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 before any EU leaders, said on Twitter that “many people” would like to see the former metals trader turned politician 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.
Prime Minister Theresa May, who congratulated Trump on his victory, was swift to reject such an undiplomatic proposal, with a spokesman saying Britain already had an excellent ambassador to Washington and that London would appoint its own envoys.
“We have first rate ambassador in Washington,” Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, who campaigned for Brexit, told the British parliament. “There is no vacancy for that position.”
It is highly unusual in the modern era for leaders to publicly suggest to foreign nations whom they would like to see as ambassador, though during strained relations they sometimes reject or expel envoys.
Trump’s suggestion provoked anger, support and even hilarity in Britain, with one lawmaker, Conservative Simon Burns, joking that perhaps Britain should suggest Hillary Clinton as its preferred choice as ambassador to London.