Pub­lic right to protest pro­tected if Trump vis­its, min­is­ter pledges

The Press and Journal (Moray) - - NEWS -

Polic­ing of any visit to Scot­land by Don­ald Trump will main­tain the “im­por­tant right to protest peace­fully”, the com­mu­nity safety min­is­ter has pledged.

Annabelle Ewing said the Scot­tish Govern­ment had not been ad­vised over whether the out­spo­ken US pres­i­dent will travel north when he comes to the UK in July.

But she stressed Scot­land’s “proud and long­stand­ing tra­di­tion of peace­ful protest” would be main­tained if he does.

Mr Trump has sev­eral con­nec­tions to Scot­land, own­ing golf re­sorts in Ayr­shire and Aberdeen­shire, and his mother was born in Lewis in the Outer He­brides.

Green MSP Pa­trick Harvie said many Scots would want to ex­press “their re­vul­sion at the racism, the misog­yny, the cli­mate de­nial and the litany of lies Pres­i­dent Trump is re­spon­si­ble for”.

And he asked Ms Ewing to “en­sure the right to protest is not re­stricted in the event of a visit to Scot­land by Don­ald Trump”.

She told him: “There is no law in Scot­land stop­ping peo­ple from protest­ing in a peace­ful man­ner.

“Po­lice Scot­land has con­firmed ar­range­ments are in place to po­lice any visit in a way that main­tains the pub­lic’s right to protest peace­fully, while en­forc­ing ex­ist­ing laws as nec­es­sary.” The first min­is­ter has stated her op­po­si­tion to giv­ing all pris­on­ers the right to vote af­ter a Holy­rood com­mit­tee backed the move.

Ni­cola Stur­geon said she did not agree with the con­clu­sion of the Equal­i­ties and Hu­man Rights Com­mit­tee that pris­on­ers serv­ing cus­to­dial sen­tences should be en­fran­chised.

Ms Stur­geon told First Min­is­ter’s Ques­tions a “grown-up” de­bate over the is­sue was needed fol­low­ing de­vo­lu­tion of the rel­e­vant power to the Scot­tish Par­lia­ment.

But in re­sponse to a

Don­ald Trump is vis­it­ing the UK in July

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