Cutting up rough: Trump and Salmond's love-in blown off course by wind farm plan


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The Independent Online

Donald Trump has more reason than most to fear the Scottish wind.

It was during a visit to his mother's grave on the Isle of Lewis that the tycoon's famous comb-over took a battering in the breeze in front of the world's media.

However, it emerged this week that Mr Trump's antipathy towards the elements runs deeper. In an extraordinary letter to Alex Salmond, which also signalled the end of the pair's previously cosy relationship, the billionaire declared open warfare on the nation's emerging wind-power industry.

Mr Trump is demanding that the First Minister quash plans to build a Swedish-backed 11-turbine offshore wind farm in Aberdeen Bay – close to his controversial £750m golf course on the Menie Estate, which includes a luxury hotel and holiday homes.

"With the reckless installation of these monsters, you will single-handedly have done more damage to Scotland than virtually any event in Scottish history," wrote Mr Trump.

The tycoon revealed he had established a "substantial" war chest to fight plans to build more offshore facilities, which he said he was doing to "save Scotland and honour my mother, Mary MacLeod". His letter was warmly welcomed by anti-wind-farm groups.

In response, Mr Salmond, left, who has been embroiled in an equally unseemly spat with a BBC official this week whom he compared to a Nazi bureaucrat after he was dropped from a TV panel discussing the England-Scotland rugby match, said he believed Mr Trump would one day learn to love the wind.

"People will be opposed for a whole variety of reasons but as we mobilise this industry, as we are established as world leaders, tens of thousands of jobs come to this country and as we re-industrialise this nation then, eventually, just about everybody will get on board, even Donald Trump," said Mr Salmond.

It is a low-water mark in relations between the two men. Only four years ago the First Minister and Sir Sean Connery were invited to play a round at the course after the Scottish Government backed it in the face of environmental protests.

Mr Trump's intervention has, however, enraged supporters of wind power. It is estimated that Scottish waters could eventually provide a quarter of Europe's potential offshore wind energy and generate enough electricity to power the nation seven times over.

Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie said Scotland should not be "bullied by Mr Trump and his millions".