British envoy to US quits after Trump fury over slight


WASHINGTON: The British ambassador the United States Kim Darroch resigned on Wednesday in the face of US President Donald Trump’s fury following leaked cables in which the envoy described Trump as ‘inept’, ‘insecure’ and ‘incompetent’.
Hours after an enraged Trump virtually declared him a persona non grata in Washington, calling him a “stupid guy” and a “pompous fool,” Darroch sent in his resignation to the British foreign office saying his position had become untenable.
“Since the leak of official documents from this Embassy there has been a great deal of speculation surrounding my position and the duration of my remaining term as ambassador. I want to put an end to that speculation. The current situation is making it impossible for me to carry out my role as I would like,” Darroch wrote.
“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,” he added.
Foreign envoys posted in Washington DC routinely send assessments of the current political situation via diplomatic cables to their headquarters. But never before has such a report sparked public furor, least of all between two of the closest allies in the world, and seldom involving public chastisement of an envoy by the highest executive office.
The fracas not only highlighted Trump’s now well-established hypersensitivity to any kind of criticism — even in what is widely seen in the diplomatic community as boilerplate reports that ambassadors send home — but also underscored Trump’s public intervention in British politics and the British right-wing Brexiteers embrace of Trump.
The US President publicly berated the outgoing UK Prime Minister Theresa May for not listening to him on Brexit after virtually dictating who he would like London’s envoy to Washington to be. “Many people would like to see @Nigel_Farage represent Great Britain as their Ambassador to the United States. He would do a great job!” Trump had tweeted soon after he was elected in 2016, and that sentiment seemed to be part of the set-up that sent Darroch packing.
Expectedly, Farage, who had helped Trump in the 2016 US Presidential elections, was quick to call for the sacking of the British envoy hours after the leaked cables.
In fact, the scuttlebutt in the British diplomatic and journalistic community is that the cables were leaked deliberately to a pro-Brexit scribe close to Farage and published in a pro-Trump tabloid in order to shaft Darroch and pave the way for a successor who would be more aligned with the Trump dispensation.
“It seems the deliberate leaking of Kim Darroch’s email was aimed at undermining him, so the new unelected Tory PM can appoint a Trumpian patsy to Washington. I wonder who might have been behind such a thing,” tweeted Ben Bradshaw, the Labor MP for Exeter.
In fact, some reports have gone so far as to suggest that pro-Brexit politicians in UK are working in cahoots with Trump minions in Washington to purge career British officials who do not toe the Trexit-Brexit line that is broadly aimed at reversing the globalisation that has put the long-privileged and porly-educated nativist and isolationist bases at a disadvantage.
Jonathan Powell, former prime minister Tony Blair’s chief of staff, told Britain’s Channel 4 News that the attempt to force Darroch from office followed similar efforts to punish career British officials suspected of insufficient enthusiasm for Brexit, according to The Intercept website. Pro-Brexit websites have also hailed Darroch’s ouster.
“Britain’s anti-Brexit ambassador to the US is what Donald Trump would call a “bad hombre”. He needs to be banished from Washington and replaced by a favourite of the President. The Special Relationship is at stake. Send in the great man…” tweeted an account under the handle @LeaveEUOfficial.

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