Theresa May has banned Donald Trump from meeting Nigel Farage on his visit to the UK next week, claiming the pair have too much influence over the public.
According to a Whitehall source, a Farage and Trump meeting is a massive red line for 10 Downing Street.
Telegraph.co.uk reports: The source said Number 10 has made it clear that the US President “must not meet Farage” in the talks over the itinerary.
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US officials were in London last week to try to nail down the plans for the trip which will see Mr Trump and his wife Melania meet with the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh.
Mr Farage added that he had been told the UK Government had made it clear that it did not want Mr Trump to meet with him during his visit “through the normal protocol channels”.
He said: “I understand that through the normal protocol channels established between [the countries] ahead of a visit that they are very keen – almost paranoid I was told – that he [Trump] doesn’t meet me.”
Mr Farage said: “I just despair of this Government – they don’t seem to understand that the concept called the national interest.”
Mr Farage said he did not want to embarrass Mr Trump but he would meet if the President asked to see him.
A source at 10 Downing Street played down the claims, saying said it was “not even aware of a meeting being requested ” adding that “either way we are not trying to stop one”. The US embassy in London declined to comment.
It is understood that a meeting with Mr Farage has not so far been raised by the White House.
The UK Government has repeatedly refused to agree to a request by Mr Farage to be a “bridge” between the White House and 10 Downing Street.
In the weeks after Mr Trump election Mr Farage met with Mr Trump three times. In November 2016, Mr Farage was pictured grinning in a gold-plated lift alongside the president-elect at his New York skyscraper.
Mr Trump then shocked Westminster by sending a late-night message on Twitter saying Mr Farage would do a “great job” as Britain’s ambassador to the US.