That dismissive response from the First Minister was extremely disappointing. She denies that meetings took place between ministers and the Trump Organization; no one has suggested that they did, but discussions most certainly did take place, and she should acknowledge that the Government was aware of those discussions at the time.
The First Minister also talks about Prestwick’s long 80-year history, but the airport is now Scottish ministers’ property, and that brings a new responsibility. The First Minister and her colleagues have quite rightly challenged the United Kingdom Government for refusing to step in when a business that it largely owns—the Royal Bank of Scotland—fails to work in the public interest. Public ownership carries the responsibility of ensuring the proper conduct of a business, but this public asset, which the First Minister has said should be looking to freight and retail development for its future, now appears to have based its business model on servicing military attacks that the Scottish Government claims to oppose and promoting the toxic Trump brand, which can only damage Scotland’s reputation.
Full disclosure is needed. Will the Scottish Government now release all the information that it holds on the situation, with nothing redacted or held back by ministers or special advisers simply because it is inconvenient or unhelpful to the Government? Will it publish?