The United Kingdom’s Ambassador to the United States, Kim Darroch has tendered his resignation after the American president, Donald Trump insulted him and the UK Prime Minister, Theresa May, calling them ‘foolish’.
Donald Trump had condemned the ambassador over leaked memos critical of the White House, as Downing Street insisted Sir Kim Darroch had its full support.
The escalating crisis began after a Sunday newspaper printed extracts of confidential memos in which Darroch labelled Trump’s administration “inept” and “dysfunctional”. The US president announced on Monday that he would no longer deal with the ambassador.
In a fresh volley of tweets on Tuesday morning, Trump again condemned Darroch, and renewed his criticism of the prime minister over her Brexit negotiations, which he had praised on his state visit to the UK just over a month ago.
“The wacky ambassador that the UK foisted upon the United States is not someone we are thrilled with, a very stupid guy,” Trump wrote.
“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 handled.
“I told her how to do that deal, but she went her own foolish way – was unable to get it done. A disaster! I don’t know the ambassador but have been told he is a pompous fool. Tell him the USA now has the best economy and military anywhere in the world, by far and they are both only getting bigger, better and stronger.”
The UK Foreign Office has praised Sir Kim’s “professionalism and class”. The ambassador said he wanted to put an end to speculation, adding the leak had made it “impossible” to do his job.
In a letter to the Foreign Office, Sir Kim said: “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.”
In response to the letter Sir Simon McDonald, permanent under secretary and head of the diplomatic service, said Sir Kim had served a “long and distinguished career, with dignity, professionalism and class”.
Describing the leak as “malicious” Sir Simon added: “You are the best of us.”
Theresa May said it was a “matter of great regret” that Sir Kim felt the need to resign, saying officials needed to be able to give “full and frank advice”.
“Sir Kim has given a lifetime of service to the United Kingdom and we owe him an enormous debt of gratitude,” she added.