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'Trump effect' is blamed for wind farm split

SCOTLAND'S anti-wind farm lobby has apparently split over the involvement and financial backing of Donald Trump, with claims he is a distraction to the campaign and its aims.

BANNED: A proposed Donald Trump advert against wind farms.
BANNED: A proposed Donald Trump advert against wind farms.

Mr Trump, who is fighting an offshore wind farm near his Aberdeenshire golf course, lent his support to Communities Against Turbines Scotland (Cats) earlier this year ahead of a Holyrood inquiry into Scotland's ambitious renewables targets.

It is understood he gave several thousands of pounds to Cats for advertising and campaigning.

Cats has denied Mr Trump's involvement in the organisation had caused dissent but Linda Holt, who was the group's press officer until earlier this week, has publicly criticised the high-profile link with the tycoon.

Ms Holt, who is still an independent campaigner and is organising a protest at the SNP's Perth Conference today, claimed she was "summarily dismissed by Cats directors" after criticising the group's leadership.

She said "Trump has been a distraction from the thousands of ordinary Scottish folk who feel outraged by the Government's relentless push to 'turbinize' Scotland whatever the cost."

She added: "Cats's softly, softly strategy hasn't worked and it's time for a stronger approach. The Scottish Government can ignore objections to planning applications, they can ignore letters but they can't ignore hundreds of folk in the streets, stamping their feet and demanding a rethink."

A spokeswoman for Scottish Renewables said: "It looks like the anti-wind farm movement in Scotland is tearing itself apart."

WWF Scotland's director, Dr Richard Dixon, said: "The stability of Scotland's anti-wind farm movement now seems to be just as flimsy as the spurious arguments they use."

Cats chairwoman Susan Crosthwaite, denied the group had split over Mr Trump. "That's Linda Holt's bugbear," she said.

"She has always been against our involvement with him. He has given a small amount of money as a donation."

Mr Trump has pledged a campaign against Scottish Government plans to meet the equivalent of 100% of the country's electricity consumption from renewables by 2020.

Meanwhile, he has released a copy of an advert he says was rejected by standards watchdogs. It features a picture of Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed al Megrahi, the man convicted of the Lockerbie bombing, above an image of off-shore wind farm with the catchline: "Do You Want Alex Salmond to Destroy Scotland?"

Mr Trump said: "I don't know what is wrong with it, it seems factually accurate to me."

It is understood the advert was withdrawn following guidance from the ASA's committee of advertising practice.

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