The man who represents US property tycoon Donald Trump has demanded that the co-convener of the Scottish Greens apologise for ”juvenile and offensive” behaviour during a Scottish Parliamentary hearing into wind turbines.
In an exclusive interview from Trump HQ in New York, Mr Trump’s legal counsel and vice-president of the Trump Organisation, George Sorial, told The Courier that the Trump Organisation have made an official complaint to the public standards commissioner for Scotland about Patrick Harvie’s behaviour at Holyrood’s economy, energy and tourism committee, to whom Donald Trump gave evidence.
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 stringent advocate of wind energy, was seen to give a two-fingered sign to Mr Trump as he left the committee room.
Scottish anti-windfarm group Communities Against Turbines Scotland (CATS), who also gave evidence, have already made a complaint to the Scottish Government about this and Mr Harvie’s 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.
The Scottish Greens have laughed off the matter as ”tongue in cheek”.
However, Mr Sorial said this was ”no laughing matter” and revealed an official complaint had now been made to the commissioner on their behalf by John Campbell QC.
Mr Sorial said: ”Mr Harvie’s conduct during the committee meeting was really juvenile and certainly not what you would expect from someone who is an elected member of parliament and supposed to be holding public trust. It’s no joking matter. Perhaps the Greens find serious issues like the future of Scotland’s economy and tourism sector a joke.
”We took time to come to Scotland as invited guests of the committee. This childish behaviour by Mr Harvie brings disgrace to the entire parliament.
”With regards to his tweet, it’s absolutely disgusting and he has offended people all over the world. There’s nothing humorous or tongue in cheek about making fun of the crucifixion. It shouldn’t be demeaned whether you agree with it or not. If he had a shred of decency he would apologise to the millions he has offended.
”He obviously has a lot of time on his hands to do this sort of thing. Maybe he should be a politician for five minutes instead of a comedian, because he’s not very good at either based on his performance last week.”
Mr Sorial also revealed the Trump Organisation is stepping up its legal fight against the Scottish Government over plans for 11 giant wind turbines off the Aberdeenshire coast.
They have hired a team of legal representatives as part of a ”protracted process” to continue opposition to the North Sea windfarm proposals and their belief that it will spoil the view from Mr Trump’s golfing resort on the Balmedie estate, near Menie.
Mr Sorial said ”the battle is not over” and Trump representatives would be making monthly visits to Scotland as they continue the fight.
The Green have offered assurances that it takes Mr Trump’s evidence ”as seriously as it deserves”.
A spokesman said he understood Mr Harvie asked Mr Trump about the famous V sign he makes wherever he goes and may have ”got it the wrong way round”.
The Scottish Government has rejected Mr Trump’s concerns about wind turbines, highlighting the economic benefits of the renewables industry and the green ambitions of Scotland.
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