United Kingdom ambassador to U.S. quits after leaked cables enrage Trump

Elias Hubbard
July 11, 2019

"Since the leak of official documents from this Embassy there has been a great deal of speculation surrounding my position", he said.

In one of the memos leaked Sunday, Darroch described the USA administration as "diplomatically clumsy and inept", and said he doubted it would become "substantially more normal".

Sir Kim Darroch, wrote in a letter to Sir Simon McDonald, the permanent undersecretary at the Foreign Office, that "the current situation is making it impossible for me to carry out my role as I would like".

Sir Nigel Sheinwald, a former ambassador to the United States, said he believed Mr Johnson's comments may have played a part in Sir Kim's decision to go. During the debate, Hunt vowed to keep Darroch in the post, but Johnson - his predecessor as foreign secretary - failed to support the British envoy. "Like I've said, sometimes a great story is just that; not some kind of global conspiracy".

The resignation comes the day after the favourite to become the next Prime Minister in the Tory leadership race repeatedly refused to back the UK's ambassador in a TV debate with his rival Jeremy Hunt that he Sir Kim Darroch.

As I understand it, many of ambassador Sir Kim Darroch's personal staff were in tears this morning.

While May gave her full backing to Darroch, her potential replacement as prime minister, Borish Johnson, declined to explicitly support the diplomat and instead emphasized the need for maintaining good ties with Washington.

There were also indications that Sir Kim made a decision to resign after he failed to win the backing of former foreign secretary Boris Johnson, who is leading the race to replace Ms. Trump had tweeted soon after he was elected in 2016, and that sentiment seemed to be part of the set-up that sent Darroch packing.

The difficulties facing Sir Kim following Mr Trump's outburst became apparent when he was "uninvited" to a White House dinner in honour of the Emir of Qatar.

Memos from Kim Darroch describing the Trump administration as inept were leaked to a British newspaper, infuriating the U.S. president, who launched a Twitter attack on both the envoy and outgoing prime minister Theresa May, who had given Darroch her full support.

"It is our most important diplomatic relationship", he said.

"The whole house should join together in deeply regretting the feeling he's got that he must resign at this moment", he said.

Mr. Johnson has a close relationship with Mr. Trump and the U.S. President has spoken highly of him.

Appointing ambassadors usually involves a formal civil service process with advertisements, applications and interviews, though Simon McDonald, head of Britain's diplomatic service, said the post of ambassador to the USA wasn't always chosen that way.

The First Minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon tweeted that it was "shameful" the diplomat had "effectively been forced out".

But Trump supporter and Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage described the resignation as, "the right decision".

"I want to put an end to that speculation". "History shows that there are often bespoke procedures for filling the embassy in Washington, DC", he said.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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