Protests as Donald Trump arrives in Scotland

14 July 2018, 09:29 | Updated: 14 July 2018, 09:32

Greenpeace Trump Turnberry

Donald Trump has touched down in Scotland, with the controversial US president arriving for a "private visit" shortly after thousands of demonstrators took to the streets to protest against his visit.

Thousands of Scots gathered in Glasgow's George Square, waving signs with messages such as "Give the weans Irn Bru not iron cages".

Another protestor told the tycoon turned politician: "Bolt ya rocket and make Scotland great again."

Mr Trump and his wife Melania travelled to Scotland aboard Air Force One, touching down at Glasgow Prestwick Airport at 8.22pm on Friday.

Hundreds of people who had gathered at a viewing area there looked on as the president and first lady disembarked from the plane and were greeted, briefly, by Scottish Secretary David Mundell.

The Trumps were then driven towards the nearby Turnberry golf resort, one of two golf courses in Scotland owned by the president

Mr Mundell said afterwards the US President told him he was "pleased to be here" and that the UK's relationship with the US was "very important".

The Scottish Secretary said: "I was pleased to greet Mr Trump on behalf of the UK Government when he arrived in Scotland. The UK and the USA a have long and important relationship - we have close cultural ties, a strong economic partnership and the US is one of our most important security allies.

"The president's visit is an opportunity to strengthen those vital links. Mr Trump is passionate about his Scottish heritage, and I hope he enjoys his visit to Scotland."

A Trump jet, used by the president's family, was already parked outside a hangar at Prestwick when Air Force One touched down.

The president's son Eric Trump had spent Thursday at the Trump golf course in Aberdeenshire, and said he was looking forward to spending the weekend with his father.

But others were less pleased by the arrival of Mr Trump, whose mother was born on the Hebridean Isle of Lewis.

Earlier in the evening demonstrators had packed George Square, with SNP depute leader Keith Brown declaring that the rally "tells the world what Scotland thinks of the US president".

Mr Brown said: "This city and this country has got an extremely proud record of welcoming refugees and immigrants from all around the world, that's one of the defining aspects of Scotland and difference between us and Donald Trump."

He told the crowd: "Let's show Donald Trump what we think of his policies.

"Let's show what Scotland thinks of his immigration policies, of his anti-Muslim policies, of the way that he treats women.

"And let's show the world what Scotland thinks of Donald Trump."

With no meeting scheduled between the president and Scotland's First Minister, Mr Brown stated: "People are saying to me why is he not meeting Nicola Sturgeon?

"The reason is she would tell him what she thinks, unlike Theresa May."

As the crowd booed Mr Brown said: "I don't think Scotland likes Donald Trump very much."

Scottish Labour leader Richard Leonard said the rally gave people "a voice to show why they are protesting against Donald Trump's visit".

He said: "My message to Trump is to think again about racism, think again about your misogyny, think again about your Islamophobia, think again about climate change, think again about trade unions and workers' rights.

"Rethink your whole political approach and then there might be some possibility of there being some meaningful dialogue."

Scottish Green co-convener Patrick Harvie spoke out about the "revulsion" felt by some to the US president - branding him a " delusional, arrogant, vain person".

He added: "He's entirely made of ego."

Other protests are planned for Scotland this weekend, as Mr Trump makes what has been described as a "private visit" to his Turnberry golf resort in Ayrshire.

A national demonstration is to take place at the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh on Saturday along with a Carnival of Resistance in the Meadows area of the capital.

Campaigners will also gather outside the Trump International Golf Links in Balmedie, Aberdeenshire, on Saturday and it is predicted there could be further demonstrations at Trump Turnberry where the president is expected to play golf.