UPDATE: 5:25 a.m. EST -- Nigel Farage, a controversial leader of the United Kingdom Independence Party, took to his Twitter account Tuesday to speak out about his relationship with U.S. President-elect Donald Trump.
Here are some reactions to Trump's interest in Farage as the U.K.'s ambassador to U.S.
Nigel Farage, a controversial leader of the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP), should be the U.K.’s ambassador to the U.S., according to President-elect Donald Trump. Farage was the first British politician to meet Trump after his victory against Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton.
“Many people would like to see @Nigel_Farage represent Great Britain as their Ambassador to the United States,” Trump tweeted Monday evening. “He would do a great job!”
In a brief call with BBC Breakfast, Farage said he had been awake since the tweet was first posted, adding that he was flattered by Trump's tweet, calling it "a bolt from the blue" and said he did not see himself as a typical diplomatic figure “in the normal course of events.” He added: "But these are not the normal course of events."
A Downing Street spokesman, however, said: “There is no vacancy. We already have an excellent ambassador to the U.S.”
Farage, who spoke in support of Trump at election rallies in the U.S. during the campaign, also reportedly said: "It's all a bit of a shock to me. No one had mentioned the idea to me but I have good relations with his team and if I could help the UK in any way I would." He added that Trump was "a serious anglophile and a friend of this country."
Farage was a prominent supporter of the successful campaign for a vote in favor of leaving the European Union. On July 4, 2016, Farage announced his resignation as leader of UKIP, triggering a leadership election. He has been criticized on several occasions for his controversial statements, including his interest in banning immigrants with HIV from Britain, his comments on breastfeeding women and his remark that the gender pay gap exists because women are "worth less."
Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron reacted to Trump's tweet, saying that the suggestion of Farage as U.K. ambassador to the U.S. was a "frankly stupid idea."
"I have more diplomacy in my little finger. But what's more worrying is the axing of TPP," Farron added, referring to Trump's announcement that he would quit the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal on his first day in office.
During his first meeting with Farage last weekend, Trump criticized the Scottish government for allowing the country to become overrun with wind farms. Trump urged Farage to launch a campaign opposing new wind farm developments.
Trump has fought a long-running battle against a wind farm off the coast from his Aberdeenshire course, Trump International Golf Links, which he has previously called an act of "public vandalism."