04:26 GMT +308 December 2019
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    US tycoon Donald Trump (C) is escorted by Scottish pipers as he officially opens his new multi-million pound Trump International Golf Links course in Aberdeenshire, Scotland, on July 10, 2012.

    Rising Anger in UK Fuels Anti-Trump Sentiment

    © AFP 2019 / Andy Buchanan
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    US Republican Party presidential hopeful, billionaire Donald J. Trump's call for a "total and complete shutdown" on Muslims entering the states has prompted huge backing for calls for him to be banned from the UK, where he has substantial interests.

    A parliamentary petition stating: "The signatories believe Donald J Trump should be banned from UK entry" had garnered over 88,000 signatures by lunchtime Wednesday and was quickly heading for 100,000. The UK Government has to respond to any petition with more than 10,000 and the petition could even prompt a parliamentary debate.

    Petition: Block Donald J Trump from UK entry
    © Photo : UK Parliament
    Petition: Block Donald J Trump from UK entry

    UK Prime Minister David Cameron — in a rare intervention into US politics — criticized Trump, saying his comments were "divisive, unhelpful and quite simply wrong".

    "We have been told that those who espouse hatred have no place in the UK. We expect the same rules to apply to [Trump] if he tries to enter the UK," the Muslim Council of Britain said.

    Meanwhile, a second petition called for him to be stripped of an honorary degree from Robert Gordon University in Aberdeen. He was awarded a Doctorate of Business Administration from in October 2010.

    The petition — which had 18,000 signatures by lunchtime Wednesday — stated: "We respectfully request that Robert Gordon University (Aberdeen) strips Donald Trump of the honorary degree it bestowed on him with immediate effect.

    "We feel that Donald Trump's unrepentant, persistent verbal attacks on various groups of people based on nationality, religion, race and physical abilities are a huge detriment to RGU. Hate speech must not have a place in academia, in politics or on the world stage. We are confident RGU will agree with the petitioners, and act swiftly," the petition said.

    Hole in One

    Trump's dealing with the UK have caused protests in the past — chiefly surrounding his links with golf. In 2006, Trump bought the Menie estate in Balmedie, Aberdeenshire, Scotland with the intention of creating a highly contentious $US1,5 billion (£1bn) golf resort and "the world's best golf course", capable of hosting world class events such as The Open Championship. 

    The plans caused huge objections from Scottish Natural Heritage, The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, the Scottish Wildlife Trust and the Botanical Society of the British Isles, The Ramblers' Association Scotland, Aberdeenshire Local Outdoor Access Forum and the Scottish Rights of Way Society, among others, and were initially rejected.

    The major objections were that the development — which included a 5-star 450-room hotel, two 18-hole golf courses, a conference center and spa, 36 golf villas, 950 holiday homes, accommodation for 400 staff and residential developments comprising 500 houses — was endangering ancient sand dunes.

    Aberdeenshire Council finally approved the plans, but Trump is still a much hated figure in the area, with locals saying he used his wealth and political weight to blight the Scottish countryside.

    In April 2014, Trump purchased the Turnberry hotel and golf resort in Ayrshire, Scotland, which is a regular fixture in the Open Championship rota.


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