Nigel Farage at­tacks re­sponse to Trump am­bas­sador tweet

Malta Independent - - WORLD -

Nigel Farage has ac­cused Down­ing Street of putting its dis­like of him ahead of the na­tional in­ter­est af­ter No 10 dis­missed Don­ald Trump’s com­ment that he could be a “great” am­bas­sador.

The UKIP leader said No 10 needed to ac­cept “the world has changed”, adding he was “in a good po­si­tion, with the pres­i­dent-elect’s sup­port, to help”.

Mr Trump had tweeted that “many peo­ple” would like to see Mr Farage in the role and he would do a “great job”.

But No 10 said there was “no va­cancy”.

The role is cur­rently held by Sir Kim Dar­roch and a spokesman for Prime Min­is­ter Theresa May added that he was “an ex­cel­lent am­bas­sador who only took up post in Jan­uary and traditionally they serve four years or even longer”.

Mr Farage, who is cur­rently UKIP in­terim leader, was the first Bri­tish politi­cian to meet Mr Trump af­ter his vic­tory in the US pres­i­den­tial elec­tions and spoke in sup­port of him at an elec­tion rally.

Writ­ing for Bre­it­bart web­site, whose for­mer ex­ec­u­tive chair­man Stephen Ban­non has been ap­pointed Mr Trump’s chief strate­gist, he said: “At ev­ery stage I am greeted by neg­a­tive com­ments com­ing out of Down­ing Street.

“The dis­like of me, UKIP, and the ref­er­en­dum re­sult is more im­por­tant to them than what could be good for our coun­try.”

Mr Farage said politi­cians who had been “openly abu­sive about Trump now pre­tend to be his friend”.

He wrote: “It is ca­reer pol­i­tics at its worst and it is now get­ting in the way of the na­tional in­ter­est. “I have said since the now fa­mous pho­to­graph with Don­ald Trump 10 days ago that I would do any­thing to help our na­tional in­ter­est and to help ce­ment ties with the in­com­ing An­glophile ad­min­is­tra­tion.

“I have known sev­eral of the Trump team for years and I am in a good po­si­tion with the pres­i­dent-elect’s sup­port to help. The world has changed and it’s time that Down­ing Street did too.”

The pres­i­dent-elect’s meet­ing with Mr Farage was seen by some as a snub to Mrs May, who will not meet Mr Trump un­til early next year.

Mr Trump has spo­ken to the prime min­is­ter by phone and there have been other con­tacts be­tween Bri­tish min­is­ters and rep­re­sen­ta­tives of the in­com­ing ad­min­is­tra­tion.

The Down­ing Street spokesman said the UK al­ready had “an in­cred­i­bly strong and en­dur­ing re­la­tion­ship with Amer­ica” and the govern­ment would build on that once Mr Trump takes of­fice.

“As a ba­sic prin­ci­ple we ap­point our am­bas­sadors,” he added.

For­eign Sec­re­tary Boris John­son re­it­er­ated that there was “no va­cancy”.

Speak­ing in the House of Com­mons, he said: “We have a firstrate am­bas­sador in Wash­ing­ton do­ing a very good job of re­lat­ing both with the present ad­min­is­tra­tion and the ad­min­is­tra­tion to be and there is no va­cancy for that po­si­tion.”

Sir Christo­pher Meyer, the for­mer Bri­tish am­bas­sador to the US, said: “We the UK must have the sov­er­eign right to de­cide who we want as am­bas­sador in Wash­ing­ton and I think it’s com­pletely un­prece­dented, cer­tainly in public, for a pres­i­dent-elect to sug­gest who he would like to see as Bri­tish am­bas­sador in Wash­ing­ton.

“I think we can hear his sug­ges­tion and then we re­ject it po­litely but firmly.”

Lib­eral Demo­crat leader Tim Far­ron tweeted that the sug­ges­tion of Mr Farage as UK am­bas­sador to the US was a “frankly stupid idea”.

He added: “I have more diplo­macy in my lit­tle fin­ger. But what’s more wor­ry­ing is the ax­ing of TPP.”

Mr Far­ron was re­fer­ring to Mr Trump’s an­nounce­ment that he would quit the Trans-Pa­cific Part­ner­ship trade deal on his first day in of­fice.

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