Donald Trump says Nigel Farage would make a 'great' US ambassador

Ukip leader has previously said he doesn't think he is 'the ambassadorial type'

Adam Withnall
Tuesday 22 November 2016 07:25

Donald Trump has fuelled growing calls for Nigel Farage to be given a senior role as a go-between for the UK and his administration, saying the Ukip leader would make a "great" US ambassador.

Mr Farage has previously rejected the suggestion that he could take on one of the most prestigious roles in British diplomacy, describing himself as not "the ambassadorial type".

But on Tuesday morning, the Ukip leader appeared to welcome Mr Trump's highly unusual intervention, saying he was "deeply flattered".

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The Government strongly played down talk of giving Mr Farage such a key position. Downing Street said there was "no vacancy'' and praised Britain's incumbent ambassador, Sir Kim Darroch. A No 10 spokesman said: "There is no vacancy. We already have an excellent ambassador to the US.''

On Monday night, Mr Trump said he backed the "many" who wanted Mr Farage as ambassador.

He tweeted: Many people would like to see @Nigel_Farage represent Great Britain as their Ambassador to the United States. He would do a great job!"

Mr Farage was once again a source of embarrassment for the Government when he beat Theresa May to congratulating Mr Trump on his election victory in person.

The pair began working together after Mr Farage successfully campaigned for Britain to leave the EU. The Ukip leader joined Mr Trump at a rally in Jackson, Mississippi, where he was lauded as "the man behind Brexit".

Following a campaign run on similar anti-establishment lines to Vote Leave, the Republican described a victory as "Brexit plus plus plus" on the eve of the vote.

Days after the win the pair appeared together in a golden lift following a private meeting at the president-elect's New York residence, Trump Tower.

By comparison Ms May had only spoken to Mr Trump over the phone, after reportedly waiting for a string of other leaders to congratulate the winner.

No 10 later rejected suggestions Mr Farage could be the "third person" in the relationship between the PM and her US counterpart and insisted that the Government had "well-established" channels of communication.

In the immediate wake of Mr Trump's election a leaked memo reportedly sent by Britain's incumbent ambassador, Sir Kim Darroch, sought to reassure the Government that UK diplomats were "well placed" to capitalise on change at the White House.

However Mr Farage said it was "obvious" that Sir Kim, who took over in January, should resign as he was part of the "old regime".

"His world view, and the world view of the Trump team are going to be diametrically opposed and I would have thought it would be sensible to put someone there who was likely to get on with Team Trump," he told Sky News.

"I don't think I will be the ambassadorial type. Whatever talents or flaws I have got I don't think diplomacy is at the top of my list of skills."

Additional reporting by agencies

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