Ministers are repeating the same mistakes they made before Donald Trump's election as United States' president by not engaging with French far-right politician Marine Le Pen, Nigel Farage has said.

The former Ukip leader said it was "extraordinary" that the Government was not reaching out to the Front National and Ms Le Pen.

Britain's ambassador to Paris, Lord Llewellyn of Steep, revealed last week that long-standing protocols mean UK officials shun the far-right party and its presidential candidate.

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But Mr Farage said Ms Le Pen was "gaining momentum" ahead of the spring election, and told the Government to make connections with her to avoid the embarrassment it faced when Mr Trump won the US presidential election.

A string of ministers had heavily criticised and mocked Mr Trump during the campaign and are now attempting to make up lost ground ahead of Theresa May's spring visit to the US.

Writing for the Westmonster website set up by his former aide Michael Heaver and Ukip donor Arron Banks, Mr Farage said: "It was an extraordinary sight to see Conservatives (and indeed Eurosceptic ones at that) not just being abusive about a potential leader of the free world, but in some cases even calling for Hillary Clinton to win.

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"At times it felt like Piers Morgan and I were the only two people outside of America that had anything even vaguely nice to say about Donald Trump.

"Perhaps that explains why when Boris Johnson flew to New York to meet with Trump's team, he did not get to meet with Trump himself. To add to this, we don't yet have a firm date for our Prime Minister to meet the new president either."

He went on: "It is therefore extraordinary that the British Embassy in Paris is not reaching out to all of the main contenders to be France's next president, who will be elected in May.

"Yet, Marine Le Pen has been excluded from this. I'm not saying that she will win, but there is every chance she could, and I'm pretty certain that she will at least make it to the final round. It seems our Government are not learning from their mistakes."

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Mr Farage in November said victory for Ms Le Pen would be a "questionable thing" because he had "great difficulty" with the Front National party, although he said he "never said a bad word" about its leader.