- The anti-terrorism unit of the British Metropolitan Police has started the investigation.
- Prime Minister Theresa May said that the resignation of Darroch was "very unfortunate" and that government officials should have the capacity to offer "full and frank advice."
- Leaked diplomatic notes predicted US-British differences on issues such as climate change, media freedoms and the death penalty.
British police have launched an investigation into an alleged leak of e-mails from the British ambassador in Washington criticizing the administration of US President Donald Trump. Deputy police commissioner Neil Basu said there was “clear public interest” in bringing officials to justice. Sir Kim Darroch resigned as an ambassador on Wednesday, saying it was “not possible” for him to continue.
Trump said earlier that the United States would no longer deal with Sir Kim Darroch. Trump described the British ambassador as “a very stupid man” after circulating secret letters describing Darroch as Trump’s “incompetent.”
When he announced the start of the investigation, Basso said he was convinced that the alleged diversion had damaged Britain’s foreign relations. The official called on the person or those who caused the leak to surrender and “face the consequences.”
“I tell this person or those responsible that the impact you have made is clear,” Basu said. “You are now responsible for distracting investigators from their main mission.” Basso asked people and the media not to publish leaked government documents, warning that this could be a criminal act, and called on those in possession of the letters to hand them to the police or to return them to the owner.
The anti-terrorism unit of the British Metropolitan Police has started the investigation, Basu said. The Government has already launched an internal investigation into the dissemination of communications.
The resignation of Sir Kim Darroch has led to considerable support for him, and to widespread criticism of Boris Johnson, the most likely candidate for the leadership of the Conservative Party. According to government sources, Darroch decided to resign after Johnson failed to give him support in a televised debate.
Johnson said he spoke to Sir Kim Darroch on Thursday to express his regret over his resignation, and the ambassador replied that he had not seen the debate. But on Friday, Johnson told journalists that “distorting” his comments was a “factor” in Sir Darroch’s resignation.
Prime Minister Theresa May said that the resignation of Darroch was “very unfortunate” and that government officials should have the capacity to offer “full and frank advice.”
On Friday, Trump said he gave the former ambassador good wishes, and later said that Kim Darroch said “very good things” about him.
The British ambassador to Washington, Sir Kim Druck, said in a leaked diplomatic memo published by The Mail Online last Sunday that the White House was suffering from a “serious flaw” and split under the leadership of Donald Trump.
“We don’t really believe this administration is going to become substantially more normal; less dysfunctional; less unpredictable; less faction riven; less diplomatically clumsy and inept,” Dorroch said.
Although Sir Darroch said Trump was “dazzled” by his official visit to the UK last June, he warned that the Trump administration would continue to focus on its interests only, which the British ambassador regarded as a “prerogative of the principle” of the “United States first.” Leaked diplomatic notes predicted US-British differences on issues such as climate change, media freedoms and the death penalty would surface as the two sides approached closer trade ties after the break.