Sir Kim Darroch has resigned as UK ambassador to the US after his comments about US President Donald Trump were leaked to the press.
Despite confirmations from the Prime Minister and Foreign Secretary that he had their continued support, Darroch found his position untenable after Boris Johnson, the likely next prime minister, refused to stand by him.
Europe Minister Sir Alan Duncan said it was “contemptible negligence” not to support Darroch, and accused Johnson of having “thrown this fantastic diplomat under a bus to serve his own personal interests”.
In private diplomatic cables reporting back to Downing Street, Darroch described Trump and his administration as “inept” and “dysfunctional”. Many would consider such terms to be diplomatic descriptions of a US administration that has cosied up to white nationalists, started a trade war with China, quit climate agreements, and trashed the nuclear deal with Iran. However, for a Brexiteer loyal to Nigel Farage and Boris Johnson, the comments were leaked to Brexit-championing journalist Isabel Oakeshott and published by the Daily Mail.
Trump is renowned for his thin skin, and earlier this week vented his displeasure at Darroch on Twitter, calling him “a very stupid guy” and “a pompous fool”.
The wacky Ambassador that the U.K. foisted upon the United States is not someone we are thrilled with, a very stupid guy. He should speak to his country, and Prime Minister May, about their failed Brexit negotiation, and not be upset with my criticism of how badly it was…
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 9, 2019
A number of Brexiteers, including Nigel Farage, decided to support the US President in the spat over the renowned British diplomat, with it likely the Johnson will replace Darroch with someone who “believes in Brexit”. Farage has made multiple statements in the past that he feels he is owed the US ambassador’s post for his political manoeuvres, despite failing to become an MP seven times. It is likely whoever leaked the cables would like to see Farage offered the job, and such a move could provide Johnson with an opportunity to placate the Brexit Party supporters and far right Conservatives should he win the battle for Number 10.