Jul 9, 2019

U.K. PM's office says ambassador has its support despite Trump threat

President Trump and U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May. Photo: Emmanuel Dunand/AFP/Getty Images

The U.K.'s ambassador to the U.S. has the "full support" of the prime minister, a spokesman said in a statement to news outlets. He made the comment after President Trump said he'd "no longer deal" with ambassador Kim Darroch over leaked cables showing he criticized Trump.

We have made clear to the U.S. how unfortunate this leak is. The selective extracts leaked do not reflect the closeness of, and the esteem in which we hold, the relationship."
— U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May

The big picture: The prime minister's spokesman maintained the British Government's stance that it's important for ambassadors to provide honest assessments of the politics in their country, per the BBC. The government has launched an inquiry into the leaking of the information to the Mail on Sunday tabloid.

  • Darroch is due to leave Washington, D.C., at the end of this year.

Why it matters: As a top U.S. ally's ambassador, Darroch meets regularly with senior officials in the Trump administration, Axios' Dave Lawler notes.

  • May will be replaced this month, probably by the Trump-friendly Boris Johnson. If this is more than a passing dispute, the new PM will have to decide between standing by Darroch and the British diplomatic service, or making an early goodwill gesture to Trump by choosing a favorable replacement, per Lawler.

Go deeper

Kim Darroch resigns as U.K. ambassador to the U.S.

Kim Darroch. Photo: Niall Carson/PA Images via Getty Images

U.K. Ambassador to the U.S. Kim Darroch resigned Wednesday after days of controversy over his leaked cables back to London regarding President Trump's temperament.

Why it matters: The ensuing firestorm severely damaged his public reputation with the Trump administration — kicking off a war of words between the U.S. and the U.K. — and made him a persona non grata in the White House.

Go deeperArrowJul 10, 2019

U.K. foreign secretary: Trump's comments are "disrespectful and wrong"

Trump, May and Hunt during last month's state visit. Photo: Chris Jackson - WPA Pool/Getty Images

U.K. Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt, who is in the running to replace Theresa May as prime minister later this month, has scolded President Trump for his "disrespectful and wrong" comments about May and the U.K.'s ambassador to Washington, Kim Darroch.

Context: Darroch described Trump's administration as "inept" and "incompetent" in private memos back to London that leaked to the Mail on Sunday. After May declined to censure Darroch, Trump unleashed a series of tweets accusing the prime minister of taking a "foolish" approach to Brexit, and claiming his administration would cut off ties with Darroch.

Go deeperArrowJul 9, 2019

What ambassadors say about Trump

Kim Darroch in 2017. Photo: Paul Morigi/Getty Images

The latest leak-gate has ended with an exit for U.K. ambassador to the U.S. Kim Darroch, who resigned Wednesday in the face of public attacks from President Trump.

Why it matters: "Until Mr. Darroch’s confidential cables appeared in the Daily Mail last weekend, none of the major ambassadors in Washington had been denounced by President Trump as 'wacky' and a 'very stupid guy,'" the NY Times' David Sanger notes.

Go deeperArrowJul 10, 2019