Friday, July 19, 2019
banner
Home /  United Kingdom  /  UK ambassador to US quits over Trump row

UK ambassador to US quits over Trump row

UK ambassador to US quits over Trump row

AFP
London
Britain’s ambassador to Washington resigned on Wednesday after being targeted by US President Donald Trump over the leak of highly critical diplomatic cables that put the allies’ relationship on edge.
Outgoing Prime Minister Theresa May had offered her support to Kim Darroch after it was revealed he described the Trump administration as “inept”.
But the man tipped to replace her in Downing Street this month, former foreign secretary Boris Johnson, declined to back the diplomat, instead emphasising the need to maintain strong ties with the US.
In a series of confidential cables revealed by a British newspaper at the weekend, Darroch called the Trump administration “uniquely dysfunctional” and said the president was “radiating insecurity”.
Trump hit back with a torrent of angry tweets, saying he would not deal with Dar roch again, describing him as a “very stupid guy” and a “pompous fool”. He also criticised May’s “foolish” policies and said it was a good thing she would soon be replaced.
Darroch has been in Washington since January 2016 and was due to stay until the end of the year. But in a statement he said: “The current situation is making it impossible for me to carry out my role as I would like.”
Darroch has received support from across the political spectrum in Britain and after he resigned, Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt said: “It should never have come to this.” Hunt, who is vying with Johnson to replace May as leader of the ruling Conservative party and as prime minister, condemned Trump’s outbursts as “disrespectful and wrong”.
But Johnson declined several opportunities in a TV debate Tuesday night to back Britain’s ambassador.
“I don’t think it was necessarily the right thing for him to do,” he said of Trump’s tweets. “But our relationship with the US is of fantastic importance.”
Reports suggest it was at this point that Darroch decided to resign.
Yet Johnson himself has previously assailed the US president. As mayor of London in 2015, he said Trump was “out of his mind” for suggesting parts of the UK capital were “so radicalised” that even the police stayed away.
“I think he is betraying a quite stupefying ignorance that makes him frankly unfit to hold the office of president of the United States,” Johnson said at the time.
Prime Minister May expressed “great regret” that Darroch was leaving, saying: “Good government depends on public servants being able to give full and frank advice.”
Tom Tugendhat, the Conservative chairman of parliament’s foreign affairs committee, warned the incident could have far-reaching implications.
“If the UK can’t protect diplomatic communications and that costs people their careers... we will degrade the quality of our envoys, diminish our influence and weaken our country,” he said.

Subscribe to our Whatsapp Service

POST A COMMENT