First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has said many of President-elect Donald Trump’s campaign comments were “deeply abhorrent” and vowed “not to maintain a diplomatic silence” in the face of racism or intolerance.
At First Minister’s Questions, Ms Sturgeon said she had faced criticism for endorsing Hillary Clinton in the US election campaign, breaking the tradition that political leaders do not comment on election campaigns in other countries.
She said: “I, during that campaign, found so many of President-elect Trump’s comments deeply abhorrent and I never want to be, I am not prepared to be, a politician that maintains a diplomatic silence in the face of attitudes of racism, sexism, misogyny or intolerance of any kind.
“I think it is important today that, firstly, I hope that President-elect Trump turns out to be a president very different to the kind of candidate he was and reaches out to those who felt vilified by his campaign, but people of progressive opinion the world over, I think, do have to stand up for the values of tolerance and respect for diversity and difference.
“There is more of an obligation on us now than there perhaps has been on our generation before and this is the time for all of us, no matter how difficult, no matter how controversial or unpopular it may be in certain quarters, to be beacons of hope for those values we all hold so dear.”
She said Mr Trump’s election victory was not what she wanted but that the will of the American people must be respected.
Ms Sturgeon added: “Hillary Clinton’s defeat yesterday, amongst many other things, perhaps tells us we are not as far down the road to true gender equality as we hoped we were, so we do have a great deal of work still to do.”