United Kingdom ambassador to Washington quits after leaked memo spat

Cheryl Sanders
July 11, 2019

Britain's ambassador to Washington has quit after days of stinging criticism from Donald Trump, leading to accusations that Boris Johnson, the favourite to be the next British prime minister, had "thrown him under the bus".

Today Theresa May said Sir Kim's departure was a "matter of deep regret" and Number 10.

"I am outraged that a selection of his reports should have been leaked".

Mr. Johnson has a close relationship with Mr. Trump and the U.S. President has spoken highly of him.

Sir Nigel Sheinwald, a former ambassador to the USA, said he believed Mr Johnson's comments may have played a part in Sir Kim's decision to go.

The row has been described as the worst dispute between the transatlantic allies in more than 100 years and it highlights the complexities countries face in dealing with the volatile temper of U.S. President Donald Trump.


Speaking at a conference on media freedom, Hunt also criticised Trump's verbal attacks on journalists.

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.

Darroch said he is "grateful to all those in the United Kingdom and the USA who have offered their support during these hard few days".

The main opposition Labour Party said Darroch had been bullied out by Trump and because of Johnson's "pathetic lickspittle response".

"The whole house should join together in deeply regretting the feeling he's got that he must resign at this moment", he said.

Like his predecessors, Darroch was a prominent figure in Washington, meeting frequently with high-level U.S. officials and hosting parties at the stately British Embassy. Darroch often addressed the attendees at such gatherings, making sure to single out high-level administration officials.


It's unclear whether May will have time to name a replacement before she leaves office later this month. This has brought home to me the depth of friendship and close ties between our two countries. Meanwhile, Trump volleyed insults back.

The First Minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon tweeted that it was "shameful" the diplomat had "effectively been forced out". "Boris Johnson's failure last night to stand up for him - and stand up to the behavior of Donald Trump - spoke volumes".

Foreign Office minister Alan Duncan went further, accusing Johnson of having "thrown our top diplomat under a bus" for his own personal interests.

Trump himself had previously suggested that Nigel Farage, now leader of the Brexit Party, would be a good choice as ambassador, irritating British officials.

The head of Britain's diplomatic service, Simon McDonald, said it was unprecedented for a head of state, friendly or hostile, to refuse to work with British ambassadors, who are generally professional diplomats, not political appointees.

The last time there was a problem with an envoy to Washington was in 1856, he said.


"I want all our public servants to have the confidence to be able to do that and I hope the House will reflect on the importance of defending our values and principles, particularly when they are under pressure".

Other reports by iNewsToday

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