A north-east Fife spokesman for a Scottish anti-windfarm group has denounced the leader of the Scottish Green Party as ”unfit to hold public office”.
Green Party co-convener Patrick Harvie MSP is a member of Holyrood’s economy, energy and tourism committee, to whom Donald Trump gave evidence last week.
Last Wednesday the US businessman was cross-examined by the committee, which is investigating renewable energy targets.
Mr Trump, a prominent opponent of wind power, has crossed swords with First Minister Alex Salmond over a proposed offshore windfarm within sight of his golf course development on the Aberdeenshire coast.
At the end of the session Mr Harvie, a strident advocate of wind energy, was seen to give a two-fingered sign to Mr Trump as he left the committee room.
Ceres man Graham Lang, of Communities Against Turbines Scotland (CATS), also gave evidence to the committee. After learning of Mr Harvie’s actions, Mr Lang said: ”Whatever one’s views on wind power, this shows an appalling lack of decorum and respect for an invited guest.”
He added: ”Patrick Harvie was there as an elected representative on official business, and one of Mr Trump’s hosts. Behaviour like this belongs in the playground, not in the committee chambers of our national parliament.
”Mr Harvie has demeaned his office and should make a full apology forthwith.”
Mr Lang said ”outrage” at Mr Harvie’s conduct has spread following his use of religious imagery on Twitter and Facebook to ”lampoon” Mr Trump.
A picture shows the crucifixion scene from the Monty Python film The Life Of Brian, with speech-bubbles quoting Mr Trump’s phrase ”I am the evidence” when asked by the committee about evidence that wind turbines damage tourism.
Mr Lang has written to the First Minister and the other party leaders on CATS’ behalf to complain about Mr Harvie.
He said: ”We find this gratuitous material deeply offensive. We do not believe it remotely acceptable that an MSP should post such an image or that MSP who sits on that committee to originate and circulate this kind of material targeted at a witness.”
A Green Party spokesman told The Courier that Mr Harvie’s image on Twitter was ”tongue in cheek”. The spokesman said CATS can be assured he takes Mr Trump’s evidence ”as seriously as it deserves”.
Regarding the V sign made by Mr Harvie, the spokesman said: ”I wasn’t in the room at the time. I do, however, understand Patrick asked Mr Trump about the famous V sign he makes wherever he goes.
”It’s possible while attempting to copy Mr Trump he got it the wrong way round.”
Last week Mr Trump accused the Scottish Government of reneging on a deal to keep a development of ”hideous” wind turbines away from his new golf course in Aberdeenshire, in a fresh assault on the SNP’s policy to back renewables in Scotland.
The billionaire property developer claimed in his submission to the Scottish Parliament that he ”would never have built in Scotland” had he known about the proposals to build a series of turbines off the coast of his new development.
He claimed the development would ”destroy the beauty I invested in”, saying the plans were equivalent to slapping a 1960s apartment block on the top of Edinburgh’s Arthur’s Seat.
Plans to erect turbines across Scotland would ruin the countryside, he said, adding that nations such as Ireland were ”thrilled” by Scotland’s decision to ”commit financial suicide”.
A decision on planning permission is expected later this year.
A VisitScotland survey has concluded that most visitors to Scotland would not be put off by windfarms.
Mr Salmond has also highlighted the economic benefits of the renewables industry and the green ambitions of Scotland.