Nigel Farage lashes out as Number 10 says No Thanks
The Ukip leader is annoyed with 'ghastly little apparatchiks that work in Downing Street'.
Nigel Farage has reacted badly to the news that Number 10 does not want him to act to act as a go-between with US President-elect Donald Trump.
The Ukip leader scored a huge political coup in becoming the first British politician to meet Trump after his election victory. But his offer to play a "constructive" role in fostering close UK relations with the new regime at the White House has been roundly rebuffed by Theresa May’s team.
Briefing lobby journalists, the prime minister’s official spokeswoman pointed out that May has already had a phone conversation with Trump, in which he invited her to visit Washington at the earliest opportunity
The spokeswoman then said pointedly: “The president-elect talked about enjoying the same relationship Reagan and Thatcher did. I don't remember there being any third person in that relationship."
In response, Farage told LBC Radio: "It just amazes me that those ghastly little apparatchiks that work in Downing Street put out statements like this. It just goes to show they are not really interested in the country or the national interest, they are more concerned about petty party politics and trying to keep me out of everything.”
He also claimed: “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.”
It comes Tories are at odds over whether to talk to Farage. Former defence minister Sir Gerald Howarth told BBC Radio 4's World At One: “If Nigel Farage is well-connected with Donald Trump - as it would appear that he is - then we should certainly be talking to him. I am not suggesting a formal role for him but I certainly do think it is worth talking to him.”
But many Tory MPs hold a very different view – and are angry with international trade secretary Liam Fox for suggesting Farage that might be worth talking to.
One senior figure in the government even told The Sunday Times: “Liam Fox has gone off the rails. He has exploded himself. He went freelance. He is a self-absorbed pollutant. We don’t need Farage.”
Picture by: Ben Birchall/PA Wire/PA Images