Nigel Farage says it is “astonishing” that the UK government declined his offer to act as a go-between with President-elect Donald Trump’s administration.
The UKIP leader and staunch Brexiteer was speaking to Sky News after being the first British politician to visit the president-elect following his shock victory over Hillary Clinton.
Farage, who appeared alongside Trump to endorse the Republic candidate at a rally in the southern state of Mississipi prior to the election, had a meeting with the businessman-turned-politician at Trump’s New York tower on Saturday.
He suggested his links to Trump could be of use to Theresa May’s government in its efforts to maintain the “special relationship” with the US, only for Downing Street to categorically reject any role for Farage on Monday.
“Yeah, amazing isn’t it,” Farage told Sky’s Adam Boulton. “Can you imagine if we were a business looking at Trump and America as somebody who we thought is very important to form a close relationship with — what would you do? You’d find somebody who had connections.
“I do have connections with Trump, more particularly Trump’s team who I’ve known for years and yet the government doesn’t want in any way to talk to me informally or do anything… it says a lot, actually, about the way we’re governed in this country. We’re run by people who’ve never worked in the real world.
“Anybody out there that’s ever worked in the real world would be astonished by Number 10’s reaction.”
Comments Trump has made in the past, about climate change and about NATO, for example, have led people to question whether the UK will be able to maintain a healthy relationship with the US once he officially takes power.
Farage rejected these concerns and described Trump as someone who greatly admires Britain.
“Do you know what? There’s no point in us re-running the US election and all the good things and bad things that were said and done. On 20th of January, he becomes the president of the USA, and we’ve got to try and form a relationship.
“I see an opportunity and I’ll tell you why,” he added.
“He is instinctively an nglophile.A He loves this country. His mother was from Scotland; he’s got investments in Scotland; he feels strongly about our shared history. We’ve got a fantastic opportunity here — let’s grab it with both hands.”
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