US president-elect says UKIP's anti-immigration leader 'would do a great job'. British PM's office says there is no vacancy
Donald Trump has said the Brexit campaigner Nigel Farage "would do a great job" as British ambassador to the US, in the latest unorthodox intervention from the president-elect.
"Many people would like to see @Nigel_Farage represent Great Britain as their Ambassador to the United States," Trump said on his Twitter account. "He would do a great job!"
Farage, the interim leader of the anti-EU, anti-immigration UK Independence Party, was reported to have been "flattered" by the message.
The office of the British prime minister, however, said there was "no vacancy... we have an excellent ambassador to the US".
Farage, who is also a member of the European Parliament, met the president-elect at Trump Tower in New York shortly after the US election.
"It was a great honour to spend time with @realDonaldTrump," Farage tweeted at the time, posting a photo of the pair standing before a gilded doorway. "He was relaxed and full of good ideas. I'm confident he will be a good President."
Many people would like to see @Nigel_Farage represent Great Britain as their Ambassador to the United States. He would do a great job!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 22, 2016
During the divisive US presidential campaign, Trump repeatedly compared his presidential bid to the Brexit referendum in which a majority of Britons voted to split from the EU.
Ambassadors are appointed by the governments they represent, not by the administration of the country in which they serve.
Britain is keen to build bridges with Trump after many leading government figures criticised the president-elect during his successful election campaign.
London is also interested in sounding out a US trade deal as it plots its departure from the EU.
The queen could host Trump within months of him becoming United States president, with the British government confirming Monday that it was considering a state visit next year.
Royal officials said that the government was responsible for organising state visits, and a spokeswoman for the British prime minister said that the proposal was "under consideration".
— Raheem Kassam (@RaheemKassam) November 22, 2016
Trump told May that he was a "big fan of the queen" when the pair spoke by telephone following his victory, and is also reported to have told Farage that his late mother Mary would be "chuffed to bits when I meet the queen".
Britain will not issue an invitation to a president-elect, but is expected to make its move shortly after Trump's inauguration on 20 January.