Nigel Farage, acting leader of the United Kingdom Independence Party that forged the successful Brexit campaign, plans to move to the United States – possibly Maine – even if he doesn’t become U.K. ambassador to Washington.

Farage, who is a British member of the European Parliament, told friends that he is preparing to emigrate with his wife, Kirsten, in part because he would feel “freer” if he leapt across the Atlantic, The Times of London reported Thursday.

On Monday, President-elect Donald Trump tweeted that Farage would do “a great job” as British ambassador to the United States. The British government responded angrily that there is “no vacancy” in that post, which is now held by Sir Kim Darroch.

Farage was the first British politician to congratulate Trump in person when he visited Trump Tower in New York on Nov. 12. Farage hinted at moving to the United States when he was asked about the trip last week, The Times reported.

“If I were rich I wouldn’t be living in the middle of New York,” he said, “I’d be out in Maine, somewhere coastal.”

Farage is expected to visit Trump’s team in Washington, D.C., early next month, The Telegraph of London reported Wednesday.

Jason Savage, executive director of the Maine Republican Party, said Friday that Farage’s interest in Maine reflects a growing recognition of the state’s bountiful seaside beauty and independent political climate.

“More and more, Maine is on the map in political discussions,” Savage said, including its influence in casting an Electoral College vote for Trump.

“It’s heartening to see Maine being recognized as a place that appreciates leaders who stand up for the people,” Savage continued. “We’d love to have (Farage) here and we’d welcome the opportunity to talk.”

The Times reported that Farage, 52, is concerned about the safety of his family in Britain. He has not appeared in public with them for more than 18 months, after anti-UKIP protesters chased his wife and daughters out of the Queen’s Head Pub in Downe, Kent, where they were having Sunday lunch.

His daughters, then aged 15 and 10, fled in terror and were escorted home by police and the mob attacked the car carrying Farage and his wife.

In his hometown Farage is said to be “very well known and popular,” The Times reported, but elsewhere Farage has said he can’t go out for a drink without people starting unpleasant confrontations.

A former stock broker, Farage has been a member of the European Parliament representing southeast England since 1999. Farage has led the conservative United Kingdom Independence Party every year but one since 2006 and was a prominent supporter of the so-called Brexit campaign and the successful June referendum on the United Kingdom’s departure from the European Union.

Farage was named “Briton of the Year” by The Times in 2014 and ranked second in The Telegraph’s Top 100 most influential right-wingers poll in October 2013, behind Prime Minister David Cameron.

Farage and Trump share similar manners, as well as political ideologies.

When Farage and Trump met at his Manhattan home earlier this month, the two men talked about “freedom and winning” and the possibility of putting a bust of Sir Winston Churchill “back in (the) Oval Office,” The Times reported.

President Obama replaced the bust of Churchill with a bust of civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. after he became the first black president. He placed the bust of Churchill outside his private office in the White House residence, where he still sees it every day, according to ABC News.

On Wednesday, Farage noted the connection between the successful Brexit campaign and Trump’s election win at a swanky party at The Ritz London hotel. Addressing guests from the top of a grand staircase, Farage said 2016 “will stand out as one of those great historic years — the election of The Donald was something of a completely different order,” the Times reported.

To those unhappy with the direction that the United Kingdom is taking, Farage added, “I’ve got some really bad news for you. It’s going to get a bloody sight worse next year.”

 


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