First Minister urged to bolster relations with US states and cities

The First Minister was urged to seek a new “special relationship” with individual US states after President-elect Donald Trump appointed a climate change denier to head the Environmental Protection Agency.

During First Minister’s Questions at Holyrood, Scottish Greens co-convener Patrick Harvie MSP reminded Nicola Sturgeon that she previously said her views on Trump were “not materially different” to his own and pushed her to condemn the appointment of Scott Pruitt.

Glasgow MSP, Patrick Harvie said:

“In February, I described Trump as ‘an arrogant and racist bully’ and ‘a dangerous extremist’. I could have said much worse. The First Minister said she would ‘probably use more diplomatic language’ but that she thought her ‘views on Donald Trump are not materially different’.

“Now, like others around the world, we need to work out how to deal with the reality that he will be the US President, without denying what kind of person he truly is. As he fills his team with powerful economic elites, white nationalists, homophobes and now climate change deniers like Scott Pruitt, we must consider how our relationship with the US will change.

“The ‘special relationship’ we have with the US is one we should value, but it’s clear we now have to look at alternative methods to strengthen it. If we seek to have any kind of strong connection with America it must be with those state and city governments which want the White House to be a progressive force on climate change and with those willing to resist the dangerous policies of the Trump regime.”