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Delayed Trump call to PM 'may be due to Cabinet ministers' insults': Farage

Published 11/11/2016

President-elect Donald Trump in the Oval Office of the White House (AP)
President-elect Donald Trump in the Oval Office of the White House (AP)

Donald Trump could have waited so long to place a call to Theresa May after his election because of the insulting things senior Tory Cabinet ministers have said about him, Nigel Farage has suggested.

Speaking from the US where he plans to meet members of the president-elect's team, the interim Ukip leader singled out Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson for criticism.

Asked if Mrs May being so far down Mr Trump's list of calls to foreign leaders should cause concern for the future of the Anglo-American relationship, Mr Farage told the Press Association: "Well, you have to face the facts that there are some very senior members of this administration who have said some very rude things about him."

Pressed if Mr Trump calling nine other presidents and prime ministers before Mrs May was payback for the criticism levelled at him by some Tories, Mr Farage said: "You'd have to draw your own conclusions on that. But this president is instinctively Anglophile."

Mr Farage criticised the strong attacks levelled at Mr Trump in the past by Mr Johnson.

As London mayor, Mr Johnson reacted angrily to comments by Mr Trump on Muslims, and his claims that some parts of London were "no go areas" for the police, saying: "I think Donald Trump is clearly out of his mind if he thinks that's a sensible way to proceed, to ban people going to the United States in that way, or to any country.

"What he's doing is playing the game of the terrorists and those who seek to divide us. That's exactly the kind of reaction they hope to produce.

"I think he's betraying a quite stupefying ignorance that makes him frankly unfit to hold the office of President of the United States."

Mr Farage said he had no plans to meet Mr Trump personally, but would use his visit to underline the importance of the Anglo-American alliance on the US media.

After the shock election result, the interim Ukip leader appeared to make light of a now infamous 2005 videotape of Mr Trump in which he boasted about being able to grope women because of his celebrity.

"I will be encouraging him to make the UK his priority. I am now going to become a diplomat - 'Come and schmooze Theresa, don't touch her for goodness' sake'. If it comes to it I could be the responsible adult and make sure everything's okay," he told TalkRadio.

When Mr Trump did eventually speak to Mrs May after calling a number of other leaders, including Irish Taoiseach Enda Kenny, Mr Trump invited the PM to visit him in Washington "as soon as possible" after his inauguration on January 20.

Ministers played down the delay, insisting the "special relationship" between the US and the UK remained intact.

A No 10 spokesman said Mr Trump had set out his "close and personal connections with, and warmth for, the UK" and expressed confidence the special relationship would go "from strength to strength".

Mrs May had then referred to the two countries' "long history of shared values" saying they had "always stood together as close allies when it counts the most".

Number 10 and Ukip have flatly denied a report suggesting that Nigel Farage - an ally of Mr Trump who appeared alongside him during the bitter election campaign - could act as a go-between as the UK seeks to build relations with the 45th president.

The Daily Telegraph reported that Liam Fox, the International Trade Secretary who has his own close links to the Republican Party, intends to speak to Mr Farage before attempting to hold talks with senior Trump advisers.

But the suggestion was rejected by both Tory and Ukip sources and a Government spokesman said: "Dr Fox has no plans to talk to Mr Farage."

Meanwhile, Mrs May will meet outgoing US president Barack Obama during an international summit in Berlin next week at which the White House said it expects questions about Mr Trump to feature.

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