Sir Kim Darroch RESIGNS as UK Ambassador after leaked memo row with Donald Trump - USA DAILY NEWS

Sir Kim Darroch RESIGNS as UK Ambassador after leaked memo row with Donald Trump

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The UK’s Ambassador to the United States has sensationally quit after a blistering row with Donald Trump over a leaked memo.

Sir Kim Darroch bowed to pressure today just hours after Boris Johnson – who’s set to be Prime Minister in two weeks’ time – refused to guarantee he could keep his job.

The President branded Sir Kim “wacky” and “stupid” after the top diplomat branded his White House “inept” in a leaked memo dating back to 2017.

Theresa May – who spoke to Sir Kim Darroch on the phone minutes before he quit – and Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt stood by the Ambassador saying it was vital diplomats speak freely in private. 

But MPs today blamed Boris Johnson for “shamefully forcing out” the envoy by refusing to back him in an ITV debate last night.

Friends of Sir Kim said he decided the game was up after watching the Tory leadership contender’s comments in the TV showdown.

Furious Foreign Office minister Sir Alan Duncan said Mr Johnson was guilty of “contemptible negligence” and had “thrown this fantastic diplomat under the bus to serve his own personal interests”.

 



Allies said Sir Kim (right) had been thrown under the bus by Boris Johnson (left)

On a campaign visit to a pub in London Boris Johnson gave his first reaction – saying he “regrets” the resignation.

He called Sir Kim “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,” Mr Johnson said.

He claimed his refusal to back Sir Kim was because “it’s wrong to drag civil servants into the political arena.”

But Mr Duncan told the BBC: “I’m upset and angry. Boris Johnson, a former Foreign Secretary and he hopes to be the future Prime Minister, has basically thrown our top diplomat under the bus.



The President branded Sir Kim (right) “wacky” and “stupid”

“And there are a lot of people here in the Commons who are very very angry and feel he has lost so much respect for having done what he’s done.

“His disregard for Sir Kim Darroch and his refusal to back him was in my view pretty contemptible, but also not in the interests of the country he’s trying to lead.”

Tom Tugendhat, chairman of the Commons Foreign Affairs Committee, said: “Leaders stand up for their men. They encourage them to try and defend them when they fail.”

And Shadow Foreign Secretary Emily Thornberry said: “The fact that Sir Kim has been bullied out of his job, because of Donald Trump’s tantrums and Boris Johnson’s pathetic lick-spittle response, is something that shames our country.

“It makes a laughing-stock out of our government, and tells every one of Britain’s brilliant representatives abroad that the next Tory Prime Minister will not stand up for them, even when they are simply telling the truth and doing their job.”

Labour MP and member of the Foreign Affairs select committee Ian Murray said Boris Johnson has stabbed Sir Kim “in the back and the front”.

Mr Murray added:“Boris Johnson was the worst Foreign Secretary in history and is about to take the title of the worst PM in history.

“His blatant and reprehensible disregard in defending our most senior and important diplomat on national television has resulted in Sir Kim Darroch being hounded out.

“It undermines the integrity and honesty of our foreign service and places both our security at home and that of our staff overseas in jeopardy.

“There was nothing our ambassador said about the Trump administration that wasn’t accurate. The politicising of the foreign office will not end well especially if Boris puts one of his stooges into Washington.”

Sir Kim said it had become “impossible” to do his job after Trump disinvited him from meetings with his regime.

Sir Kim wrote: “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.

“I want to put an end to that speculation.

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The President branded Sir Kim “wacky” and “stupid” after the top diplomat branded his White House “inept” in a leaked memo

 

“The current situation is making it impossible for me to carry out my role as I would like.

“Although my posting is not due to end until the end of this year, I believe in the current circumstances the responsible course is to allow the appointment of a new ambassador.

“I am grateful to all those in the UK and the US, who have offered their support during this difficult few days.

“This has brought home to me the depth of friendship and close ties between our two countries. I have been deeply touched.

 



The news broke as Boris Johnson paid a visit to a Wetherspoons pub in London



Tory leadership contender Boris Johnson joined Wetherspoon boss Tim Martin

“I am also grateful to all those with whom I have worked over the last four decades, particularly my team here in the US.

“The professionalism and integrity of the British civil service is the envy of the world. I will leave it full of confidence that its values remain in safe hands.”

Downing Street said Sir Kim will step down once new appointment has been made with more details “in due course”.

An appointment will be recommended by the Foreign Secretary, then put to the Prime Minister and signed off by the Queen.

Speaking at Prime Minister’s Questions today, Theresa May said it was a “matter of great regret” that Sir Kim “felt it necessary to leave his position”.

She added “the whole Cabinet rightly gave its full support to Sir Kim”, who “has given a lifetime of service to the UK and we owe him an enormous debt of gratitude.”

And in a coded rebuke to Boris Johnson she added: “Good government depends on public servants being able to give full and frank advice.

“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.”



In a coded rebuke to Boris Johnson Theresa May called for MPs to “reflect”

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn told the Commons: “I too regret the resignation of Sir Kim Darroch.

“I think the comments made about him are beyond unfair and wrong. I think he has given honourable and good service and he should be thanked for it.

“And I think the whole House should join together in deeply regretting the feeling that he has obviously got that he must resign at this moment.”

Head of the Diplomatic Service Sir Simon McDonald said he accepted the resignation with “deep personal regret”.

He told MPs this lunchtime: “I spoke to Kim Darroch first thing this morning. He’d clearly had a difficult night considering his position.

“By the time we’d spoke he had made up his mind that he needed to resign.



Kim Darroch and his wife Vanessa pose for a photo at a reception last year

“I think it is for two main reasons.

“First is the pressure on his family. They have been living every minute with him and he did not want to put them through possibly months more of this.

“It was his judgement that as long as he remained in Washington he would remain a target and his family with him.

“The second was the impact on the rest of the Embassy in Washington.  The ambassador is the keystone of any embassy and if does not have access to the people he needs to then the whole mission suffers. I don’t think it as an easy decision but by the time I spoke to him his mind was made up.”



Kim Darroch greets former mayor of New York City Rudy Giuliani (left) in 2017

A Foreign Office insider told the Mirror: This is an outrageous position for an ambassador to find himself in.

“The next Prime Minister publicly throws this country’s representative to the wolves to feed the ego of a fickle child in the White House. It’s tantamount to telling the civil service that they are totally disposable.”

Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt said he was “deeply saddened” adding: “I profoundly regret how this episode has led Sir Kim to decide to resign. He deserves to look back upon his career as a servant of Britain with the greatest satisfaction and pride.”

 



Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn also paid tribute to Sir Kim Darroch

It came after a leak of a cache of memos penned by Sir Kim which gave a scathing assessment of the Trump White House.

In one leaked memo from 2017 Sir Kim said: “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 questioned whether the White House “will ever look competent”.

The angry President hit back branding the UK’s ambassador “wacky” and Theresa May “foolish”.

Downing Street previously said Theresa May had “full faith” in Sir Kim Darroch after the extraordinary breach of confidentiality triggered a political firestorm on both sides of the Atlantic.

But in a tweet on Tuesday Donald Trump said: “The wacky Ambassador that the U.K. foisted upon the United States is not someone we are thrilled with, a very stupid guy.”

During an ITV leadership debate, campaign frontrunner Mr Johnson defended the US President saying he had been “dragged into a political debate” and refused to say six times if he’d keep the ambassador.



One campaigner compared Boris Johnson to ‘Judas’

He said: “I have a very good relationship with the White House and I am very proud of the relationship I was able to build up with the United States.”

He added: “It is vital that our civil service is not politicised by ministers leaking what they say.”

Labour deputy leader Tom Watson tweeted: “This is a personal tragedy for Kim Darroch.

“It is the inevitable result of a leak organised by dark forces who do down our country, and Boris Johnson’s failure to stand up for our sovereignty. Always personal ambition before country with Johnson.”

Labour MP and former home secretary Yvette Cooper tweeted: “Appalling it has come to this. Kim Darroch is a serious & honourable public servant who was doing his job. British representation across the world should not be decided by hostile security leaks or bullying belligerence from abroad.”

Labour MP Ben Bradshaw said on Twitter: “The shameful forcing out of Kim Darroch after Johnson failed to back him shows Johnson as PM would be nothing more than Trump’s lap dog.

“What a humiliating prospect for our United Kingdom.”

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Naomi Smith, chief executive of anti-Brexit group Best For Britain, said: “Boris Johnson should hang his head in shame. He played Judas last night on TV, ready to give up a British diplomat to appease his paymaster Trump.”

And fellow Labour MP Bill Esterson tweeted: “The resignation of Kim Darroch, our US ambassador shows that the UK government is happy to let the US President bully them. Contemptible from our government.”  

But Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage – who previously coveted the job himself – described the resignation of Sir Kim Darroch as “The right decision.”

He tweeted: “Time (to) put in a non-Remainer who wants a trade deal with America.”

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