James Forsyth James Forsyth

Don’t send Farage to Washington; invite him to Chevening

Donald Trump has been putting the cat amongst the diplomatic pigeons—again. His tweet suggesting that Nigel Farage should be made the UK’s ambassador to the US couldn’t have been better designed to wind up the UK government by reminding everyone that it is the leader of Britain’s third party—not the Prime Minister—who knows the president-elect best.


It also, to put it mildly, rather undermines the current UK ambassador, Kim Darroch, but given Theresa May’s team’s unhappiness with him they might not mind that so much.

Now, obviously, Farage shouldn’t be the UK’s man in Washington. As Farage has admitted, he’s not a natural diplomat and it is hard to imagine Theresa May trusting him in that role. But it would be foolish of the Foreign Office not to pump Farage for information on Trump and his circle. Whatever information Farage has about who actually has influence with the president-elect would be useful for Britain.

The sensible thing to do would be to have Boris Johnson invite Farage down to Chevening for the weekend and over dinner try and talk out of the Ukip leader everything he knows about Trump world. I suspect that Farage would be both sufficiently flattered by the invitation and keen enough to help, that he would happily reveal all he knows about Trump and the people around him.  


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