Published: Thu, July 11, 2019
Worldwide | By Isabel Fisher

Britain's USA envoy quits after leaked emails enraged Trump

Britain's USA envoy quits after leaked emails enraged Trump

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".

Pointing out that "loyalty is a two-way street", Sir John said: "I do not think that is good for the morale of the civil service and I do not think anybody who does that will endear themselves in obtaining the loyalty of the civil service in future". The Prime Minister, Foreign Secretary and whole of the public service have stood with you: you were the target of a malicious leak; you were simply doing your job. "We have to remember that what we say can have an impact in other countries where they can't take press freedom for granted". His appointment in Washington, one of the most sought-after diplomatic postings, was to be the capstone of his career.

Darroch announced his decision the morning after a televised Conservative leadership debate between Hunt and Johnson.

Darroch submitted his resignation on Wednesday, three days after his private assessments of the Trump administration were leaked to the Mail on Sunday. The Tory leadership favourite came under fierce criticism after he failed to pledge his support for Sir Kim during ITV's leadership debate on Tuesday night.

Darroch's fate was met with dismay by those who knew him in Washington, where he had cultivated the reputation of a deft diplomat whose parties at the British embassy were coveted social affairs, often attended by members of the Trump administration.

Sir Nigel Sheinwald, a former ambassador to the U.S., said he believed Mr Johnson's comments may have played a part in Sir Kim's decision to go. He also said he feared there might be more leaks of sensitive government documents. "The selective extracts leaked do not reflect the closeness of, and the esteem in which we hold, the relationship".

Like his predecessors, Darroch was a prominent figure in Washington, meeting frequently with high-level United States officials and hosting parties at the stately British Embassy. "We will no longer deal with him".


Darroch's grand residence in northwest Washington became a go-to gathering spot for Trump administration officials. This has brought home to me the depth of friendship and close ties between our two countries.

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

It's unclear whether May will have time to name a replacement before she leaves office later this month. 'He has basically thrown this fantastic diplomat under the bus to serve his own personal interests'.

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

Sir Simon McDonald, the top civil servant in the British Foreign Office, called the leak "the worst breach of trust in our service in my career" and added that Britain hadn't faced this kind of problem with an ambassador to the USA since 1856, "when the incumbent was accused of recruiting Americans to fight on the British side in the Crimean War".

"If that's the case I think it's clear that Boris Johnson is effectively behaving as Donald Trump's patsy and he's doing that clearly because he is banking on a sweetheart trade deal and is putting himself in hock to the USA president", the spokesman told reporters. "History shows that there are often bespoke procedures for filling the embassy in Washington, DC", he said.

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