Britain’s ambassador in Washington, Sir Kim Darroch, has resigned following a diplomatic storm caused by the publication of leaked emails in which he lambasted the Trump administration.
Darroch tore apart Donald Trump’s White House in the leaked communications, describing it as dysfunctional, inept, and faction-riven. The comments, which were never intended to be made public, infuriated the president, who announced in a series of petty and insult-filled tweets that he would no longer work with the ambassador.
In his resignation statement, Darroch said the attacks from the president had made it “impossible for me to carry out my role as I would like,” and said that the process of finding his successor can now begin.
“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," he said. “I want to put an end to that speculation... 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.”
Trump exploded with fury after the emails were published by the British newspaper The Mail on Sunday. He attacked both Darroch and outgoing British Prime Minister Theresa May, calling the ambassador “wacky,” “very stupid,” and “pompous” and criticizing May’s handling of Brexit.
It’s unknown how the top-secret communications got into the hands of the newspaper. A “large-scale” inquiry has been launched by Britain’s Foreign Office, and Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt said the government is investigating whether the emails were obtained by a “hostile state.”
May paid tribute to Darroch on Wednesday and said that his resignation was a “matter of great regret,” adding: “Good government depends on public servants being able to give full and frank advice.... I want all our public servants to have the confidence to be able to do that.”