Lindsey Graham blames press after Donald Trump causes United Kingdom ambassador's resignation

John Bercow

Kim Darroch, Britain's ambassador to the United States, resigned Wednesday, saying it was "impossible" to continue in his role following the leak of diplomatic cables in which he assailed President Donald Trump as "inept" and his administration as "uniquely dysfunctional".

"His sort of 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 is trying to lead".

In the ITV leadership debate, Mr Johnson was repeatedly asked by rival Jeremy Hunt if he would keep Mr Darroch in his post until the end of his tenure, which runs until Christmas, but refused to answer.

Britain's ambassador to Washington resigned on Wednesday after his confidential memos branding US President Donald Trump's administration as inept.

"I do not know the Ambassador, but he is not liked or well. thought of within the U.S. We will no longer deal with him", Trump tweeted.

Emily Thornberry, the spokeswoman on foreign affairs for the main opposition Labour Party, said Darroch "has been bullied out of his job, because of Donald Trump's tantrums and Boris Johnson's pathetic lick-spittle response".

The motive for the leak has also become hotly debated, with suggestions that hard-line supporters of Brexit were eager to see Sir Kim leave Washington because of his previous post as Britain's ambassador to the European Union, where he was perceived as a proponent of Britain remaining in the EU. "This is exactly what ambassadors do all the time".

But he said the trans-Atlantic relationship was "so deep and so wide that it will withstand any individual squall".

"The United States and the United Kingdom share a bond that is bigger than any individual, and we look forward to continuing that partnership", a State Department spokeswoman said.

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Like his predecessors, Darroch was a prominent figure in Washington, meeting frequently with high-level U.S. officials and hosting parties at the stately British Embassy.

Mr. Trump has yet to comment on Sir Kim's resignation.

Darroch's grand residence in northwest Washington became a go-to gathering spot for Trump administration officials. This has brought home to me the depth of friendship and close ties between our two countries.

Last month, during an interview with Darroch at the Aspen Ideas Festival, Richard Haass, the president of the Council on Foreign Relations, said British ambassadors are often so plugged into American politics that it appeared they had their own seat at the table for key discussions.

The First Minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon tweeted that it was "shameful" the diplomat had "effectively been forced out".

Trump himself had previously suggested that leader of Britain's Brexit Party Nigel Farage would be a good choice as ambassador, irritating British officials. 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.

Former prime minister Sir John Major warned that if a senior diplomat was "thrown to the wolves" it would damage the relationship between an incoming prime minister and the civil service.

The last time there was a problem with an envoy to Washington was in 1856, he said.

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