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US-UK relations : May playing second fiddle to Farage?


US-UK relations : May playing second fiddle to Farage?

Donald Trump has taken the unusual step of recommending a candidate to be Britain’s ambassador to the US. And his choice is somewhat controversial, not least because the country already has an ambassador.

The President-elect 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!”

Downing Street quickly rejected the idea, issuing the following statement: “There is no vacancy…We already have an excellent ambassador to the US.”

Farage responded to the suggestion by saying: “I’m very flattered by the comments and I have said since I met the President-elect that I would like to do anything I can to act in a positive way to help relationships between our two countries.”

In a move to stop Nigel Farage’s political meddling and curtail further diplomatic embarrassment, Theresa May plans to take Donald Trump up on his rather informal invitation to the US, when he said: “If you travel to the US you should let me know.”

A full-blown charm offensive seems to be on the cards in a bid to smooth relations with the President Elect since several MPs were overtly critical of Trump’s campaign and policies, including Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson.

While Trump has given the former UKIP leader and Brexiteer, unprecedented access, the UK Prime Minister has been taking a backseat. Farage, who had said that he was retiring from politics after the Brexit referendum, has offered to help May get to know Trump.

May, however, does not seem very keen on Nigel Farage’s proposal of a diplomatic menage-a-trois. A statement from the PM’s official spokeswoman read: “The president-elect talked about enjoying the same close relationship that Reagan and Thatcher did. I don’t remember there being a third person in that relationship.”

The former UKIP leader, who has been photographed grinning with Trump in front of a gold-plated door at his New York home and headquarters, reacted angrily to PM’s rejection. “Nobody in this administration in the UK has any connections with the Trump team at all, and yet they are prepared on behalf of the country to cut off their noses to spite their faces,” he told LBC.

Theresa May is expected to travel to the US at the earliest opportunity to meet the President Elect, followed by Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson who will liaise with Trump’s running mate Mike Pence.