By Ben Kerrigan-
Sir Kim Darroch, the UK ambassador to Washington at the centre of a diplomatic row over leaked cables criticising Donald Trump, has been forced to resigned his post, the Foreign Office has said.
In a letter to Simon McDonald, the most senior official at the Foreign Office, Darroch(pictured) admitted that the row, in which Trump has called the ambassador “a pompous fool” and “very stupid”, meant he could not continue.
“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,” he wrote.
“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.”
Darroch’s resignation follows a leaked memo obtained by the Mail On Sunday in which the Uk ambassador described Trump’s administration as dysfunctional, unpredictable and inept. Sir Kim was quoted as saying:
‘We don’t really believe this Administration is going to become substantially more normal; less dysfunctional; less unpredictable; less faction riven; less diplomatically clumsy and inept.’ He also added that it was unlikely that Trump’s administration will ever look competent. The leak was as embarrassing as it gets for the Uk government, though most commentators believe Darroch was in his right to give his professional views as he saw them. Those views has cost him his job.
The real issue is whether Darroch was right or wise to express those views in a memo, and if the views expressed are a fair and accurate reflection of the Trump administration, now or at the time. This is a matter of opinion, but not one shared by Trump or any of hid many supporters in parts of the U.STrump vowed never to deal with Darroch again, branding him whacky and stupid, remarks that began an escalation in tensions between the Uk and the U.S, who are supposed to be historical friends.
Friends do argue, but this argument was getting out of hand. With Boris Johnson protecting his own political relationship with president Trump, the new prime minister in waiting refused to give Darroch his backing. Backing Darrock would risk falling out with Trump, which could be disastrous for relations with the U.S. In all the circumstances, Darroch did the sensible and necessary thing, and resigned.
DIGNITY AND PROFESSIONALISM
In response to Darroch’s letter, McDonald said that he accepted the resignation with “deep personal regret” and praised him for behaving throughout the controversy “as you have always behaved over a long and distinguished career, with dignity, professionalism and class”.
McDonald added: “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.”
Speaking in the House of Commons shortly after the news emerged, Theresa May praised Darroch for “a lifetime of service to the United Kingdom”. She added: “We owe him an enormous debt of gratitude. I hope the house will reflect on the importance of defending our values and principles particularly when they are under pressure.”
Jeremy Corbyn called the treatment of Darroch “beyond unfair and wrong” and said that he had given “honourable and good service”.
“The whole house should join together in deeply regretting the feeling he’s got that he must resign at this moment,” he said.