Donald Trump gets RGU degree honour despite opposition


US tycoon Donald Trump has collected an honorary degree in Aberdeen, despite opposition to the decision to award him the accolade.

Robert Gordon University (RGU) presented Mr Trump with a Doctorate of Business Administration.

Last week a former principal of the university handed back his own honorary degree in protest.

Mr Trump said after receiving his honour: "I heard there was going to be a big protest and nobody showed up."

Mr Trump - who said it was "a great university and a great honour" - also reiterated recent hints that he may run for the White House.

He said: "There's been a lot of talk about me running and a lot of people want me to run, but I have not decided.

"The US is a great country and it's not doing as well as it should. It could be doing much better and I think, with proper leadership, it would do unbelievably well."

David Kennedy, principal of RGU between 1987-1997, had said he was "appalled" that Mr Trump was getting the award.

Mr Trump's plans to build the "world's greatest golf course" at Menie in Aberdeenshire have divided opinion for several years.

However, RGU chancellor Sir Ian Wood CBE told Mr Trump at the ceremony: "We are very pleased to honour you today in recognition of the significant contribution the Scottish Trump International golf resort will make to diversify the economy of the north east of Scotland."

Sir Ian said the venture would be a "major international attraction" which would put the area on the "world golfing map" by "pursuing excellence".

'Widely welcomed'

The Aberdeen businessman said the development had been "widely welcomed" by people in the area and was only opposed by a "small vocal minority".

In addition to Dr Kennedy handing back his degree, the Tripping Up Trump campaign group has also handed over a petition to RGU asking the university to retract the award.

image captionThe Tripping Up Trump group has been protesting over Mr Trump

Tripping Up Trump spokesman Martin Glegg said they had begun distributing an anti-Trump newspaper to 40,000 homes to get the "truth" about the golf development out.

On Saturday, campaigners are due to hold a protest march in the Menie area.

Work on Mr Trump's golf course development got under way earlier this year.

The billionaire has said the total cost of the project is likely to be about £750m.

Some residents object to the plans, and have refused to sell their land.

Many opponents of the development have bought a stake in a one-acre stretch of land at the heart of the resort site in a bid to disrupt it.

As well as a championship golf course, the development includes a 450-room hotel, 950 holiday apartments and 500 residential homes.

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