Winston Peters 'understands' comparison to Donald Trump

Populists of the world, unite - Acting Prime Minister Winston Peters says he "understands" why Nigel Farage compared him to US President Donald Trump.

"Mr Brexit" Farage was interviewed on Newshub Nation on Saturday. During the interview, Mr Farage said Mr Peters was a "great character" and said New Zealand has its "own version of Trump in Winston Peters".

In the past, Mr Peters has taken offence at that comparison. When a Washington Post opinion piece called Mr Peters a "far right" politician who engaged in a "Trumpian abuse of the press", Mr Peters said the piece read as if its author "escaped from a lunatic asylum at 2:30 in the morning".

When he was compared to Mr Trump by Chris Finlayson, Mr Peters told Mr Finlayson he had hair like Mr Trump - a comparison that, if it were on Wikipedia, would come with a "citation needed" warning. 

This time, though, Mr Peters accepted the comparison to the United States' most powerful leader, made by Mr Farage, the United Kingdom's biggest talking populist. Mr Farage spearheaded the Brexit campaign, only to jump ship when the vote came through.

"How do you feel about being called New Zealand's own version of Donald Trump?" Mr Peters was asked.

Mr Peters seemed to interpret the comparison as an acknowledgement of the kind of populist politics invoked by Mr Trump and guiding Brexiteers in the UK and members of New Zealand First.

"What I saw was a campaign that was opposed by all the multinational wealth in the world in Europe, including intervening countries from outside, get beaten by the people's voice - that is, to speak, ordinary people all around the UK who, up against a lot of money, nevertheless had their democratic expression," Mr Peters said.

"In that sense, I understand what Mr Farage was saying."

But while Mr Peters didn't distance himself from the US President, over in the UK, Boris Johnson has been flailed for saying he "increasingly admires" Mr Trump.

The British Foreign Secretary has a new hero.

"The clue is in the hair," MP Emily Thornberry said.

"Even he knows, surely, in the depths of his soul, that when we have a president like Donald Trump, who bans Muslims, supports Nazis, stokes conflict and fuels climate change, who abuses women, who cages children, that is not a record to be admired; that is a record to be abhorred," she said to Mr Johnson across the debating chamber.

Mr Johnson said there were three things he admired about Mr Trump, such as his response to the chemical weapons attack in Syria, trying to resolve the threat of nuclear weapons in North Korea and calling on other countries to spend more on defence.