THE Home Secretary should consider banning Donald Trump from Britain after the presidential hopeful called for Muslims to be refused entry to the United States, the Scottish Government's minister for international development has said.

Humza Yousaf, the Glasgow MSP, said that the business tycoon's policies, if implemented, would transform America into an "apartheid state" and launched an outspoken condemnation of his "divisive and hateful" comments.

SNP MP Tasmina Ahmed-Sheikh, the party's trade and investment spokeswoman at Westminster, said she believed that Mr Trump, who has significant business interests in Scotland, should be refused entry to the UK as what he said amounted to "hate preaching".

HeraldScotland: SNP MSP Humza Yousaf at the Scottish Parliament, Holyrood, Edinburgh....Picture Stewart Attwood

Mr Trump, who is considered the frontrunner in the race to become the Republican nominee for president, has been faced worldwide condemnation after claiming that Muslims nursed a "hatred" for Americans.

He yesterday called for "a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States" after a couple, believed to have been radicalised, opened fire and killed 14 people at a health centre in San Bernardino, California.

Mr Yousaf said: "Recent comments from Donald Trump are divisive, hateful and designed to cause division between communities. During the Republican Presidential nomination campaign Donald Trump has also suggested that Muslims should be under increased surveillance, advocated the shutting down of Mosques and suggested there should be a register of Muslims so that they can be easily identified.

"This is hate speech that if implemented would undoubtedly lead to the US becoming an apartheid state. I am aware of a petition to the Home Secretary asking her to consider banning Donald Trump from entering the UK, I hope she will give it due consideration as we should not allow hate speech which seeks to divide communities unfettered access to the UK."

A series of figures have been banned from the UK in recent years on the back of racist statements. Last year, controversial French comedian Dieudonne was banned from entering Britain by the Home Office as a result of accusations of anti-Semitism.

Mr Trump was in Scotland as recently as July, when he visited his Trump Turnberry in Ayrshire. He also owns the Trump International Golf Links at Balmedie, Aberdeenshire, which was opened following years of controversy in 2012.

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Ms Ahmed-Sheikh, the MP for Ochil and South Perthshire, said: "It is within the gift of the UK Government to deny access to people who are hate preachers and not conducive to the public good.

"And so the test is does what Donald Trump has said amount to hate preaching? And I would suggest that it does, given that he has denounced an entire religion. And does it do the public good to have him preaching such things on our soil? I would say that on both he meets the test".

She added that she hoped that Mr Trump failed in his bid to become the Republican presidential candidate.

"I hope we can rely on the people of the US, when the time comes, to reject Mr Trump and all he stands for," she said.

HeraldScotland: Tasmina Ahmed-Sheikh

She refused to be drawn on Mr Trump’s golf course in Aberdeenshire, saying that was "for the authorities in Scotland".

A motion has been issued at Holyrood by Green MSP Partick Harvie which states that "several of Mr Trump's statements during the presidential campaign have been so extreme as to be widely compared with fascism."

Meanwhile, Robert Gordon University has said it was "considering" Mr Trump's honorary degree, which was awarded in 2010, after a petition calling for it to be revoked attracted thousands of signatures.

No 10 said that the Prime Minister believed Mr Trump’s comments are "divisive, unhelpful and quite simply wrong". David Cameron’s official spokeswoman said: "The Prime Minister’s been very clear that, as we look at how we tackle extremism and this poisonous ideology, what politicians need to do is look at ways they can bring communities together and make clear that these terrorists are not representatives of Islam. Indeed, what they are going after is a perversion of Islam."

She refused to comment on whether or not Mr Trump should be banned from the UK, describing the question as "hypothetical".