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Nigel Farage 'happy to help UK in building bridges with Donald Trump'

By Shaun Connolly

Published 14/11/2016

Donald Trump with Ukip interim leader Nigel Farage in New York
Donald Trump with Ukip interim leader Nigel Farage in New York

Donald Trump did not offer Nigel Farage a job in his administration when the pair met in New York at the weekend.

"I'm not going to be working for the American administration. Of course I'm not," the Ukip interim leader told Sky News.

"I don't think that's going to happen at all, but if I can be useful in any way to the British government then I am very happy to do so."

The government has also confirmed that Mr Farage will not assist with the UK's relations with the Trump administration.

Senior Conservative Crispin Blunt said it is "completely implausible" the Ukip leader would take up such a role.

Mr Farage had hinted that ministers are sounding him out about dealing with Mr Trump, as he revealed the US president-elect's close advisers have "reservations" about Theresa May's government.

The interim Ukip leader, who became the first British politician to meet Mr Trump since his shock victory, insisted he could act as a bridge between Downing Street and Trump Tower if asked.

Asked if he had contact with Cabinet figures regarding his close ties to the incoming Republican president, Mr Farage told Sky News: "I am not going to go into whatever private phone calls I may, or may not, have had with individual ministers."

In a swipe at No 10 officials who have dismissed his links to Mr Trump, the Ukip leader said: "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.

"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." Mr Farage disclosed that members of the president-elect's inner circle were concerned about unflattering comments made by British Cabinet ministers, though Mr Trump told him he had a "nice" phone call with Mrs May.

"He said he had a nice conversation, although some of his team had reservations about what members of the Cabinet have said during the election. Believe you me, his team are conscious of the comments," Mr Farage told the Daily Telegraph.

The pair met at Trump Tower in New York and spent over an hour discussing the president-elect's victory, global politics and Brexit, according to Ukip. Mr Farage used US media appearances to warn Mrs May that she needed to "mend fences" with Mr Trump after the "quite rude" things said about him by leading Tories.

Asked on Fox News why the president-elect should meet the PM after the things senior Tories had said about him, Mr Farage said: "I think he has got to meet her. Mrs May's team have been quite rude about Trump, so there are some fences to be mended."

Downing Street moved to try to play down the significance of the Ukip leader's meeting with Mr Trump. A spokesman for Mrs May said No 10 "has been consistent that Mr Farage has no role" in the Government's relationship with the incoming US administration.

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