Donald Trump’s narrowed eyes and belligerent posture make him appear like Italian wartime dictator Benito Mussolini in a wig, Bernard Ingham has said.
Mr Ingham, who was Margaret Thatcher’s press secretary, posed the question: Is Trump, a man used to getting his own way, sufficiently modest to take advice from a British prime minister – and a woman to boot?
“Is he man enough take a real handbagging when Theresa May gets seriously critical?
“I simply cannot imagine Trump cowering in the Oval Office before May, partly because of his unbounded certitude of approach – take, for example, his drive for a wall along the Mexican border – and partly because May is not as passionate as Thatcher.”
Mr Ingham, writing in the Yorkshire Post, spoke of Mr Trump’s misogyny and his apparent desire to be seen as “one of the lads”.
He asked: “Can Trump be persuaded that his instinctive protectionism will do the world no good at all and play into the hands of China to boot?
“Here May has a real international job to do to prevent an American-led beggar-my-neighbour approach to international trade.
“Trump does not seem to have warmed to any other international statesman, with the possible – and awful – exception of (Russian President Vladimir) Putin. I think May is both able and desires to help Trump become a great president.
“But is he sufficiently modest to value candid friends? Thatcher did not think you were much of a friend if you were not candid.”
Mr Ingham spoke of the “great Trump-May hand-holding love-in” at the White House, comparing it to the Reagan-Thatcher relationship in the 1980s.
“I shall reserve judgment until they have met a few times and weathered a few storms together.
“I shall know that, by Jove, they’ve done it when I get that old 1980s feeling when they meet that I am again directing Rhett Butler and Scarlett O’Hara in Gone With The Wind. Forget about holding hands. Wait for the first kiss.”