Tom Goodenough

What the papers say: Nigel Farage’s Trump card

What the papers say: Nigel Farage's Trump card
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Theresa May was tenth in line in the phone queue to speak to president-elect Donald Trump last week. Yet Nigel Farage managed an hour-long meeting with Trump over the weekend - and even found time to pose for pictures in Trump's gold-plated elevator. Downing Street has so far said it doesn’t want Farage’s help to build bridges with the new US leader. But how sustainable is that approach?

The Daily Telegraph says now is not the time to be fussy about the way in which Britain forges links with Trump. The paper says that the government is ‘right to consider making use of Nigel Farage’, who it points out will offer a ‘direct line’ to the White House. It doesn’t stop there though: suggesting the prospect of Nigel Farage becoming Britain's new ambassador in Washington might not be a bad thing, The Telegraph says that although such a move would go down like a lead balloon in the Foreign Office, it might still be worth thinking about. After all, the Telegraph adds, ‘this is a time for the government to call in all the contacts it has with the new administration’.

Donald Trump’s victory sent shockwaves around the world - but the Sun says its clear that Theresa May gets the message. In its editorial, the paper says the Prime Minister ‘understands that it’s no longer business as usual for politicians’. Yet it's not just enough for the PM to pay lip service to change - now is the time for action, the Sun says. The paper’s editorial says it is vital she now responds to voters’ worries. On the issue of immigration, the paper adds, ‘her career will be just one casualty’, if she doesn’t act quickly and decisively.

The Daily Mail also throws its weight behind the PM - arguing that it’s clear that Theresa May is listening to voters. The paper says the ‘Trump effect’ ‘has highlighted to a shocked liberal elite just how frustrated voters’ are with the status quo. Whereas in the past politicians might have pretended not to be listening, the Mail says leaders are slowly waking up to a new reality. Even Jeremy Corbyn, who has previously said little about doing anything about unfettered migration, ‘was muttering yesterday about understanding public concerns’, the Mail points out. The paper goes on to say that May will ‘put her finger on the heart of the issue’ later tonight in her speech at the Lord Mayor's Banquet, suggesting that her view that ‘people see their communities changing around them and don’t remember giving their permission’ shows that politicians - not least our PM - are clear about why US voters backed Trump.

The Guardian steps up its doom-mongering in the wake of Donald Trump’s victory today - saying that the president-elect will be a disaster because of his views on climate change. The paper argues that Trump ‘is the first self-declared climate denier to lead of one of the world’s biggest emitters’. But will his top team dampen his controversial views? Don't count on it, the paper says, pointing to reports that Myron Ebell, ‘a man once described by a senior George W Bush aide as 'crazy Myron’’ and who is a ‘prominent climate sceptic’ could be in line for the top job at the Environmental Protection Agency. Yet while some are worried Trump may pull the US out of the UN convention on climate change altogether, the Guardian says that even that may be a step too far for Trump. Such a move would mean sacrificing the country’s seat at the table - something ’that pragmatists would rather retain, even if they try to saw the legs off,’ the paper concludes.