British Ambassador Resigns In Wake Of Release Of Diplomatic Cables
After diplomatic cables in which he referred to the President in frank and disparaging terms, the British Ambassador to the United States has resigned.
Just days after the leak of diplomatic cables to officials in London in which he spoke in frank and rather disparaging terms about the President of the United States became public, the British Ambassador to the United States has resigned:
Kim Darroch submitted his resignation on Wednesday as Britain’s ambassador to the United States, following the leak of his candid observations about the Trump administration and the subsequent fierce criticism of him and the British government from President Trump.
“Since the leak of official documents from this Embassy there has been a great deal of speculation surrounding my position and the duration of my remaining term as ambassador,” Mr. Darroch said in a letter to the head of the British Foreign Office. “I want to put an end to that speculation. The current situation is making it impossible for me to carry out my role as I would like.”
“Although my posting is not due to end until the end of this year, I believe in the current circumstances the responsible course is to allow the appointment of a new ambassador,” Mr. Darroch wrote, according to extracts released by the Foreign Office.
Sir Kim Darroch has resigned as British Ambassador to the United States after confidential emails he sent while he was in post were leaked.
In a letter to Sir Simon McDonald, Permanent Under Secretary at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Sir Kim said: “Since the leak of official documents from this Embassy there has been a great deal of speculation surrounding my position and the duration of my remaining term as ambassador. I want to put an end to that speculation. The current situation is making it impossible for me to carry out my role as I would like.
“Although my posting is not due to end until the end of this year, I believe in the current circumstances the responsible course is to allow the appointment of a new ambassador.”
Sir Kim added he was “grateful” to those in the UK and the US who have offered him support during what he has described as these “difficult few days”.
“This has brought home to me the depth of friendship and close ties between our two countries. I have been deeply touched“.
In response to Sir Kim’s resignation, Sir Simon McDonald, the Foreign Office Permanent Secretary, said he accepted his resignation with “deep personal regret” adding that he was the “target of a malicious leak”.
“Over the last few difficult days you have behaved as you have always behaved over a long and distinguished career, with dignity, professionalism and class,” Sir Simon said.
“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.
“I understand your wish to relieve the pressure on your family and your colleagues at the Embassy; I admire the fact that you think more of others than yourself. You demonstrate the essence of the values of British public service.”
Addressing PMQ’s Theresa May added Sir Kim’s resignation was a matter of great regret and said “we owe him a debt of gratitude”.
However sources close to Sir Kim said he decided he quit after Boris Johnson failed to back him in the debates last night.
In the live head-to-head debate on ITV last night the Tory front runner repeatedly refused to say whether Sir Kim should remain in his job.
However Mr Johnson did not accept any blame in his response to Sir Kim Darroch’s resignation, instead saying: “I think whoever leaked his diptels (diplomatic telegrams) really has done a grave disservice to our civil servants, to people who give impartial advice to ministers,” he said. “I hope that whoever it is, is run down, caught and eviscerated, quite frankly, because it is not right that advice to ministers that civil servants must be able to make in a spirit of freedom should be leaked.
“It is not right that civil servants’ careers and prospects should be dragged into the political agenda.”
This matter began, of course, on Sunday when The New York Times and other news outlets reported on a series of diplomatic cables that Ambassador Darroch had sent to his superiors back home. In the cables, Darroch discussed his evaluation of the President and of the manner in which the British government should handle the new President, who from the beginning acted in a manner far different, and far more erratic, than any of his predcesssorrs. Many of those evaluations used strong and highly negative language to describe the President and suggested that the best way to get on the President’s good side was to stroke his rather massive ego during official events, something that has long been evidence to Trump as a civilian, a candidate, and as President. Many of these cables used harsh and frank language to describe the President and his behavior, for what I think are obvious reasons.
Not surprisingly the President reacted quite strongly to the reports about Ambassador Darroch’s comments, including stating that his Administration refused to do business with him even if he did stay in his position. Even without that statement from the White House, it was clear that Darroch’s position, which was coming to an end at the end of the year if not sooner given the fact that the United Kingdom will soon have a new Prime Minister and possibly a new Foreign Secretary, was compromised and that it would be difficult for him to continue to do his job effectively. This leaves open, of course, the question of who may have leaked the cables, something that the British Government is currently investigating. That’s a question for another day, though. Darroch is out and a new Prime Minister will soon in place. Presumably, whoever that is, and it continues to appear as if it will be Boris Johnson, will pick a new Ambassador.
Essentially the Ambassador was forced to resign for telling the truth. I can assure you that the Ambassadors of other allied (and non-allied) nations are sending similar reports back to their superiors. Because what Ambassador Darroch said is completely accurate, as we have learned after watching this Idiot In Chief operate for the past two-and-a-half-years.