DONALD Trump's acquisition of Scottish golf courses could be set for a legal investigation after a judge granted a US non-profit's bid for an official review.

The Trump Organization has denied wrongdoing over its Scottish operations after repeated questions about how the purchases were funded.

The former president spent more than $300 million (£217m) in cash on buying and developing Turnberry in Ayrshire and Trump International Golf Links in Aberdeenshire, neither of which has turned a profit since.

Earlier this year the Scottish Greens lodged a motion seeking a "McMafia" order against the organisation.

However, the Scottish Parliament did not back the push for the Unexplained Wealth Order, with the-Justice Secretary Humza Yousaf arguing ahead of the vote that such a move should be instigated by police, not parliament, and saying: "There must not be political interference in the enforcement of the law."

Now the Delaware-based campaign group Avaaz has been given permission to seek a judicial review. 

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Its challenge had asked the Court of Session to rule that ministers hold responsibility for this matter and cannot delegate that to others.

Lord Sandison said the case concerned "important matters of clear public interest".

Responding to the decision, Scottish Greens co-leader Patrick Harvie, who brought the motion in February, said: "I'm glad we are a step forward in getting some clarity over why Trump's business dealings in Scotland haven’t been investigated. It should never have got to the stage of a legal challenge from an NGO for the Scottish Government to confirm or deny whether they will seek a McMafia order.

"Scotland’s reputation is at stake, and it is entirely within the powers of ministers to defend it. An unexplained wealth order would be a clear signal that business in Scotland must be transparent and accountable, no matter the individual involved."

UWO were introduced in 2018 to help authorities fight money laundering and target the illicit wealth of foreign officials.

In February, Eric Trump, a director of the Scottish golf courses, accused MSPs seeking the order of "advancing their personal agendas" and said the Trump Organisation had "made an overwhelming contribution to the leisure and tourism industry".