US president Donald Trump has sent shockwaves through “tin pan ally” by appointing Fall front man and legendary curmudgeon Mark E Smith as his musical ambassador to Europe.

Now in his fifth decade, fronting the misanthropic Mancunian combo, whose 35 plus studio albums and 70 odd live albums have regularly sold more than 200 copies each, Smith spoke to the Rochdale Heralds of his pride at being appointed to what is arguably the most powerful job in music, this side of U2 senior hedge fund manager, Bongo.

“Trump, yeah, he’s the orange one right, yeah? Haha I sacked him after Craig. Always showboating. Big fall fan mind,” said Smith between gulps of warm Robinsons bitter, and drags on a soiled Lambert and Butler Navy Strength.

As to his new role in charge of US policy on European music, Smith was equally forthright but no less cryptic noting only:

“The thing with me. I can’t stick musicians. I’ve thought about this. I can’t stand them, and being stuck in a studio with them I think that’s my strength I can hear what they can’t,” he said, adjusting his hearing aid.

As musical ambassador Smith will liaise with the US embassies in Europe in the track selection and packaging of a planned new career spanning, John Denver box set which Washington feels will provide much needed cultural support for its failing relations with Europe.

The planned release will feature previously unreleased material recorded immediately prior to Denver’s tragic death, by piloting his personal jet plane into the Pacific Ocean, including the track “I really am leaving on a jet plane, quite soon, so there”.

Smith explained that current plans envisage a special 36 cd package and a “highlights only cd single” but that out of respect to the late singer there are no plans for a “download”.

Also in the pipeline is new musical showcasing the hits of Alice Cooper, KISS and WASP (We Are Sexual Perverts), all particular favourites of Mr Trump, and which Smith is expected to promote on this side of the Atlantic.

Smith, is also expected to help Trump sort out the problems he has been having finding and appointing suitable members for his White House team having hired and fired an estimated 70 band members over The Fall’s 41 year existence.

“I like to push people till I get the truth out of them,” said Smith conceding that for Trump, being addicted to Fox News and alt facts, this may present a problem.

Not least given the propensity for both Trump and his senior staff members to lie their heads off whenever asked a direct question by a member of the press.

On this issue Smith thinks he has a solution.

” I think Stalin had the right idea. Take one out of five fucking newspaper editors, and MPs, and shoot them. Then they’d buck up.” he suggested adding that his own reading habits had changed since discovering line dancing.

“I used to believe everything I read, but now I’m steppin’ out,” he said suggesting that Trump should also try to get out of the White House occasionally.

“An’ I don’t mean to some ****ing golf resort in Florida,” he added.