In Brief

Who are Trump’s biggest British supporters?

High-profile fans of the US president hit back at protests against his visit

Donald Trump's arrival in the UK today is expected to be met by widespread protests - but not everyone will be siding with the demonstrators. 

The president is expected to mostly avoid London during his visit in an apparent bid to avoid demonstrators angered by his administration’s policies, with the US embassy warning that events may turn violent.

Trump has “already ruffled feathers this week at a Nato summit in Brussels and is unlikely to escape further controversy while in Britain”, says The Independent. Yet while his divisive rhetoric has sparked outrage, it has also garnered him a small, but dedicated, group of British followers.

Here are some the president’s most ardent UK supporters:

Nigel Farage

Few people have been as vocal about their admiration for the US president as Farage. The former UKIP leader was flown out to the US to make speeches for Trump during his presidential campaign in 2016, and was the first British politician to meet him following his shock victory over Hillary Clinton.

Farage has in the past described Trump as a “friend for life”, and expressed outrage earlier this week after London Mayor Sadiq Khan approved plans to fly a “Trump baby” balloon over Westminster during his visit.

“It's an insult,” Farage told Fox News. “Whatever Sadiq Khan thinks about Donald Trump, he should not put that personal enmity above the fact that President Trump is the leader of the biggest and most important country in the world.”

Boris Johnson

Having dramatically resigned as foreign secretary earlier this week, it seems unlikely that Johnson’s name will feature in any official itinerary for Trump’s visit.

All the same, despite saying in 2015 that “the only reason I wouldn't go to some parts of New York is the real risk of meeting Donald Trump”, Johnson last month told a meeting at Institute of Directors in London that he was “increasingly admiring” of Trump and that there was “method in his madness”.

Trump reciprocated those sentiments during the Nato summit this week, saying: “Boris Johnson is a friend of mine, he’s been very, very nice to me, very supportive.”

Katie Hopkins
Katie Hopkins

Ian Forsyth/Getty

Described by The Scotsman newspaper as a “far-right troll”, columnist Hopkins has espoused racist views that once prompted anti-racism campaign group Hope Not Hate to describe her as a “full-on propaganda/PR machine for extremists”.

She has long been a fan of Trump, and this week tweeted: “Dear 63 million Americans. Thank you. You voted this great man to power. Failed by our treacherous Prime Minister and Muslim mayor, Britain looks to you for hope.”

Trump has previously praised Hopkins for speaking out about the UK’s “Muslim problems”.

Piers Morgan

Journalist Morgan, currently a host on ITV’s Good Morning Britain, has been a friend of Trump for years but appears to have a complex relationship with him.

“While Morgan has occasionally found grounds to criticise the president, this week he has been obsessed with one issue in particular: the Trump baby” and has “laid into London’s Mayor Sadiq Khan” for allowing the stunt, The Guardian reports.

Last year Morgan told TV chat show Loose Women that he “saw no reason to reject the bond the pair have built over a decade”, the newspaper adds, “even though he strongly disagreed with the president’s move to ban immigrants from seven countries”.

Jacob Rees-Mogg
Conservative Jacob Rees-Mog

Getty Images

The prominent Conservative backbencher has insisted that the British government should roll out “the reddest of red carpets” for the president’s visit and that Trump should be allowed to speak in the Palace of Westminster in defiance of a ban from Commons speaker John Bercow, The Independent reports.

“He is a major ally. We have so many interests in common,” Rees-Mogg said.

Shortly before the presidential election in 2016, the MP said that he would “almost certainly” back Trump if he were an American.

Tommy Robinson
Tommy Robinson

Daniel Leal-Olivas/AFP/Getty Images

Former English Defence League leader Robinson, who was jailed for 13 months in May for contempt of court, has become an “unlikely hero” for many Trump supporters, says The Guardian. When Robinson was first arrested, Donald Trump Jr, the president’s eldest son, tweeted: “Don’t let America follow these footsteps.”

Robinson, in turn, defended the president after a backlash for retweeting a series of videos by Jayda Fransen, one of the leaders of far-right hate group Britain First. Robinson told a far-right website that the shocked public response had become “a competition to be more appalled at Trump than the next person”, when the West should be “addressing the fact that Muslim countries are committing horrific acts of violence”.

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