Barack Obama to visit Edinburgh for charity fundraiser

Former US president Barack Obama is to make his first visit to Scotland when he addresses business leaders in the capital next month. He will also answer questions from the audience at the event, which is being held to raise money for charity. The dinner in Edinburgh on 26 May is thought to be one of his first major addresses since his term as president came to an end.

The event at the EICC is being organised by The Hunter Foundation. The charity was set up by leading businessman and philanthropist Sir Tom Hunter. Tickets for a table of 10 at the dinner are expected to go on sale for approximately £5,000.

The Hunter Foundation has previously arranged for US politicians and actors including Bill Clinton, Leonardo DiCaprio and George Clooney to come to Scotland. Last year, Leonardo DiCaprio travelled to Edinburgh to speak at the Scottish Business Awards at the EICC.

Hundreds of fans were waiting for his arrival. Many had queued in the rain for hours. The previous year, George Clooney visited Social Bite in Rose Street. The actor visited the cafe, which donates all its profits to homeless people, leaving $1,000 (about £650) for the cause.

He stayed at the cafe for around 15 minutes, and greeted the 200-strong crowd who were waiting outside. Mr Clooney shook hands, posed for selfies and chatted with fans.

All of the cash raised will be split between children’s charities in Scotland and the Obama Foundation, set up by the former president and his wife Michelle. Sir Tom also plans to set aside some seats at the event for local young people.

He said: “From the South Side of Chicago to the White House has been an epic, historic journey and it will be a true honour to hear that story from the man who made that journey. “We are both truly proud and delighted to be hosting the 44th president of the United States in Scotland at this event.”


Sir Tom told the Press Association he is “really chuffed” Mr Obama is coming to Scotland.

“We’re always looking for really inspiring speakers to come along to Scotland, and really inspire and inform,” Sir Tom said. “To be able to get president Obama, we’re really chuffed.”


The entrepreneur-turned-philanthropist also revealed he is planning a special surprise for the 44th US president.

He said: “President Obama loves his music, so we’re getting some interesting guests.”



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