He has had, by any measure, a barnstorming year. And on Wednesday night, guests arriving at a party thrown in Nigel Farage’s honour at the Ritz will be greeted by pyramids of Ferrero Rocher chocolates in a joking reference to Donald Trump’s eyebrow-raising proposal that the Ukip leader should become Britain’s ambassador to the US.
Farage’s allies, including the Barclay brothers, who own the Ritz and the Telegraph newspaper, and Arron Banks, who spent £7.5m on the Leave.EU campaign, are throwing the reception for 120 guests to mark a year that has seen Farage help secure Brexit and become one of the first politicians to be granted an audience with the US president-elect.
Over English sparkling wine supplied from Lord Ashcroft’s Gusbourne winery in Kent and canapes of coronation chicken and roast beef, Farage’s achievements will be celebrated by a crowd that ranges from the Tory Eurosceptic Jacob Rees-Mogg to the Daily Mail columnist Richard Littlejohn.
Farage said on Tuesday it was “a bolt from the blue” that Trump had suggested on Twitter he should replace the British ambassador in Washington, Sir Kim Darroch. While Downing Street has rejected the suggestion, Farage insists the UK government should exploit his established links with Trump’s inner circle, including with his chief strategist, Steve Bannon.
The organisers have asked if Trump can supply a video message and Farage will give a speech reflecting on his year in politics, which has delighted supporters but shocked his opponents.