United Kingdom police launch investigation into leaked ambassador cables

Cheryl Sanders
July 14, 2019

US President Donald Trump abandoned the Iran nuclear deal to spite his predecessor Barack Obama, claimed a new leaked memo written by Kim Darroch, the UK's former ambassador to the US.

Q&A What did Sir Kim Darroch write about Trump in the cables?

The favourite to become the next Prime Minister Boris Johnson was heckled during a hustings event.

Under that agreement Iran agreed to limit its sensitive nuclear activities.

Johnson was unable to meet with Trump, but held a sit-down with Vice President Mike Pence, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and National Security Adviser John Bolton.

Citing the leaked memo, the newspaper said that after Johnson returned to the United Kingdom from the US, Darroch wrote that President Trump appeared to be abandoning the nuclear deal for "personality reasons" because the pact had been agreed by Obama.

The latest disclosure comes despite a warning from Scotland Yard to media about publishing leaked diplomatic memos.

The resignation of Kim Darroch came a day after Trump lashed out at him on Twitter describing him as "wacky" and a "pompous fool" after leaked documents revealed the envoy's dim view of Trump's administration.

The government had already opened an internal inquiry into the publication of the memos leaked to the Mail newspaper on July 7.

Darroch resigned on Wednesday, saying it was now "impossible" to do his job.

"Following a cross-government investigation led by the Cabinet Office a Gateway Process has occurred today with the Metropolitan Police into the alleged leaking of official communications involving Sir Kim Darroch", Neil Basu, the assistant commissioner at Metropolitan Police said in a statement.

"The Metropolitan Police respects the rights of the media and has no intention of seeking to prevent editors from publishing stories in the public interest in a liberal democracy", Mr. Basu said Saturday.

"I would say to the person or people who did this, the impact of what you have done is obvious".

His Tory leadership rival Boris Johnson said it was correct the person responsible for the leak was "hunted down and prosecuted" but it was wrong for police to target the media.

However, he said they had been advised any further publication of the cables "now knowing they may be a breach of the OSA" could also constitute a criminal offence - to which there was no public interest defence.

A British police investigation into the leak of confidential diplomatic memos is raising press freedom issues, as police warned Saturday that United Kingdom media outlets might face a criminal inquiry if leaked documents are published.

The Mail on Sunday has defended its decisions to publish further details from the memos.

"We convinced the U.S. president [to exit the deal] and I had to stand up against the whole world and come out against this agreement", Netanyahu said in a video aired in July 2018 by Israel's Kan public broadcaster.

Other reports by iNewsToday