Donald Trump has hit back at a campaign to have him banned from entering Britain, saying UK politicians "should be thanking" him instead of "pandering to political correctness".
More than 400,000 people have signed a petition to ban the controversial real estate developer and US presidential hopeful from entering the UK after he said that he would ban Muslims from going to the United States.
The comments have prompted backlash from British politicians from all major political parties. Conservative mayoral candidate Zac Goldsmith called Trump an "appalling creature" and "one of the most malignant figures in modern politics" while mayor Boris Johnson quipped, "the only reason I wouldn’t go to some parts of New York is the real risk of meeting Donald Trump".
Trump has said that police do not go to some parts of London because of terrorist activities.
In a lengthy statement last night, Trump cited his investments in Scotland before saying British politicians should be "thanking him":
I have done so much for Scotland, including building Trump International Golf Links, Aberdeen, which has received the highest accolades, and is what many believe to be one of the greatest golf courses anywhere in the world. Additionally, I have made a significant investment in the redevelopment of the iconic Turnberry Resort, which will have massive ballrooms, complete room refurbishments, a new golf course and a total rebuilding of the world famous Ailsa course to the highest standards and specifications of the Royal & Ancient.
If they were going to do this, they should have informed me prior to my major investment in this £200 million development, which will totally revitalise that vast region of Scotland.
The UK politicians should be thanking me instead of pandering to political correctness. In fact, in an article out today, many police officers in London have come forward to confirm their fears of terrorism. I only said what needed to be said, and when I am elected no one will be tougher or smarter than me. I will work very hard and effectively to defeat terrorism.
I have respect for the Muslim people and have great friendships with many Muslims, some of whom I do business with --- but they themselves admit there is a major problem with radicalisation. As President, I will work with Muslim representatives to determine a solution to eradicate the terrorism that has plagued the credibility of the Muslim community.
Furthermore, as the definitive front runner (with large leads in every poll) in the race to become the Republican nominee for President of the United States, and as the person leading in the polls head to head versus Hillary Clinton, my focus is to Make America Great Again!