Britain on Tuesday dismissed U.S. President-elect Donald Trump’s unprecedented expression of support for Brexit campaigner Nigel Farage to be made British ambassador to Washington, saying pointedly that there is no vacancy for the job.
Trump, who after his election victory met Farage ahead of any EU leaders, said on Twitter that “many people” would like to see the former metals trader turned Brexit campaigner as Britain’s ambassador.
“Many people would like to see @Nigel_Farage represent Great Britain as their Ambassador to the United States. He would do a great job!” Trump said on Twitter.
Prime Minister Theresa May, who congratulated Trump on his victory, was swift to reject such an undiplomatic proposal.
“There is no vacancy,” a Downing Street spokesman said when asked about Trump’s remark on Tuesday. “We already have an excellent ambassador to the US.”
It is highly unusual in the modern era for leaders to publicly suggest to foreign nations who they would like to see as ambassador.
Farage, leader of the UK Independence Party (UKIP) and one of the key figures of the successful referendum campaign for Britain to leave the European Union, spoke at a Trump rally during the U.S. campaign and visited the president-elect after his victory.
“Brexit Britain means huge global opportunities. One of the first places the UK should start is in the U.S. with Donald Trump,” Farage, 52, said shortly after his meeting with Trump.
The photograph of Trump greeting one of the EU’s biggest critics before a gilded elevator caused consternation in EU capitals, many of whom view Trump with a mixture of fear and puzzlement.
Kim Darroch, the current British ambassador in Washington, did not reply to emails from Reuters requesting comment on Trump’s remarks.
Queen Elizabeth might invite Trump for a state visit to Britain next year, a spokeswoman for May said on Monday.
(Reporting by Guy Faulconbridge; editing by Michael Holden)