Reuters International

U.S. Republican presidential candidate and businessman Donald Trump gestures as he tours his Trump Turnberry Resort in Scotland, Britain August 1, 2015. REUTERS/Russell Cheyne/File Photo


By Michael Holden

LONDON (Reuters) - U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump said on Wednesday he would visit Britain for the opening of his Scottish golf resort on June 24, his first trip to the UK since a spat with Prime Minister David Cameron over comments he made about Muslims.

Relations between Cameron and Trump, whose visit comes the day after Britain holds a referendum on its membership of the European Union, have been tense since the British leader called his proposed ban on Muslims entering the United States dangerous and stupid.

Trump's idea for a boycott of Muslims, mooted last December, also led to calls from some lawmakers for him to be banned from Britain, with almost 600,000 people signing an online petition to keep him out.

While Cameron and his ministers rejected that call, the prime minister did suggest that Trump would unite the nation against him if he visited Britain.

Trump responded by saying he was unlikely to have a good relationship with Cameron, although both men have since tempered their language after Trump effectively became the presumptive Republican Party nominee.

Cameron has said he would be happy to meet him, although no date had been fixed, and Trump said they could have a good relationship after all.

A spokesman for Cameron said there were no firm plans for a meeting, although it was a long-standing practice for a prime minister to meet presidential nominees if they visited Britain.

Trump's visit will coincide with the result of Britain's EU referendum, and while Cameron is leading the campaign for Britain to stay in the bloc, Trump has said he thinks Britons would be better off outside.

In a statement, Trump made no mention of any potential Cameron meeting, saying only that his visit to Britain was for the official opening of his golf resort at Turnberry following a 200 million pound refurbishment.

A spokeswoman for the Trump Organization said the date of the opening had been planned long in advance and that it was just a coincidence it came the day after the EU vote. The date would not be changed, she added.

The golf course has itself pitted Trump against British politicians after Scotland's devolved government approved plans for an offshore wind farm nearby which led Trump to denounce Scottish ministers as "foolish, small minded and parochial".

(editing by Stephen Addison)


 Reuters International