Theresa May is under increasing Cabinet pressure following her decision to dismiss Nigel Farage as an irrelevance after he edged out the prime minister and became the first British politician to meet with Donald Trump after he managed to clinch the keys to the White House.
The Ukip leader spent around an hour with the US President-elect in New York on Saturday and urged the government to look past “their personal enmity towards me” and “have a constructive conversation”.
He added that it is in the “national interest” to involve him in building bridges with a Trump administration and said he would make himself available to assist with the efforts. He said: “If I’m wanted by anybody in London to help, I will help.”
According to a report in the Telegraph, May has said that government ministers will not be allowed to speak to Farage despite his links to the Republican.
Writing in the newspaper on Sunday, Farage criticised the government’s treatment of President-elect and said: “The only slight negative I picked up [from the meeting with Trump’s team] was the sense that so many senior Conservative figures and indeed important staff figures who now work in No 10 had been so unrelentingly negative about The Donald. Clearly, there are fences to be mended.”
© Twitter Nigel Farage with Donald Trump in New York on Saturday Senior government sources have reportedly warned Number 10 that it will have to relent and allow MPs to engage with Farage if it means better relations with Trump’s inner circle.
May’s joint chief of staffs, Fiona Hill reportedly referred to the President-elect as a “chump,” while Nick Timothy said he did not want “anyone reaching out” to him.
One senior government source said: “We should not dismiss Nigel Farage,” while another said “some dialogue” with him is necessary. They added: “Conversations will have to happen.”
Calls to use Farage to help build links with Trump have been growing from various quarters. Edi Truell, a private equity investor who has given the Conservative Party more than £270,000 ($339,000) was quoted as saying by the Times: “If you have got someone who has got a relationship then for goodness sake, use it.”
He added: “In business, that is exactly what we do. You could say he represents 52% of the population [who voted for Brexit].”
Speaking on BBC Radio 5, Tory peer Lord Marland said: “Anything we can do at any level to rebuild that relationship will be to Britain’s advantage, and if Mr Farage happens to be one of the people who encourages that relationship then so be it.
“Any manufacturer would use its best salesman to try and help get a market for them and if No 10 decides that that’s the person, then fine.”