Protesters gather on Fifth Avenue as Nigel Farage visits Trump Tower

Updated: 
USA-ELECTION/PROTESTS



Nigel Farage has been spotted visiting Trump Tower in New York as President-elect Donald Trump continues to build his future administration just metres away from demonstrations on Manhattan's Fifth Avenue.

The appearance of Ukip's interim leader came shortly after left-wing film-maker Michael Moore had been refused entry to the floors beyond the lobby.

"I just thought I'd see if I could get into Trump Tower and ride the famous escalator," said Moore, who did just that until he reached the fourth floor and the Secret Service told him he could go no higher.

Farage has been a popular outside influence in Trump's election campaign, and was frequently mentioned as a shining example of a protest politician who led Britain to reject continued membership with the EU in the UK's June referendum.

Bizarrely dubbed "Mr Brexit" by American fans in his bid for the presidency, Trump hired the original "Mr Brexit", Farage, to speak at a campaign rally in August where he addressed supporters in a passionate speech in which he proclaimed "anything is possible if enough decent people are prepared to stand up against the establishment".

Demonstrators hold up signs on Fifth Avenue
Demonstrators hold up signs on Fifth Avenue as Donald Trump planned for his ascendancy to the White House in January (Mary Altaffer AP/PA)

Down the road, a crowd of thousands of far less jubilant visitors carried placards proclaiming "Trumpism = Fascism" and chanted "This is what democracy looks like" as they marched down the busy shopping thoroughfare.

Farage refused to say whether or not he would be taking a position within Trump's transition strategy team towards his appointment to the White House in January, but his presence alone is likely to unnerve other mainstream politicians in the UK, particularly regarding concerns over maintaining Britain's "special relationship" with the US.

For Trump, who ran on a pledge to "drain the swamp" of Washington insiders, the transition team is strikingly heavy on those with long political resumes.

Nigel Farage
Farage was all smiles as he was allowed into an elevator up to the higher floors inside Trump's landmark Manhattan tower (Evan Vucci AP/PA)

He has now announced that the Vice President-elect, Mike Pence, will take charge of the transition instead of Chris Christie, although Christie is expected to retain a prominent position in the wider team.

He joins a cluster of other steadfast Trump supporters, including former house speaker Newt Gingrich, retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson, retired Lieutenant General Michael Flynn, former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani and Alabama senator Jeff Sessions.