Ambassador leak 'no longer in public interest' negate police

Jeremy Hunt said he was ‘disappointed’ at Mr Johnson’s failure to support the ambassador

In a statement, the London Metropolitan police's assistant commissioner, Neil Basu, said that "given the widely reported consequences of that leak", there had been "damage caused to United Kingdom global relations" and that there "would be clear public interest in bringing the person or people responsible to justice".

The Mail newspaper reported that Darroch wrote a memo to Johnson, saying: "The outcome illustrated the paradox of this White House: you got exceptional access, seeing everyone short of the President; but on the substance, the administration is set upon an act of diplomatic vandalism, seemingly for ideological and personality reasons - it was Obama's deal".

Kim Darroch, the former United Kingdom ambassador to the United States, reportedly alleged that President Trump withdrew from the 2015 Iran Nuclear Deal in 2018 for "personality reasons".

The inquiry by the Metropolitan police counter-terrorism command, which is responsible for investigating breaches of the Official Secrets Act, was announced in a statement attributed to Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu.

The news comes as Boris Johnson tonight admitted he played a role in Sir Kim Darroch's resignation as British ambassador by failing to defend him from Donald Trump's onslaught.

The federal government has already opened an inside inquiry into the newsletter of the memos, which saw the U.S. ambassador focus on about with the Trump administration as "clumsy and inept".

But Johnson said the prosecution of journalists would have a "chilling effect" on public debate.

This prompted Donald Trump to burst out in a spate of tweets, branding the ambassador a "pompous fool" whom he would no longer deal with.

More news: Hong Kong protesters take aim at Chinese traders

In this photo, taken on Friday, Oct. 20, 2017, British Ambassador Kim Darroch hosts a National Economists Club event at the British Embassy in Washington.

He says a free press is "essential".

It followed the announcement Sir Kim had chose to quit, saying his position had become "impossible" following the publication of cables in which he described the Trump administration as "inept" and "dysfunctional".

'The publication of leaked communications, knowing the damage they have caused or are likely to cause may also be a criminal matter.

The cable was part of a second batch of leaked memos published by the Mail on Sunday, the first of which led to the resignation of Darroch on 10 July.

The Conservative would-be PM said he knew Sir Kim's decision to fall on his sword was partly down to his lukewarm support in an ITV debate this week. It says that because the Iran nuclear deal was essentially seen as an Obama deal, Trump opted out of it without much regard for the consequences.

Trump did not directly address his change of tone on Friday, but said "some people just told me ... he actually said very good things about me".

Yet both Johnson and Jeremy Hunt, the two contenders to become Britain's next prime minister, have defended the media's right to publish.

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