Nigel Farage has been banned from meeting president Donald Trump
“Isn’t that absolutely bizarre. Doesn’t it sum up why British politics needs to change? The small-minded pettiness.” Mr Farage, who has met the US president and shared pro-Brexit views on several occasions, added: “I supported him publicly, I speak to him occasionally on the phone, but I was told it was not to happen.” Mr Farage said a very good Washington source told him Downing Street wanted to stop him meeting up with Mr Trump. And a Whitehall source said last night: “Downing Street are doing their utmost to avoid the two meeting, though of course the decision rests with Donald Trump.” No 10 maintained it was not its place to decide who Mr Trump sees when he makes his three-day trip. “Who the president meets during his visit is, of course, a matter for him,” a spokesman said.
Mr Trump, who arrives in Britain on Monday, did not rule out meeting Mr Farage and former foreign secretary Boris Johnson during the visit when he talked to reporters on Thursday.
Lavishing praise on the Brexiteers, he described them as “big powers” and said that he liked them. “I have a lot of respect for both of those men,” he added.
Mr Farage championed MrTrump during his controversial presidential campaign and was rewarded by becoming the first British politician to meet him after the election.
The pair were pictured beaming outside the gold lift in Trump Tower in Manhattan.
Mr Farage, whose revitalised new party is battling to take its first House of Commons seat next week in Peterborough, said he and Mr Trump were friends and he sees the president whenever he visits the United States.
President Trump will be making a state visit to the UK this June
But he claimed Mr Trump’s “entourage have been told by No 10 that he’s not to meet me”. “The one person in this country who has a good bridge to Donald Trump is me,” Mr Farage said.
“You would have thought I might actually be useful to the British Government.”
Last year President Trump heaped praise on Mr Johnson in a newspaper interview when he visited the UK, causing great embarrassment for Prime Minister Theresa May.
Mr Trump said then that he had “a lot of respect for Boris” and “he would be a great prime minister.”
The president added: “I think he’s got what it takes”. Speculation has been mounting that he and Mr Johnson will get together – against strict protocols governing who visiting world leaders will meet.
Trump will be meeting for lunch with the Queen at Buckingham Palace
But Mr Johnson’s aides played down the claims and said no invitation had yet been received. Mr Trump’s state visit is expected to be hit by widespread protests over his divisive leadership.
Last year, nearly 10,000 police officers were deployed in the huge security operation during Mr Trump’s fleeting working visit. Next week, the president will have lunch with the Queen, breakfast with Mrs May and mark the 75th anniversary of D-Day.
Mrs May invited Mr Trump to enjoy the full pomp and ceremony of a state visit just seven days into his presidency – but the political furore over the visit means it has taken 857 days to take place.
Protesters again hope to fly the phone-wielding, nappy-clad inflatable orange blimp, which depicts the leader of the free world as a baby.
The President will meet with Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadker
A 16ft talking Trump robot sitting on a gold toilet is also expected to make an appearance.
Security has been tightened for the UK’s national commemorations of the D-Day anniversary, attended by international figures including the Queen on Wednesday.
The public will be prevented from watching the event by a double-layered solid fence at Southsea Common, Portsmouth.
Mr Trump and his wife Melania will be officially welcomed to the UK on Monday by the Queen.
Trump has said he has a lot of respect for Tory politician Boris Johnson
The couple will have a private lunch, a visit to Westminster Abbey and a state banquet at Buckingham Palace later.
On Tuesday, Mr Trump will start with a business breakfast meeting co-hosted by Mrs May at St James’ Palace, before talks at Downing Street.
Mr Trump will travel to the Republic of Ireland after Wednesday’s D-Day commemorations, basing himself at his hotel and golf resort at Doonbeg, in the west of the country.
During his stopover, he will hold a bilateral meeting with Irish premier Leo Varadkar at Shannon Airport.