Everybody knows the famous photo of President-elect Donald Trump and Brexit architect Nigel Farage in the Trump Tower, days after his shock election victory – but few people know that the person who snapped them in front of those shiny doors is a serving diplomat in the London Diplomatic Corps.
In his day job, Andrew Wigmore is listed as the commercial and press attaché at the Belize High Commission, but the naturalised Belizian also moonlights as a fixer for Arron Banks, who bankrolled the Leave.EU campaign.
How Wigmore came to be in the Trump Tower that day is a tale of chance revealed in the New Yorker. It started when, on a trip to the States, Wigmore and Farage struck up a friendship with a Republican delegation from Mississippi, who revealed that their Governor was a Farage fan. A trip to Mississippi followed, during which Farage met Trump and did a couple of fundraisers.
Back in the UK, Wigmore set about cultivating Trump’s inner circle. No sooner was Trump’s victory announced than Wigmore and Banks were on a plane to New York to meet Farage (who was doing the lecture circuit in Florida).
They headed for Trump Tower where Farage met with old friend Steve Bannon (now Trump’s chief strategist). After a bit of “milling about” with Trump’s campaign manager KellyAnn Conway they heard the President-elect “had a window”. And so Farage became the first foreign politician to meet PEOTUS (and Wigmore the first diplomat).
As they were leaving Wigmore took the photo for posterity and Farage posted it.
With Trump tipping Farage for UK Ambassador to Washington, perhaps he’ll pick his Brexit buddy to be Belize’s Man in DC?