Nigel Farage should be given a knighthood for his role in securing the UK’s vote to leave the European Union, Ukip has said.
Ukip leader Paul Nuttall and the party’s members of the House of Lords have written to the honours committee to suggest Mr Farage be recognised for his part in securing the referendum on Brexit and his “very substantial” contribution to the result.
The letter also highlighted Mr Farage’s status as a “figure of international significance” due to his “good personal relationship” with US President-elect Donald Trump.
The Ukip letter argues that a knighthood for Mr Farage would be “in the national interest”.
Ukip had previously lobbied for Mr Farage to be made a peer, but the party said he would not accept a place in the House of Lords at present because he wanted to see out his term as an MEP.
Putting the case for a knighthood for Mr Farage, former Ukip leader Lord Pearson of Rannoch, Mr Nuttall, Lord Stevens of Ludgate and Lord Willoughby de Broke said: “More than anyone else, he provoked the recent referendum on EU membership, and his contribution to the result was very substantial.”
They added: “He has since become a figure of international significance, thanks to his support for President-elect Donald Trump during his campaign for the Republican leadership. He and Mr Trump enjoy a good personal relationship, which is likely to endure.”
The Ukip letter said Mr Farage had given up “what would undoubtedly have been a lucrative City career” to build Ukip.
He had also given time to “many charity events” and although there was no record of the amount he had raised, “it must be substantial”.
Lord Pearson’s earlier request to Theresa May calling for Mr Farage be offered a place in the Lords was “an error, because he would not actually accept a peerage now, as he wants to see out this EU Parliament, and could not take a seat in the Lords while remaining in that Parliament”, the letter said.
Ukip sources indicated the party believed there was a good chance that Mr Farage could be recognised with an honour.
“This is not a pipe dream,” a source said.