Nigel Farage to meet Donald Trump team on unofficial diplomatic offensive amid claims he is planning to move to US
Trump loves the UK: “What a pleasant change this will make from Obama and Clinton who have looked down and sneered at us.”
He has balls: Nigel Farage has been recommended as Britain’s next ambassador to the US by President-elect Donald Trump. CREDIT STEVE FINN
Nigel Farage is planning to visit Washington DC early next month to meet again with aides to US President-elect Donald Trump.
The visit to the US capital will be seen as part of an unofficial diplomatic offensive by Mr Farage to forge links with Mr Trump’s teamwhich will undermine Theresa May, the Prime Minister, who is still yet to meet with the President-elect.
Sources close to the interim leader of the UK Independence Party (Ukip) said he will be meeting with the team around Mr Trump.
It comes as amid claims he is planning to move across the Atlantic to escape from the public eye. Friends of Mr Farage told the Times that he is preparing to emigrate to America with his wife Kirsten.
Mr Farage is due to travel with the same group who met Mr Trump 10 days ago including Arron Banks, the millionaire supporter of Ukip, and Andy Wigmore, who advises Mr Banks.
Mr Farage will meet with “the transition team” who are preparing for Mr Trump’s move to the White House in January. One friend said: “They are in constant contact.”
Mr Farage’s friends played down claims that he is set to receive a peerage or knighthood in the New Year’s honours list.
One Conservative MP pointed out that Ed Llewellyn, David Cameron’s former chief of staff who became British ambassador to France last month, had been given a peerage in the former Prime Minister’s resignation honours list.
The Tory MP said: “If you get a peerage and ambassador to France for abject failure surely Nigel deserves more.”
If Mr Farage is to receive an honour, he will already have been informed. The friend said: “He has not been approached at all. I don’t think he would take a peerage to be honest.”
Mr Farage, who stands down as Ukip leader on Monday, attended a Brexit celebration on Wednesday evening.
The organisers said the reception would be “to thank Nigel Farage for leading us to victory in the referendum and for his 25 years of dedicated service towards the Brexit cause”.
At the reception at a central London hotel, Mr Farage said that whereas in the US “the revolution is total”, in the UK, “the people have spoken, but the same players have just been shuffled around the chess board and we are still being run by the career professional political class”.
He predicted there would be a “seismic shock” at the next general election in Britain, adding: “I suspect that the Conservative party is not fit for the legacy of Brexit.”
He said there was still “unfinished business” after the EU referendum and forecast a “genuine realignment”.
“I suspect the Conservative party is not fit for the legacy of Brexit and I suspect there is going to be a genuine realignment of British politics over the course of the next three to four years. This is unfinished business”, he said.
“The people have spoken but the establishment don’t want to listen, so there are great battles to be fought and I’m going to go on fighting those battles.”
Mr Trump had planned to attend the event if he had not win the US presidential election.
Mr Farage was the first UK politician to visit the President-elect after his victory against Hillary Clinton earlier this month. He also helped Mr Trump during his campaign, speaking at a rally in Mississippi.
Mr Trump caused a political storm on Monday when he said on Twitter that “many people” would like to see Mr Farage as UK ambassador to the US and said he would do a “great job”.
The comments were seen as undermining the work of Sir Kim Darroch, a former key aide to David Cameron when he was Prime Minister who only took over as Britain’s ambassador to the United States in January this year.
However Iain Duncan Smith, the former Cabinet minister, said Mr Farage would represent “himself” rather than the “nation” if he ever became an ambassador.
He said: “I think the main reason why you wouldn’t necessarily use Nigel Farage is that Nigel Farage has become himself, rather than a nation – in other words you want somebody over in Washington who represents seamlessly the interests of your nation and doesn’t themselves become the story.
“I fancy that if you were to appoint Mr Farage, whatever his merits may or may not be, I think the story would be Mr Farage representing Mr Farage to Mr Trump, not the United Kingdom.
“And our job is to have someone who represents the United Kingdom without fear or favour.”
Trump on Farage:
- “The man behind Brexit. And a man who who led, brilliantly, the United Kingdom Independence Party. Ladies and gentlemen, Nigel Farage.” – August 2016, introducing Mr Farage at a rally in Jackson, Mississippi
- “Many people would like to see @Nigel_Farage represent Great Britain as their Ambassador to the United States. He would do a great job!” – November 2016
Farage on Trump:
- “I didn’t go [to the Mississippi rally] to endorse Donald Trump, but he did, after I did my bit, he did say to me, you’ll be my friend for life. Well I tell you what, that’s not bad.” – September 2016
- “I thought he was like a big silverback gorilla prowling the studio” – October 2016, describing Trump’s performance in the second presidential debate
- “Trump likes the UK, talks about his mother’s Scottish birth, owns golf courses here and is entirely comfortable with our culture. More importantly still, he supported Brexit and he says post-Brexit Britain will be at the front of the queue when it comes to trade relationships. What a pleasant change this will make from Obama and Clinton who have looked down and sneered at us.” – November 2016
- “If he did offer me a job I would quite like to be his ambassador to the European Union. I think I would do that job very well.” – November 2016, joking about the role he could play in Trump’s administration
Tags: Boris Johnson, Britain, David Cameron's former chief of staff, Ed Llewellyn, Iain Duncan Smith, Nigel Farage, Obama and Clinton who have looked down and sneered at us, president-elect Donald Trump, the Prime Minister, Theresa May, Trump, U.S., UK, unofficial diplomatic offensive, US