Brexit Party MEP Ann Widdecombe was asked whether she thought Nigel Farage would be a good ambassador to the U.S., and in response said: “He’ll be too busy being prime minister.”
Even if in jest, the response implies that the Brexit Party holds power over a potential future Conservative government; one Tory MP admitted that in the event of a General Election, the party would need to come to an “agreement” with Farage to win and ultimately deliver Brexit, with Andrew Bridgen MP describing Farage as the “kingmaker”.
Ms Widdecombe’s comments came after leaked documents revealed the UK’s ambassador to the U.S. Sir Kim Darroch, who is leaving his post in the New Year, had told London in 2017 that President Donald Trump’s administration was “inept” and “dysfunctional”.
In response, President Trump remarked on Sunday that Sir Kim “has not served the UK well” with Mr Farage calling for the diplomat’s early removal.
'He'll be too busy being prime minister.' responds MEP Ann Widdecombe pic.twitter.com/bbGhinIW12
— Good Morning Britain (@GMB) July 8, 2019
Media began to speculate whether Mr Farage — a friend of the President and a number of people in his administration — could be the next ambassador representing London in Washington, DC, particularly as President Trump had said in 2016 that the politician would do a “great job” of representing the UK across the pond.
Asked whether he would take the job if offered, Mr Farage said on Radio 4’s Today programme: “I don’t think I’m the right man for that job. Am I the right man to try and help forge a better, closer relationship in terms of intelligence, security, and trade, with an administration that contains friends of mine? Yes, I could be very useful.”
Mr Farage added that the next ambassador to the U.S. should not come from the Foreign Office or Civil Service, saying the next prime minister should choose someone from industry, for example, because it “would send the right message” about post-Brexit Britain’s trade ambitions.
Adding that the Civil Service needs “reform”, the Brexit Party leader said the leak happened because the bureaucratic office is not politically neutral and is inherently pro-Brussels.
Trump Says UK 'Not Well Served' by Ambassador, Farage Calls for His Sacking https://t.co/Uwo1tnGBoc
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) July 8, 2019
“We see senior civil servant after senior civil servant appearing on this programme and elsewhere rubbishing Brexit… and I think there needs to be major Civil Service reform,” he said, adding: “They are not neutral. They support the European Union project of closer integration. The whole thing needs wholesale change.”
Mr Farage touched upon plans to build his own trade mission to the United States, telling BBC radio listeners that over the past few weeks has been in talks with “big UK industrialists”, with the prospect or organising a meeting with President Trump’s trade advisors “so that we can start to get the blueprint together” for a bilateral free trade agreement.
“You know, as soon as the European Union realises that we are serious about big, all-encompassing deals with countries like America, it massively strengthens our position between now and the 31st of October,” he added.
The Brexit Part leader had started scouting for trade negotiators in reaction to what he described as a “paralysed” Conservative government which had not appeared to have done any “serious work” on a UK-U.S. FTA “at all”.
UK Ambassador in Washington: Donald Trump ‘Inept,’ ‘Insecure’ https://t.co/wrp6RbcTLO
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) July 7, 2019