DO NOT underestimate the intelligence of Donald Trump, Alex Salmond has warned the Prime Minister.

Speaking in a House of Commons debate on Trump’s proposed state visit to the UK, the former First Minister said the Government in their desperate bid to secure a trade deal with the US had seriously underrated the President.

“As an example of fawning subservience, the Prime Minister holding hands across the ocean visit would be difficult to match,” he said. “To do so in the name of shared values was stomach-churning,” Salmond, asking what values May believed Britain had in common with Trump.

The Gordon MP has a long history with the new American president. Back in 2007 it was the start of a beautiful friendship, with Salmond doing all he could to help the half-Scottish billionaire businessman build his golf course on the Balmedie coast, just north of Aberdeen.

But as Trump’s demands over wind farms escalated, and the number of jobs and investment promised evaporated, the relationship between the two man faltered.

In recently released correspondence between the pair, Trump referred to the former First Minister as “Mad Alex”.

That he had met Trump and negotiated with Trump, Salmond said, meant that he was best placed to give the Tories and the government advice.

“What you should remember about President Trump is that he’s not a stupid man.

“The belief that he has forgotten what was actually said about him by the Prime Minister when he was a candidate is nonsense – or the Foreign Secretary [Boris Johnson], who said he wouldn’t go to New York after he was mistaken for him.

“To actually believe that Donald Trump has forgotten this is to seriously underrate the man’s intelligence.”

He added: “It is not difficult to tell the difference between a ray of sunshine and Donald Trump with a grievance.”

During the debate, a Tory MP infuriated some colleagues when he defended Trump’s comment about grabbing women “by the pussy”.

Sir Edward Leigh said while the comments were “horrible and ridiculous” that many politicians will have made “some ridiculous sexual comment” in private.

He said: “It is very foolish of us to lecture our conservative colleagues on the other side of the Atlantic about what is the right or the improper nature of conservatism.

Mr Trump is not my sort of conservative, I really have nothing in common with him, but I will say that let’s just look at some of his comments. The charge of misogyny – I mean of course what he is reported to have said in a private conversation is absolutely horrible and ridiculous and I hope none of us would make it.

“But which one of us has not made some ridiculous sexual comment at some time in our past?”

The remarks were met with groans of outrage by several MPs in Westminster Hall for the debate.

Sir Edward said: “Well, in private? Let he who is without sin cast the first stone, alright? He’s apologised, it’s not really a reason to withdraw.”

Hannah Bardell, SNP MP for Livingston, said: “I cast no aspersions, but is he seriously suggesting that it is a legitimate perspective and point of view that the comments made, in public, by Trump on a number of issues, including marriage equality for LGBT people, and in private, which were recorded and broadcast, on sexual abuse and attacking women, are a legitimate position?

“And he stands there and thinks it’s acceptable to say in this chamber and say in this House that that kind of position is acceptable?”

It’s the first time MPs have ever debated a potential state visit by a US president. The debate was sparked after a petition received 1.8 million signatures. Though MPs voted against Trump’s visit, the result is in no way binding.