The Press and Journal (Inverness, Highlands, and Islands)
Trump picks date
Balmoral visit on cards
Members of a number of Conservative organisations have called for Donald Trump to bypass London and visit Balmoral instead on his UK trip this summer.
The White House has confirmed the President of the USA will visit the UK on Friday July 13 but further details are yet to be confirmed.
The Bow Group and five other Conservative groups called on Mr Trump to visit Balmoral Castle on Royal Deeside in an open letter.
They have raised fears of any visits south of the border being overshadowed by protest and violence.
The group said: “We note your most recent visit to the United Kingdom was to Scotland, which passed without incident.
“Your ancestral homeland of Scotland represents a powerful bond between you and Britain and given the nature of the climate in London it is a superior destination.
“As you know, the Royal Estate of Balmoral Castle sits in Scotland’s Cairngorms National Park, thus allowing you to make a full state visit as the guest of the Her Majesty the Queen.”
A spokesman for the prime minister refused to rule out the possibility Mr Trump could visit Balmoral or elsewhere in Scotland, including his golf course at Menie outside Aberdeen.
He said: “We’re not confirming any details about location for security reasons.”
West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine MP Andrew Bowie, who has Balmoral Castle in his constituency, said the letter was “speculation” but added Mr Trump would be welcome.
“Trump has visited the north-east on many occasions and is contributing to the economy,” he said. “He is welcome, just as any visitor is, to this beautiful part of the world.”
North-east Labour MSP Lewis Macdonald, however, said Mr Trump had “shredded his own reputation in Scotland just as much as he has done in London”.
“These are lonely voices on the far fringes of British politics, who are no more qualified to invite Donald John Trump to Scotland than they are to inflict his company on Her Majesty The Queen,” he said.
North-east Lib Dem MSP Mike Rumbles added: “While people are entitled to give their support to President Trump if they wish, the Royal Family should not be drawn into this.”