Grace Dent: It's not exactly a shock that Nigel Farage's No 1 world leader pin-up is Vladimir Putin

Farage can't be trusted to riff sans script without causing a diplomatic incident

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The Independent Online

I’ve grown fond of Nigel Farage in the same twisted manner I did with Prince Phillip, Boris Johnson and Kanye West. I have a perverse enjoyment of anyone whose job it is to speak off the cuff and who can never, not once, be trusted to riff sans script without causing a diplomatic incident.

In the latest edition of GQ Farage has said that the world leader he admires the most is Vladimir Putin. “As an operator, not a human being,” Farage says, citing Putin’s chemical weapons-brokering work in Syria. Putin had also supplied arms to Bashar al-Assad and blocked moves to censure him at the United Nations, but regardless of this he's Farage's No 1 world leader pin-up.

I always imagined that Farage might be one of those men who - legs akimbo in the boozer, with a foaming flagon at his elbow – quips that, “You can say what you like about Mussolini but he got the trains running on time”, so this news does not disappoint. One thing’s for sure, Farage wasn’t picking Angela Merkel. “She is incredibly cold,” he said - I like to think as his communications department unfurled the gaffer tape for his mouth. “I agree this is a bit rude – but whatever you think of the public image of Merkel, in private she is even more miserable.”