Donald Trump has suggested that Britain should make Nigel Farage the ambassador to the US, in a surprising tweet guaranteed to raise eyebrows in the UK.
Mr Trump made the recommendation to his almost 16 million Twitter followers on Monday night.
“Many people would like to see @Nigel_Farage represent Great Britain as their Ambassador to the United States. He would do a great job!” said the president-elect, who is currently in the process of choosing his new Cabinet.
Mr Trump appears to be revelling in ripping up the rule book. It is highly unusual for an incoming president to suggest ambassadors from other countries.
Yet Mr Farage appears to have cultivated a remarkably close relationship with Mr Trump, who he sees as a kindred spirit, determined to turn “the establishment” on its head.
Mr Farage campaigned for Mr Trump in Mississippi in August, and on November 12 he became the first foreign politician to visit Mr Trump – arriving at Trump Towers three days after the election, at a time when the rest of the world was still reeling, and digesting the implications of the New Yorker’s victory.
On Monday night it further emerged that at the meeting Mr Trump had raised the issue of wind farms – something which has irritated him in Britain, as he complains that it spoils the view from his golf course .
Andy Wigmore, a media consultant who was present and was photographed with Mr Trump, told the New York Times that wind farms had been discussed – raising further questions about Mr Trump’s ability to separate business and politics.
Earlier on Monday the president-elect was forced to deny reports in Argentine media that he had used his first conversation with Mauricio Macri, president of Argentina, to discuss planning hold-ups in the construction of his new Trump Office development in Buenos Aires.
“He did not say he hated wind farms as a concept; he just did not like them spoiling the views,” said Mr Wigmore.
The interim leader of the UK Independence Party said he was “greeted like an old friend” and suggested that he could be a go-between for Theresa May, helping her establish a strong working relationship with Mr Trump.
The suggestion did not go down well in Whitehall, however, where the government insisted they did not need any outside assistance.
And Mr Trump’s remarks on Monday night will also not be appreciated in Downing Street – where Mr Farage is seen as hampering the lines of communication between the UK and the incoming president.
Number 10 has dismissed suggestions that the Ukip leader might become the “third person” in the relationship between Mr Trump and the Prime Minister, insisting that the Government already has “well-established” channels of communication.
Mr Trump’s proposal is also unlikely to be well received in Washington, where Sir Kim Darroch, the current British ambassador, has only been in the job since February.
Most ambassadors serve around four year terms in each country.