Ministers will use Nigel Farage as an unofficial intermediary to build bridges with Donald Trump to ensure the “special relationship” does not falter in the wake of his election.
The Telegraph understands that ministers will be forced to seek Mr Farage’s advice because they have no links to the President-elect’s inner circle.
Mrs May spoke to Mr Trump for the first time since his victory …Downing Street said that during the call, Mr Trump said that the UK is a “very, very special place for me and for our country” and suggested that he wants their relationship to be similar to the one enjoyed by Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan.
But the delay in talking to the President-elect led to accusations that the Government had undermined its relationship with Washington by failing to anticipate Mr Trump’s success. There is also concern in government that relations have been damaged by rows which took place before the election.
Mr Farage – who joined Mr Trump on the campaign trail – told the Telegraph the relationship between Mr Trump’s Republican Party and the Conservatives has “completely broken down”.
It is understood that Liam Fox, the International Trade Secretary who has links to the Republican Party, now intends to speak to Mr Farage before attempting to hold talks with senior Trump advisers. On Thursday night, Number 10 said that Mr Farage will not be representing Mrs May in any official or unofficial capacity.
On Thursday it emerged that senior figures in Whitehall have in recent months warned that the Government was not taking seriously enough the prospect of a Trump presidency.
Three months ago Boris Johnson, then a relatively new Foreign Secretary, instructed his officials to do more to forge links with Mr Trump’s campaign, fearing that there was too much expectation in the Foreign Office of a victory for Hilary Clinton. The cull (of loyal people in the Civil Service who knew their job) to achieve diversity will have repercussions for years. It has also been claimed that Sir Kim Darroch, Britain’s ambassador to the US, did not do enough to develop close links with Mr Trump’s campaign in the build-up to the presidential election.
But Mr Farage says that he is the only British politician who has “offered help or support” to Mr Trump. Mr Farage says that he perceived snubs towards Mr Trump have damaged the relationship between the UK and USA.
He says: “Of Britain’s relationship there is going to be a slightly difficult start. Nobody in the British government has reached out to his campaign, believing as with our referendum that he could not possibly win. The traditional relationship between the British Conservative party and the Republicans has completely broken down.”
Mr Trump was (also) left furious after MPs in Parliament debated whether Mr Trump should be banned from the UK, even threatening to withdraw £600 million of planned investment in Scotland.