Nigel Farage could be ambassador to US if Trump wins, says ex-foreign secretary

Nigel Farage could be ambassador to US if Trump wins, says ex-foreign secretary

Nigel Farage could be the next UK ambassador to the US if Donald Trump wins the presidency, ex-foreign secretary David Owen has said.

Lord Owen said appointing the former Brexit Party leader to the job to help keep Mr Trump onside was “not a totally outrageous suggestion”.

The former cabinet minister said Mr Farage could initially be sent out to Washington to help persuade the Republican to keep the US inside Nato if he wins a second term.

Lord Owen – Labour foreign secretary between 1977 and 1979 – said it may even be necessary to hand the hard-right politician one of the country’s top diplomatic roles. “We’d better send old Farage out there to persuade Trump [about Nato],” he told the News Agents podcast. “I would certainly.”

He added: “I would hope it could be done without making him ambassador, as some people have suggested – but it’s not a totally outrageous suggestion.”

Mr Farage previously claimed that he “could be very useful” when the idea of him becoming ambassador to the US came up upon Sir Kim Darroch’s resignation in 2019.

When preparing to enter the White House, Mr Trump claimed that his friend would do a “great job” in the role. The then-Brexit Party chief raised eyebrows by meeting the president-elect at Trump Tower during the interim period in November 2016.

Nigel Farage introducing Donald Trump at a 2020 stump speech (Getty)
Nigel Farage introducing Donald Trump at a 2020 stump speech (Getty)

Lord Owen – who quit Labour in the early 1980s to form a rival party that eventually became the Liberal Democrats –said his American wife was convinced Mr Trump was going to win November’s presidential election.

He also called on Joe Biden to make way for another Democrat to run against the Republican favourite. “He’s got a few more months but he should say to the people, ‘I’m getting a bit old, we need a vigorous thing’. And the Democrat Party ought to have an open nomination conference and elect somebody who is more vigorous and will beat Trump.”

Boris Johnson has said a second Trump presidency could be a “big win for the world”. In his latest Mail column, the former PM mocked the “hysteria” in Britain about the prospect of Mr Trump’s return to the White House.

He mocked the Church of England, the BBC and “much of the UK establishment” for a “caterwauling orgy of nose-holding abhorrence” – claiming Mr Trump’s success in the polls had “driven some people to the brink of virtue-signalling derangement”.

Boris Johnson and Donald Trump together in 2019 (AP)
Boris Johnson and Donald Trump together in 2019 (AP)

Mr Johnson said his old ally was not a “would-be dictator”, despite his role in inciting a riot that saw the unprecedented attack on the US Capitol building. And he claimed that Mr Trump’s “sheer unpredictability” made him an asset in acting as a “major deterrent to the enemies of the West” – claiming the Republican would not turn his back on Ukraine.

Meanwhile, Lord Owen has criticised Rishi Sunak’s Rwanda deportation plan but predicted that the UK would leave the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) and the Strasbourg court that oversees the agreement.

Asked whether he believed that the UK might have to withdraw from the ECHR, Lord Owen said: “Yes, because they are now telling us how to conduct our immigration policy.” He added: “And they’re using powers that have never been used before just recently on our immigration policy. It’s like all these human rights and lawyer things. You give lawyers a yard, they’ll take a mile.”

Lord Owen said David Cameron took the job as foreign secretary because he was “bored”. And he said he had “reservations” about Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer because “I don’t like his record”.

He cited Sir Keir’s decision to work under Jeremy Corbyn, and taking a leading role in “trying to stop the [Brexit] referendum decision being passed by the House of Commons”.