Queen Elizabeth II, President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump, from left, attend an event to mark the 75th anniversary of D-Day in Portsmouth, England Wednesday, June 5, 2019. World leaders including U.S. President Donald Trump are gathering Wednesday on the south coast of England to mark the 75th anniversary of the D-Day landings. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)
The British Ambassador to the U.S. — whose leaked cables back to London called the Trump White House “uniquely dysfunctional” and “divided” while characterizing President Trump as “radiat[ing] insecurity” — will keep his position as ambassador while an investigation is conducted to determine how his communiques were leaked.
There were calls last night for Sir Kim [Darroche] to be recalled to London, as the Foreign Office called in senior civil servants to carry out a leak inquiry.
Police will be called in if any evidence of criminality emerges.
But Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt stood by popular Sir Kim, 65, who previously worked as the PM’s National Security Adviser.
Mr Hunt said he was “doing his job” as “frank opinions” from ambassadors are vital.
But in a bid to smooth over the Transatlantic rift, Mr Hunt added: “It’s also important to say this was a personal view. It’s not the view of the British government. It’s not my view.
“We continue to think that under President Trump the US administration is not just highly effective but the best possible friend of the United Kingdom on the international stage.”
There is already gossip and innuendo about who could have leaked Kim’s “diptels” with those seeking to fill his position named as likely culprits.
One senior Tory MP told The Sun: “Who would have gone to the trouble of saving up two years of diptels? I’m guessing an ambitious minister or their spad [special adviser]”.
Cabinet Secretary Sir Mark Sedwill is rumoured to be lined up to succeed Sir Kim, but the embarrassing leak could jeopardise that as Mr Trump may now prefer to deal with a visibly pro-US politician.
The leaks come on the heels of Trump’s visit to the UK, which many in the American press described as a trip to reestablish a healthy relationship with the UK as it had, of late, been on “shaky ground”.
If the British Ambassador was reflective of how others in the British government viewed the Trump administration, it’s not hard to figure out why the relationship needed repairing; but it does complicate an easy assessment of who could have wanted the information leaked.