NICOLA Sturgeon has snubbed an olive branch from the next US president and vowed not to keep a "diplomatic silence" if Donald Trump continues to behave in a "deeply abhorrent" manner.

The First Minister's spokesman repeatedly refused to say whether Mr Trump would even be welcome in Scotland or if the SNP leader would be willing to meet with the future head of state, should the opportunity arise in future.

The comments came after George Sorial, Mr Trump's senior counsel and executive vice-president of his business empire, said that Tuesday's election could mean a strengthening of ties between the US and Scotland, despite what he described as "reckless comments" made by "some current leaders". Mr Sorial added: "Throughout history there has been a close relationship between America and Scotland and I don't think that will change."

Ms Sturgeon, who departed from tradition by publicly backing Hillary Clinton for the presidency, stripped Mr Trump of his status as a business ambassador for Scotland in December after he called for Muslims to be banned from entering America. She also backed subsequent calls for Mr Trump, who holds significant business interests in Scotland and whose mother is from Stornoway, to be considered for a ban from the UK under anti-hate speech legislation.

Speaking at First Minister's Questions, Ms Sturgeon said she hoped Mr Trump would be a "very different" as a president than he was as a candidate and that she wanted to engage with the new White House administration. She said ties between the countries could become stronger if the incoming President embraced values of "tolerance, respect and diversity".

However, she indicated that she would not shy away from criticism of Mr Trump if he continued with inflammatory rhetoric that characterised his successful campaign for the presidency.

The First Minister said: "During the campaign, I found so many of President-elect Trump’s comments to be deeply abhorrent and I never want to be - I am not ever prepared to be - a politician who maintains a diplomatic silence in the face of attitudes of racism, sexism, misogyny or intolerance of any kind.

"People of progressive opinion the world over have to stand up for those values of tolerance and respect for diversity and difference."

She added: "I very much hope that we see a President Trump who is very different from the candidate Trump whom we have all witnessed and by whom many of us have been appalled in the past few months."

Speaking to journalists following the Holyrood exchanges, Ms Sturgeon's spokesman dodged questions over whether Ms Sturgeon would be prepared to meet Mr Trump, a regular visit to Scotland in recent years. He said Mr Trump was free to travel to Scotland if he wished but refused to be drawn on a possible meeting, emphasising that there were no proposals for a summit with Ms Sturgeon.

Asked three times whether the President-elect was welcome in Scotland, the spokesman refused to directly answer. He said: "He's perfectly free to come as he has on previous occasions. Whether he comes here as President or not remains to be seen, he's obviously got close links to this country. If you're going back to the ban suggestion that was kicking around we're not in that territory."

Previously, Ms Sturgeon had supported comments from SNP parliamentarians Tasmina Ahmed-Sheikh and Humza Yousaf, who backed calls for Mr Trump to be blocked from travelling to the UK after he sparked widespread outrage by proposing a ban on Muslims entering America. Ms Ahmed-Sheikh said Mr Trump's comments amounted to "hate preaching" while Mr Yousaf said that the Republican's policies, if implemented, would transform the US into an "apartheid state" .

Kezia Dugdale, who campaigned for Ms Clinton in the run-up to the election, said the election result showed there was "much to do to break the glass ceiling that women face" as she raised the issue of equal pay.

The Scottish Labour leader added: "Donald Trump’s behaviour towards women sends a danger signal across the world. Of course, Donald Trump’s intolerance is not just aimed at women. We all remember the sickening sight of him mocking a disabled journalist. We cannot forget his plans to build a wall or to ban people of one particular faith from entering America."