Torture, tantrums and a new twist to Trump

THEY came seeking protection from the threat of being thrown out of their homes by Donald Trump's golf development.

But the "intolerable psychological torture" of four families is set to continue after Aberdeenshire council last night failed to lift the threat of compulsory purchase orders being used to acquire their homes.

In an impassioned plea to Aberdeenshire Council, David Milne called for a clear and decisive vote.

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"I don't know how many of you have even tried to imagine what it's like not knowing if your home will be your own for much longer – not knowing if the next birthday or Christmas will be the last in your own house," he said.

"It is a horrible situation to be in, not knowing if the people who are effectively your neighbours will throw you out.

"I ask you now to stand up – stand up for your own personal conscience, stand up for ethics, stand up for morals and stand up for the reputation of Aberdeenshire."

It was a plea which fell on deaf ears. Two hours later Mr Milne left a stormy meeting of the full council still facing the possibility of all four families being forced from their homes because of the Trump Organisation's new master plan for the 1 billion Menie golf resort.

Councillors refused to back a motion, stating unequivocally that compulsory purchase orders would not be used "to force Aberdeenshire residents" from their homes on the Menie estate.

Instead they voted for an amendment by the ruling administration which protesters branded a "cowardly fudge".

Mr Milne, speaking on behalf of the four families whose land is now said to be "vital" to the developing master plan, had been given a standing ovation by more than 100 anti-Trump supporters in the public benches when he was called to address councillors.

As he left the meeting at the Aberdeen Conference and Exhibition Centre a furious Mr Milne said: "It was a decision based upon cowardice. It's a fudge and it only prolongs the threat hanging over us."

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Michael Forbes, the salmon fisherman whose home is also under threat, joined in the condemnation of the council's vote and blasted the authority as "Trump's puppets in action".

Last night Mr Trump issued a statement from his headquarters at Trump Towers in New York, welcoming the council's decision.

He then rounded on Councillor Martin Ford, the outspoken independent councillor who had tabled the motion calling for an end to the threat of CPOs at Menie, accusing him of a "deliberate attempt to undermine this process and circumvent Scots Law".

More than 100 placard-bearing protesters, some wearing Donald Trump masks, had staged a noisy protest outside the exhibition centre as councillors arrived for the meeting.

And, shortly after the CPO debate was concluded, the building had to be evacuated after the fire alarm system was deliberately set off.

A spokesman for Grampian Police said: "A 20-year-old man from the Aberdeen area has been detained in connection with an incident at the Aberdeen Conference and Exhibition Centre and our inquiries are continuing."

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