U.K. ambassador to U.S. resigns after leaked memo expressed Trump criticism
Britain’s ambassador to Washington resigned on Wednesday after Donald Trump labelled him “stupid” and “wacky” following the release of confidential memos from the envoy in which he branded the U.S. president’s administration inept.
“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,” Kim Darroch said in his resignation letter.
“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.”
WATCH: U.S. says it will keep working with UK despite diplomatic row
Prime Minister Theresa May told parliament after the resignation was announced that she had spoken to Darroch, who was due to leave his post anyway at the end of the year.
May said she regretted that Darroch felt the need to resign, adding that officials needed to be able to give “full and frank advice.”
“This morning I have spoken to Sir Kim Darroch. I have told him that it is a matter of great regret that he has felt it necessary to leave his position,” May told Parliament.
WATCH: Boris Johnson adds voice to defence of UK ambassador
Boris Johnson, the frontrunner to become prime minister, said that Darroch is a superb diplomat and that public servants should not be dragged into the political agenda.
Johnson, a former foreign minister, repeatedly failed to back Darroch during a televised debate late on Tuesday.
But during a campaign visit on Wednesday, Johnson said of him: “he is a superb diplomat,” adding that whoever leaked the documents “really has done a grave disservice to our civil servants, to people who give impartial advice to ministers.”
“It is not right that civil servants’ careers and prospects should be dragged into the political agenda,” Johnson said.
Johnson’s opponent, British foreign minister Jeremy Hunt, said he was outraged that the confidential memos were leaked, leading to Darroch‘s resignation.
“Whenever I visited Washington as foreign secretary, I was struck by Sir Kim’s professionalism and intellect,” Hunt said in a statement.
“I am outraged that a selection of his reports should have been leaked.”
WATCH: Leaked U.K. ambassador’s memos trash ‘incompetent’ White House
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