It’s the picture everyone was talking about after Donald Trump was elected president of the United States.
It showed the president-elect with another man smiling gleefully in front of Trump Tower’s golden elevator.
That man, for those who don’t know him yet, is Nigel Farage, the interim leader of the UK Independence (Ukip) party and the first British politician to meet Trump following his victory.
Over the past few years, Farage ran a successful campaign in favour of the UK leaving the European Union, also known as Brexit, despite all the odds.
During an hour-long meeting in New York, the two discussed “freedom and winning,” according to a Trump adviser. In a tweet accompanying the picture, Farage boasted that “support for the U.S.-UK relationship is very strong,” adding: “This is a man with whom we can do business.”
The move was widely seen as a display of diplomatic humiliation for post-Brexit prime minister Theresa May, who was only the 11th world leader called by Trump after his victory.
We’ve gathered 15 facts about Farage that will make you want to know him more.
First, let’s dispel a myth…
He’s not the ‘UK opposition leader’
Nope, Fox News, that is Jeremy Corbyn, leader of the Labour Party.
He campaigned for Brexit and won
It’s safe to say that Brexit was Farage’s dream of a lifetime. Ever since he founded Ukip in 1992 in protest at Europe’s Maastricht treaty, Farage has been obsessed with taking Britain outside of the EU.
David Cameron, the former prime minister who resigned after the Brexit vote, famously dismissed Farage and Ukip as a collection of “fruitcakes, loonies and closet racists.” However, they had the last laugh with the referendum.
He called the day of the referendum ‘Independence day for UK’
As votes were still being counted in the referendum, a visibly ecstatic Farage told supporters that “dawn is breaking on an independent United Kingdom.” He added that 23 June should go down as “independence day.”
He caused chaos in the European Parliament after Brexit
Farage took his revenge against all of those who had written him off in a rather triumphant speech at the European Parliament. Chaos ensued.
“Isnt it funny? When I came here 17 years ago and I said that I wanted to lead a campaign go get Britain out of the European Union, you all laughed at me. Well, I have to say, youre not laughing now, are you?” he started.
He resigned, saying he wants his life back
Farage kind of showed his human side in his resignation speech as leader of the Ukip party. He said: During the referendum I said I wanted my country back now I want my life back.”
However, his party is still unable to find a successor and, as a result Farage, is still Ukip leader, though at interim.
He offered to help May get to know Trump
Farage offered to help Theresa May get to know Trump and help bridges with the new U.S. administration. However, the prime minister rebutted his proposal with a strong statement:
The president-elect talked about enjoying the same close relationship that Reagan and Thatcher did. I dont remember there being a third person in that relationship, Mays official spokeswoman said.
He said he’d like to work for Trump as his ambassador to the EU
Yup, he said that before the elections. If he did offer me a job I would quite like to be his ambassador to the European Union. I think I would do that job very well,” Farage told ITV1, in reference to Trump.
He showed up at a Trump rally in Jackson, Mississippi
He defended Trump’s lewd comments about women
In a comment to Sky News after the second presidential debate, Farage praised Donald Trump’s performance with an animal comparison.
“I thought he was like a big silverback gorilla prowling the studio,” Farage said.
“He took control. He dominated Hillary Clinton. She was very much on the back foot all evening.”Earlier, Farage defended Trump’s lewd comments regarding women, saying they were no more than “alpha male boasting.” A bit cringeworthy…
He really loves beer
He had some words about the former European Council president
Farage once said Herman van Rompuy, the former European Council president, had the appearance of a low-grade bank clerk and the charisma of a damp rag. I dont want to be rude Who are you? Id never heard of you, nobody in Europe had ever heard of you, he said.
He compared Brexit to Trump’s victory
During election night, Farage compared Trump’s victory in the key swing state of Florida to how Sunderland voted for Brexit.
Sixty-one percent of voters in Sunderland opted to leave the EU in what was considered as a pivotal moment for the night of the EU referendum results.The Leave campaign was expected to win the north east city by a small margin.
Across the pond in the U.S., Trump won in Florida despite polls predicting a Clinton victory due to the state’s large Latino population.
He claimed he felt uncomfortable living next door to Romanians
The Ukip leader came under fire in a radio interview with LBC’s James O’Brien. Among the other things, Farage was rattled in trying to defend his claims that he would feel uncomfortable if a group of eastern Europeans decided to live next door. He later backtracked.
He suggested migrants with HIV should be excluded from the country
In an interview with Newsweek Europe, Farage was asked what sort of people should be allowed to migrate to Britain. He said: People who do not have HIV, to be frank. Thats a good start. And people with a skill.”
He warned of disturbances in the street if Brexit supporters became frustrated
After a High Court ruling that MPs should discuss Brexit vote ahead of the government triggering official talks with the EU, Farage warned there would be “political anger the likes of which none of us in our lifetimes have ever witnessed.”