UK Ambassador to US resigns over leaked memos controversy

World Today

Britain’s Ambassador to the U.S. has called it quits amid controversy over some leaked memos. Ambassador Kim Darroch said the current situation is making it ‘impossible’ for him to continue in his role. The memos showed he made critical remarks against the White House.
CGTN’s Roee Ruttenberg reports.

London’s top diplomat to Washington has resigned from his post. Sir Kim Darroch, who has spent most of his life in Britain’s foreign service, announced his departure on Wednesday, following a diplomatic spat with the U.S. President over leaked cables.

It started with private emails sent by Ambassador Darroch to headquarters in London. They were leaked and published last weekend by Mail on Sunday, a British tabloid. In the correspondences, the veteran diplomat describes the Trump administration in many unflattering terms, including “inept” and “insecure.”

In response, Nigel Farage- the father of Britain’s Brexit camp– said the Ambassador was “totally unsuitable” for office. Donald Trump, the U.S. President, called Darroch “a very stupid guy,” and said Washington would no longer work with him. That put the ball in Darroch’s court.

In announcing his resignation, Darroch said “the current situation is making it impossible for me to carry out my role as I would like.”

British Prime Minister Theresa May, who recently welcomed Trump to London, expressed support for Darroch as should stress the need for a leak inquiry.

“Good government depends on public servants being able to give full and frank advice,” Prime Minister May said. “I want all our public servants to have the confidence to be able to do that.”

Opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn, who’s no fan of the American President by any measure, also said the Ambassador’s departure was regrettable.

“I think the comments made about him are beyond unfair and wrong,” the U.K. Labour chair said. “I think he’s given honorable and good service and he should be thanked for it.”

U.K. authorities are now to figuring out who leaked, and how.

“There are only about 100 people who would have seen these emails to begin with,” Iain Murray, Vice President of Strategy at the Competitive Enterprise Institute said. “That means that the leak inquiry is going to have to focus on a lot of people who are currently in a position of relative integrity. Somebody there betrayed trust dramatically, and a leak inquiry should be able to find that out pretty quickly.”

In Washington, one of the President’s most vocal defenders on Wednesday defended the outgoing ambassador. Republican Senator Lindsey Graham tweeted, “Darroch did an outstanding job as Ambassador,” and that he was sorry to see him resign.

One Trump administration official said Darroch’s decision was probably the right choice. And while it may put out one fire, it has ignited a political inferno back in the UK amind accusations that Boris Johnson, the man who’ll most likely replace Theresa May as Prime Minister, refused to defend Britain’s most senior diplomat in order to court favor with the Americans.