I love America, but Trump goes against the very core of everything I believe in

For Lib Dem MP Christine Jardine marching against a US president was anathema. Until Donald Trump.

I have always been a huge fan of all things American. I am possibly close to being their number one fan.

From loving their cities, their politicians and their TV, to having a degree which focused on the history and politics of the country, I believe the US has been our greatest and most significant ally over the past century.

The idea that I would one day stand up and speak out against a US President visiting this country – it was unthinkable. That was until now. Until Donald Trump.

And to be clear this is about Donald Trump, not the office of the President, or the US, or its people. It’s about Donald Trump.

I wanted Hillary to win and I have a more natural affinity with the Democrats, but as soon as he won part of me wanted the world to discover that Donald Trump would be a force for good. Boy has that been a disappointment.

And it’s difficult to even know where to start.

I’m not sure whether it was Trumps misogyny, or his total contempt for human rights, or the fact that his Supreme Court appointments continuously push American justice into an ultra-conservative direction, that originally set off alarm bells in my liberal conscience.

But if I had been in any doubt, the pictures of children in cages separated from their mothers at US borders would have sealed the deal.

I don’t care whether or not they were illegal immigrants. These were children. Innocent children. Now scarred for life by their experience of a country which once invited the ‘tired and huddled masses’ of the world to their shores.

But sadly it’s not just in the US itself where children and their future are being negatively impacted by this President’s policies.

I recently returned from Israel and the West Bank where the current US foreign policy is undermining the prospects of a two-state solution. The opening of a new American Embassy in occupied East Jerusalem was potentially a game changer. That has been reflected in the actions of an Israeli government emboldened to demolish a Palestinian Bedouin community, and its school, in occupied Palestinian territory, which had been protected by the Oslo agreement.

The tangible effects of Donald Trump’s divisive and damaging foreign policy have even reached our own shores.

The dismissive and disrespectful attitude to NATO this week followed by his interference in the Brexit chaos today has simply served to undermine my view that this man is no friend of ours.

And while I would always demand that we do our utmost to protect whichever foreign leader is visiting our shores, why has our government put us in a position of spending millions and putting our already stretched police and security forces under further pressure for a visit that almost two million people signed a petition opposing?

In Scotland alone his round of golf at his own course is costing the tax payer £5 million.

Perhaps once it is over our own leaders will reflect on whether they need to choose our friends a little more carefully in future.

She could certainly stop holding hands with Donald Trump for a start.

 Christine Jardine is the Scottish Liberal Democrats MP for Edinburgh West.

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