SCOTLAND SPARED; TRUMP GETS STATE VISIT BUT..Aberdeen runway could scupper plans for another golfing jolly.
Byline: TORCUIL CRICHTON
SCOTLAND could be spared a visit by Donald Trump when he comes to the UK in June - because the runway at Aberdeen airport isn't long enough for Air Force One.
Buckingham Palace yesterday announced that the US president will make his first state visit to Britain, following a "working visit" last July.
Trump used that occasion to shamelessly promote his Turnberry golf course, flying in a planeload of US business contacts for a weekend at the Ayrshire resort.
The president is said to want to repeat the golfing stunt for his controversial Trump International Golf Links in Aberdeenshire this time. But the snag is that Aberdeen's runway is too short to safely land the presidential plane, a massive Boeing VC-25.
The Scottish Government said it wasn't aware of any plans for a visit north of the Border.
A spokesman said: "We have not been approached by the UK Government in relation to the state visit by President Trump.
"Scotland has deep and long-standing ties of family, friendship and business with the US, which will continue to endure. However, we will not compromise our fundamental values of equality, diversity and human rights and we expect these values to be made clear during the president's visit to the UK."
Trump's controversial policies and views sparked massive demonstrations during his last trip to the UK.
Policing costs for the Scottish part of that visit were thought to have reached PS5million.
Protesters heckled the president from behind a police perimeter as he played golf and a Greenpeace protester in a paraglider managed to breach the air security zone around Turnberry.
The organisation Stand Up To Trump pledged yesterday to again mobilise in huge numbers when the red carpet is rolled out for the president in June.
During the state visit, Trump will be a guest of the Queen and be treated to a state banquet.
He will also have discussions with the Prime Minister in Downing Street but is unlikely to address Parliament as Speaker John Bercow has banned him from Westminster.
The man behind the big inflatable balloon dubbed Baby Trump said he hoped his creation would once again float above Parliament Square while the president is in London.
Trump's visit will coincide with the 75th anniversary of the D-Day landings.
He is set to make a speech in Portsmouth on June 5 - the eve of the anniversary of the invasion that cost more than 3000 US lives on the first day alone.
Theresa May said: "The state visit is an opportunity to strengthen our already close relationship in areas such as trade, investment, security and defence."
But Labour's Emily Thornberry slammed the PM for "wasting taxpayers' money on all the pomp, ceremony and policing" of the visit.
The White House said the visit would "reaffirm the special relationship" between the US and the UK.
The state visit will reaffirm our special relationship WHITE HOUSE ON NEWS OF TRUMP'S TRIP IN JUNE
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REINFLATED Baby Trump balloon is set to float over London again