Trump in new attack

Donald Trump has launched an extraordinary attack on First Minister Alex Salmond, claiming that the Aberdeenshire East MSP had done “more damage to Scotland than virtually any event in Scotland’s history.”

His outburst came in a letter to the First Minister, following the decision by an Aberdeenshire Council committee not to offer any recommendation to Marine Scotland as part of its consultation over whether the Aberdeen Bay European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre (EOWDC) should proceed.

The tycoon, who is set to complete his Menie golf course in July, signalled his intent to Mr Salmond to fight offshore wind developments by allocating ‘substantial’ funds towards an ‘international campaign’ to fight plans “to surround Scotland’s coast with many thousands of wind turbines.”

Mr Salmond declined to make any comment on Mr Trump’s letter.

However, in a prior television interview, the First Minister indicated his continued support for offshore renewables, saying: “As we re-industrialise this nation then, eventually, just about everybody will get on board – even Donald Trump.”

Describing the missive as an “extraordinary letter to send to the First Minister or anyone else”, East Garioch Councillor Martin Ford said: “We have become used to absurd, exaggerated and downright untrue claims from Donald Trump, but this letter is an over-the-top rant even by his standards.”

Scottish Lib Dem leader Willie Rennie said: “This letter is a rather desperate attempt by a rich man who is used to getting his own way, but his latest tizzy is embarrassing. Instead of the world laughing at Scotland, Scotland is laughing at Mr Trump.

“I would urge the First Minister to listen to Mr Trump but no more, and no less than anyone else. We won’t be bullied by Mr Trump and his millions.”

EOWDC project spokesman David Rodger confirmed that the organisation had been in dialogue with Trump International via telephone conference on February 10.

Mr Rodger said: “No conclusions were reached but we trust there will be further dialogue.”

Mr Trump announced a postponement of work at his resort last month after proposals for the 11-turbine windfarm near the Menie estate were lodged with Marine Scotland.

The proposal is a £150 million joint venture by utility company Vattenfall, engineering firm Technip and Aberdeen Renewable Energy Group.

Vattenfall said recently that if Marine Scotland gives the go-ahead for the Aberdeen Bay development, work would start on the project early next year.