Alex Salmond has hit out at Donald Trump after the US billionaire lost his Supreme Court appeal against an offshore windfarm near his golf course in the north-east.
Mr Trump, president of the Trump Organisation, says the wind farm will spoil the view from his luxury golf links at the Menie Estate.
He argued that ministers were wrong to give the project the green light.
But the Supreme Court has ruled in favour of the ministers’ ruling and former First MinisterAlex Salmond didn’t hesitate in wading in to voice his opinion on the ruling.
“These proceedings have been dragged out for years through three successive court judgements by Donald Trump as he tried to stop an offshore Aberdeen wind turbine demonstrator by means of legal action,” Salmond said.
“In doing so he has at best postponed, and at worst jeopardised, a vital £200 million boost for the economy of the North East of Scotland. The offshore project could have been built by now with Aberdeen benefiting from becoming the offshore wind research centre of Europe – a vital development at a time of rock bottom oil prices.
“The last time Trump was beaten in Court he blamed the Scottish judicial system. Now he has been beaten in the UK Supreme Court.
“As First Minister, I was cited in Trump’s legal action. Now that it is concluded, I am free to speak my mind on the damaging impact of his interventions on the Scottish economy.
“First, he has failed to meet the claims he made for the Mennie Estate Golf complex. He has created a fine golf course, but it does not even have a permanent clubhouse at present, far less the claims of thousands of jobs and billions of investment. He has submitted further plans this year, but we are now seven years into the project with very slow progress.
“Second, by his unacceptable behaviour he has condemned Turnberry, one of the outstanding golf courses on the planet, and the scene of two of the greatest Open Championships since the war, to Open Championship oblivion. There is no way the R&A will go near the Ayrshire course while Trump is in charge. As a result Scotland stands to lose the £100m economic return from a Turnberry Open.
“Third, this delay in the offshore wind demonstrator is deeply damaging to Scotland’s hopes of being on the cutting edge of that new technology. It would have been great for the North East to have that new string to our bow at this time of low oil prices. Trump has delayed that opportunity.
“His behaviour and comments are unlikely to attract the votes of many Mexican Americans or Muslim Americans. Given his treatment of Scotland, Scots American are likely to join the ever growing list of people alienated by Trump.”
A Trump Organization spokesman said: “This is an extremely unfortunate verdict for the residents of Aberdeen and anyone who cares about Scotland’s economic future.
“The EOWDC will completely destroy the bucolic Aberdeen Bay and cast a terrible shadow upon the future of tourism for the area.
“History will judge those involved unfavorably and the outcome demonstrates the foolish, small minded and parochial mentality which dominates the current Scottish Government’s dangerous experiment with wind energy.
“While the EOWDC’s ‘leadership’ have stated the project will proceed, the onerous planning conditions remain unpurified and it is common knowledge that there is no funding for a technology that is now many years obsolete. With oil prices plummeting and the lack of money for vital projects like the AWPR, the EOWDC will never be built and comments that suggest otherwise are nothing more than delusional posturing.
“We will evaluate the Court’s decision and continue to fight this proposal on every possible front.”