UK Politics

Banning Trump from UK 'would do him good' says Salmond

Donald Trump Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Mr Trump is leading several opinion polls to be the Republicans' presidential candidate

Alex Salmond has backed calls for Donald Trump to be banned from the UK.

The US Presidential candidate must be treated the same as anyone else making anti-Muslim remarks, the ex-SNP leader said, and a ban would "do him good".

MPs will debate a petition on Monday urging action against Mr Trump after he called for Muslims to be denied entry to the US on counter-terrorism grounds.

Labour's Jeremy Corbyn said Mr Trump should be able to visit the UK and see the contribution made by Muslims.

The tycoon's call for a temporary ban on Muslims, which he made in response to the deadly shootings in San Bernardino in December, were criticised across the political spectrum in the US and Europe.

He caused further anger by claiming that areas of London and other parts of the UK have become so radicalised that they have become no-go areas for the police.

Despite the political backlash, Mr Trump is still leading several opinion polls in the race to be the Republican candidate for November's election ahead of the first primary contest next month.

'Same criteria'

Mr Trump, who owns the Turnberry golf course among other assets in Scotland, has threatened to cancel £700m of planned investment if he is blocked from returning to the UK.

But the former Scottish first minister, who once courted Mr Trump but whose relationship with him has deteriorated in recent months and who has been involved in a war of words with the tycoon, said he believed there were grounds for excluding him.

Image caption Mr Salmond claimed Mr Trump had only invested one-tenth of what he had promised in Scotland

"What should happen is that the home secretary should consider Donald Trump's remarks in the same way as she consider the remarks of hundreds of other people and she should do it with exactly the same criteria.

"My view is that, yes, I would probably ban "The Donald" because it would do him some good. He wants to ban all Muslims from the US. I want to ban all Donald Trumps from Scotland."

The UK home secretary has the power to ban people from entering the UK on grounds of national security, if they are thought likely to incite racial hatred or if they are deemed not to be "conducive to the public good".

'Off the wall'

Theresa May has banned more than 200 people since 2010, according to figures published last year, although she has declined to comment on whether Mr Trump could be added to the list.

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Media captionJeremy Corbyn: "I would go down to the mosque with Donald Trump"

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has joined prime minister David Cameron in opposing a ban, telling the BBC that although Mr Trump's views were "weird and off-the-wall", he would benefit from seeing first-hand how Muslims were treated in the UK and their contribution to British society.

"I decided to invite Donald Trump on his visit to Britain to come with me to my constituency because he has problems with Mexicans and he has problems with Muslims," he told the Andrew Marr Show.

"As you know my wife is Mexican and my constituency is very, very multi-cultural so what I was going to do was go down to the mosque with him and let him talk to people there."

He added: "I don't think we should ban people from coming to Britain on that basis. I think he should come here and have a lesson in going to all our cities. Why can't he go to Leicester, Birmingham and Newcastle and see that we have great diversity in our society."

More than 573,000 have signed the petition calling for Mr Trump to be banned from the UK. MPs will debate the petition, and a counter-petition criticising a ban signed by more than 42,000 people for three hours on Monday, starting at 16.30 GMT.

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