors previously to suggest a non London focussed visit, but we have now done so formally and publicly with this letter.

"It is important that the people of the United States and its government know there are many in Britain who strongly support the President and the special relationship, and wish for President Trump to be afforded the warmest of welcomes, sadly that will not be the case in London"


Drew Liquerman, the chairman of Republicans Overseas Scotland said: "President Trump's strong contribution to the Scottish economy and unique relationship with Scotland in addition to security concerns brought about in London in part by large demonstrations supported and backed by London Mayor Sadiq Khan, make Scotland a natural choice for a state visit to further the US – UK special relationship”

Scottish Green Party co-leader Patrick Harvie MSP said he "laughed" at the idea of Scotland welcoming Mr Trump, who he claimed as an "odious man".

“If this group of Tories think coming to Scotland will avoid the level of opposition Trump would receive in London, they frankly misunderstand Scotland’s long history of opposing racism, sexism and bigotry," Mr Harvie said.

READ MORE: Leader comment: France usurping UK’s ‘special relationship’ with US