Sunday, 21 July, 2019

British Ambassador to Washington Resigns

White House Counselor Kellyanne Conway and her husband George arrive for a dinner on the eve of Donald Trump's Inauguration White House Counselor Kellyanne Conway and her husband George arrive for a dinner on the eve of Donald Trump's Inauguration Credit Reuters
Patty Aguilar | 11 July, 2019, 10:30

"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", said Emily Thornberry, the spokeswoman on foreign affairs issues for the main opposition Labour Party. White House officials were gracious and understanding when the British Embassy reached out to alert them to the leak. Whatever sanctimonious expressions of regret he mouths, and however much he blames the leaker, King Charles Street knows the Conservative leadership candidate effectively sacked Darroch on the orders of the president.

On Tuesday Trump went further, tweeting, "The wacky Ambassador that the U.K. foisted upon the United States is not someone we are thrilled with, a very stupid guy".

May herself is due to step down as prime minister by the end of July and while one of the two contenders to replace her, foreign minister Jeremy Hunt, had said Darroch should keep his job, the other, frontrunner Boris Johnson, had pointedly declined to do so. He announced Wednesday morning that he was resigning his position. Tempting as it might be to foil the leakers, and install a career civil servant, it is probably irresponsible to pre-empt Johnson.

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

Jonathan Powell, former prime minister Tony Blair's chief of staff, told Britain's Channel 4 News that the attempt to force Darroch from office followed similar efforts to punish career British officials suspected of insufficient enthusiasm for Brexit, according to The Intercept website.

"It is our most important diplomatic relationship".

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"As a result, the USA policy on the economic clampdown of Iran negatively affects the IAEA inspections in Iran", Ulyanov said. Wolcott reiterated that Washington believes the deal was ineffective, but remains "open to negotiation without preconditions".

Speaking on Newsnight on Tuesday night, Mr Raab criticised Sir Kim's remarks about the Trump administration, and said that when he read and drafted diplomatic cables he would "try to avoid personalised stuff".

"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", one missive said. "By November of that year, it was a very different role. But Kim's calm and steady leadership was essential to steer U.S. -U.K. relations in this tumultuous time".

Although much of Washington expected Trump to lose to Hillary Clinton in the 2016 election, Darroch spent that summer and fall building relationships with the billionaire businessman's friends and advisers. Darroch often addressed the attendees at such gatherings, making sure to single out high-level administration officials.

Last month, he described confusion within the administration over Trump's decision to call off a military strike on Iran. He wrote that he doubted whether Trump's White House would "ever look competent".

It's customary for senior British diplomats posted overseas to file straightforward memos to senior ministers and security services analysts back home so political trends and possible threats to British interests could be gauged, but it's unusual for a large number of them to be made public.

The British Embassy Residence in Washington. "And I think we all should".

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