LONDON, U.K. - Interim UKIP leader, Nigel Farage recently became the first foreign politician to visit U.S. president-elect Donald Trump at the Trump Tower in New York. Farage's ...
• Nigel Farage could be go-between for Donald Trump and U.K. govt
• Image of beaming Farage and smiling Trump all over social media
• Trump team unhappy with insults by U.K. cabinet: Farage
LONDON, U.K. - Interim UKIP leader, Nigel Farage recently became the first foreign politician to visit U.S. president-elect Donald Trump at the Trump Tower in New York.
Farage's high-profile meeting with Trump sparked infighting among the Tories, with the interim UKIP leader, on his part, insisting British Prime Minister Theresa May stop running him down and instead use his closeness to the tycoon-turned-politician to "put national interest first."
Farage, who hinted that British government ministers are sounding him out about dealing with Donald Trump, said he would act as a bridge between Downing Street and Trump Tower if he was called on to do so.
"I am not going to go into whatever private phone calls I may, or may not, have had with individual ministers," Farage said when asked whether he had contact with U.K. cabinet figures regarding his close ties to the incoming Republican president.
"It would appear that the apparatchiks in Downing Street keep saying very negative things about me. I'd have thought that's just a little bit short-sighted, frankly," he added in a pointed swipe at No. 10 officials who have dismissed his links to Trump.
"I would have thought, in the national interest, they perhaps ought to bury their personal enmity towards me and we ought to have a constructive conversation," he declared.
Farage also disclosed that some members of Trump's team had reservations about what members of the U.K. cabinet had said about the Trump campaign during the election.
"Believe you me, his team are conscious of the comments," he stated.
The Brexit champion also suggested that "insulting" comments about Trump by senior Tories may have been the reason why Theresa May was only 10th on the president-elect's list of foreign leaders to call after his surprise U.S. election win last Tuesday.
The two leaders appeared to have gotten along famously.
The image of the beaming Farage with a smiling Trump standing outside the opulent gold-and-diamond front door of the future president’s 80 million pounds penthouse, caused consternation not just in Downing Street but in capitals throughout the EU.
The pair spent more than an hour discussing the president-elect's victory, global politics and the status of Brexit, according to Farage.
Trump's election campaign manager, Kellyanne Conway, labeled the meeting a success.
"I think they enjoy each other's company, and they actually had a chance to talk about freedom and winning and what this all means for the world," Conway said.
The invitation for the British leader to join Trump in New York came in the early hours of Wednesday last week when it was clear Hillary Clinton was heading for a shock defeat. It was offered by Steve Bannon, who was on Sunday appointed Trump's chief strategist.
Signs of the bonhomie between Trump and Farage were evident even during the U.S. presidential campaign. Like Trump, Farage was a political outsider – and had stunned the political establishment over Brexit.
Farage spoke at a political rally in Mississippi for Trump in August, and Trump had famously issued that clarion cry, “It’s gonna be Brexit plus, plus, plus!”
Meanwhile, British foreign secretary Boris Johnson appealed to European leaders to stop their “collective whinge-o-rama” following Hillary Clinton's shock defeat.
Speaking to reporters in Serbia, Johnson said, “I would respectfully say to my beloved European friends and colleagues that it's time that we snapped out of the general doom and gloom about the result of this election and collective 'whinge-o-rama' that seems to be going on in some places."
"People should focus on the opportunities and there needs to be an end to the ‘doom and gloom’,” he added.
Hoping to start afresh with the soon to be president, Johnson who once called Trump “out of his mind” following his call for a ban on Muslims entering America, now adopted a far more conciliatory tone, saying the U.S. president-elect had told Theresa May he “wants to sign a free trade deal” with Britain during their recent phone call.
Although the phone call was positive, there are serious concerns that the U.K. government has undermined its relationship with Washington by failing to anticipate Trump's success.
The British government is now hurriedly seeking ways to engage with the next president of the United States.