Theresa May refuses to deny discussing Nigel Farage peerage

Move would allow Ukip leader to serve in the Cabinet - and potentially pave way for role as a go-between for Tory government with Donald Trump

Jon Stone
Political Correspondent
Wednesday 16 November 2016 14:11
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Theresa May refuses to rule out Nigel Farage peerage

The Prime Minister has refused to confirm or deny whether she has discussed giving Nigel Farage a peerage.

Theresa May was asked at PMQs whether there had been “any official conversations at any level” over whether to elevate the former Ukip leader to the House of Lords.

“Can the Prime Minister confirm or deny if there have been any official conversations at any level regarding giving Nigel Farage a peerage?” SNP MP George Kerevan asked her.

Theresa May did not deny discussions had taken place, saying only, with a smile: “All I can say to the honourable gentleman, I’m afraid, is that such matters are normally never discussed in public.”

Mr Farage, who stepped down as leader of the eurosceptic party after the EU referendum result, was the first UK politician to meet US president elect Donald Trump after his victory last week.

A peerage would bring Mr Farage into Parliament, to which he has consistently failed to be elected. It could also potentially open the door to his appointment to the Government, were such a situation to emerge.

Mr Farage continues to sit as an MEP in the European Parliament and leads Ukip's large group of MEPs there.

The speculation comes after reports that Mr Farage might act as a 'go between' between the British government and Mr Trump's administration. Mr Farage's team has strongly denied the reports, as has the Government.

After PMQs had concluded, the Prime Minister’s spokesperson said that Ms May had been making “a point about process” which dictates that future peerages are not discussed.

She added that Ms May had previously stated she thought honours should “recognise people that really contribute to society and communities”.

A source close to Nigel Farage dismissed the speculation as an "odd question" for PMQs, also noting that the PM had given a "protocol based answer".

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